Renato Cohen- Brazil’s ‘Honest Underground’ Scene Is Thriving (interview)
Sao Paulo underground tech legend Renato Cohen chatted to Skrufff this week about the local club scene and said ‘the game has changed’ for nightlife in Brazil.
“This is the first time in my life that I can see my own country developing. Brazil has money now,” said Renato.
“So much of the club scene here has become really commercial and it’s serious business now. And in a way this is good, because the commercial club scene is so far away from the underground that it feels like we’re experiencing a fresh start again for new, smaller projects.”
Making his name initially as a techno DJ and going on to tour the world regularly over the last decade, Renato became one of Brazil’s best known DJs internationally, spinning at the likes of Berghain and releasing on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode Records. However, as mash-ups and the pop-dance-EDM explosion led by the likes of Lady Gaga wiped out many of Brazil’s best known underground house and techno clubs in 2009, he switched largely to disco, at least when spinning in Sao Paulo.
4 years on, he’s retained his passion for disco, while continuing to release techno on Drumcode and energetic high energy tech-house on Marc Romboy’s Systematic, reflecting his now more eclectic DJing style at home.
“The scene in Sao Paulo is pretty good at the moment, there are lots of new parties and new crowds and something fresh is growing here, but in the right way this time,” he said. “And Sao Paulo is definitely one of the places that I can play disco together with techno, house and acid, all in the same set.”
“But I wouldn’t divide scenes in Brazil by genres like techno, house, just commercial versus honest music- or just underground).”
So where are the best parties in Sao Paulo these days?
“I’d recommend “Carlos Caps Lock”, “Voodoohop” and “Selvagem”,” he suggested, “and we are doing two really good parties called “Poperô” and Poperô Selvagem” (with our friends from Selvagem).”
“There is a new crowd here who is not really interested in clubs anymore, so it’s all about exploring new locations and public spaces in the city. These kind of parties have never been part of Sao Paulo’s nightlife culture before so it’s really exciting what’s happening.”
Renato’s (brilliant) new EP Rolypoly/ This Time is out on Systematic shortly.
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff