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Basel based twins Dersu and Diego Figueira have been spinning funk, house, disco and boogie across Switzerland and Europe since their teens and now converge together as Alma Negra. Coming from a musical family with strong Cape Verde roots, they soon embraced the Latin and African rhythms that are at the heart of the music they love. As dancers, drummers and latterly producers it is the foundation of what they do.
Hip Hop culture was their gateway into music. Later house from Chicago, New York and Detroit gave them an understanding of the genre’s cross cultural heritage, from the jazz and dance that emerges from Cuba or Brazil to the scenes of the West and East Coasts of Africa. The duo have brought this wide ranging sound to clubs and parties including Fuse (Brussels), Le Sucre (Lyon), Zukunft (Zurich), Claire (Amsterdam), African Acid Is The Future (Berlin).
The first Alma Negra edits surfaced in 2014 and there has been a steady stream of original productions ever since. The Basel producers’ distinct drive, rhythmic sensibilities and unique percussive sound has gained support from across many scenes, with the likes of Daphni, Ben UFO and Four Tet to Hunee and Antal playing their music. Their discography now includes releases on labels such as Sofrito, Heist, Basic Fingers and Lumberjacks In Hell. They show up regularly at Gilles Petersons Worldwide FM who supported them since the very beginning.
Alma Negra Recordings was launched in 2018 and is dedicated to releasing club-ready records that sit comfortably on the dance floor but bring unusual sounds and arrangements to the club. The first run of 4 records on the label is the ’12 Rhythms’ series from the twins, with each track taking a distinct global rhythm or dance and combining it with contemporary electronic music.
As well as a DJ duo they have been developing a live set with close firend Mario Robles and a cast of musicians, it has been rolled out at festivals such as Contre Temps (France), Jetzt Musik, The Reeberbahn Festival (Germany) and Southport Weekender (UK).
As Alma Negra continue to draw their Cape Verde roots closer to the house dance floor, you could be introduced to Funana and Cola/Zouk next to Caribbean Salsa and Rumba. Whatever they bring to the club it is sure to live long in the minds of dancers.
Selected discography Alma Negra
Tabanka EP (Sofrito)
Basic Fingers Series
The Sound of Cape Verde EP (Sofrito)
Highlife Vol.2 EP (Huntleys & Palmers)
Ivory Coast Soul Edits EP (Hotcasa Records)
Mão Negra EP (Basic Fingers)
Piri Piri Sampler (Piri Piri/Ini Movement)
Maloya EP (Highlife)