Podcast 691: ToadaPodcast 691: Toada

Valdir da Silva was born in Angola but raised in Lisbon, which is where he developed his earliest memories after his parents had fled the civil war. “I have only Portuguese nationality and in my heart I feel Portuguese, but of course the Angolan culture is somehow present, mostly in a subliminal way,” he tells EDMjunkies. He grew up around Sintra, a charming Portuguese town situated within the cooling hills of the Sintra Mountains, with his mother, brothers, and his sister, and it was nothing short of wonderful, he recalls.

It was in Sintra that da Silva discovered a “deep connection” with music, he recalls. Through lessons with electric guitar and performances in various hard rock and metal bands, he developed his basic musical instincts. But these instincts soon took him away from metal and into electronic music, albeit initially only as an “avid listener.” On his radar were Aphex Twin, Herbert, 4Hero, The Cinematic Orchestra, Thievery Corporation, and Dopplereffekt, plus British garage acts like The Streets. It was a particularly rich period in his musical upbringing.

Then, in 2015, da Silva conceived Toada, an amalgamation of several other musical projects that began in Lisbon and matured in Berlin, where da Silva currently bases himself. His releases began in 2018, all of them through Plūma, set up for his own work. Peso Pluma came first, capturing Toada’s electronic pop sound, and there’s since been several EPs and his debut album, Cambiante, which served as a reflection of human diversity. His latest work, Viveza, landed earlier this month.

We learned of da Silva when he submitted a track through our submissions portal, and we signed another one to EDMjunkies+, releasing it alongside exclusive material GARZA and Blue Fields, an alias of Mike Shannon. At the time of the release, da Silva was just fine-tuning his live set, hoping he’d be able to share it over the summer, but that was before the pandemic took hold. Now, as hopes of live music’s return grow each day, he’s decided to share one of his first ever live sets as an EDMjunkies podcast, recorded in his home studio and featuring only his own material. At just over one hour in length, it’s emotive but fierce, characterized by emotional melodies and playful rhythms.

01. What have you been up to recently?

I just had a new EP come out on April 2, so I spent a lot of time making sure this body of work came out the way I envisioned.

02. How has the lockdown period been for you?

Creatively speaking it has been great. It’s given me enough time to explore new production techniques and more importantly it has given my mind and body the necessary space to express myself artistically. However, generally speaking, the world is currently going through unprecedented times. There’s a lot of people suffering right now, so I sincerely wish this pandemic ends as soon as possible!

03. What music have you been listening to?

I haven’t listened to much new music lately as I’ve been focused on finishing my EP. But the new Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders definitely got my attention, it’s an amazing collaboration. I’ve also been enjoying music from Andy Stott and Alessandro Cortini.

04. Where and when did you record this mix?

I recorded this live set in my home studio, where it’s very cozy.

05. What can the listener expect?

My music tends to take people on a journey and that’s what I think happened with this performance.

06. How did you choose the music that you included?

I just chose a bunch of tracks of mine that I think are really fun to play live.

07. We understand it’s one of your first live sets. Talk to us about how you went about it?

I have a lot of interest in live performances because it’s a chance to connect directly with people, but due to the ongoing pandemic it’s definitely a hard scenario to achieve right now. For this EDMjunkies live set, I used a few pieces of hardware, like an Elektron Octatrack, SP-16, Analog Heat, and a JU06a synth. This set was a combination of prepared material and also a lot of improvisation, including many charismatic mistakes during the track transitions. It’s the right balance for me. I like it when live sets, especially in electronic music, are alive and dynamic, and not totally perfect!

07. What’s on your horizon for 2021?

While being in lockdown I intend to do more music; who knows, I’ll eventually release another EP or perhaps even write an album. But for sure, once things start to look a bit brighter and venues finally start to open, I’ll definitely focus more on playing live!

EDMjunkies has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to EDMjunkies+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.

Full EDMjunkies+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an EDMjunkies+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.

Tracklisting

01. Toada “Intro” (Unreleased)
02. Toada “Apaziguada” (Plūma)
03. Toada “Fervor” (Plūma)
04. Toada “Matiz” (Plūma)
05. Toada “Mosaico” (Plūma)
06. Toada “Auge” (Plūma)
07. Toada “Vendaval” (Plūma)
08. Toada “Airosa” (Plūma)
09. Toada “A Movida” (Plūma)
10. Toada “Tempelhofer Feld” (Plūma)
11. Toada “Amparo” (Plūma)
12. Toada “Outro” (Unreleased)

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