Paulo Tessuto from Carlos Capslock- Sao Paulo is Stranger Every Day (interview)
Renowned for founding underground Sao Paulo party institution Carlos Capslock, Brazilian DJ/ promoter Paulo Tessuto also art directs and curates D-Edge’s edgiest event, the once-a-month Sunday party Superafter.
Alongside promoting parties, he’s also well known as one Sao Paulo’s leading underground DJs, spinning myriad musical styles for the flamboyant, mixed gay crowds who pack out both the squat style locations favoured by the Carlos Capslock parties and the LED lit confines of Brazil’s best known nightclub.
Chatting to Skrufff this week about the state of Sao Paulo’s nightlife he’s positive about the scene though less so about the state of day to day life following the recent political upheavals which saw protests turn into riots in most of Brazil’s biggest cities.
“The vibe in Sao Paulo is becoming stranger everyday,” he explains.
“You have lots of demonstrations by angry people against homosexuals, for example, and lots of public spaces have become less public and parks and green spaces are being replaced by buildings more and more.”
“The general street protests against corruption slowed down somewhat as police violence increased but there is still a core of resistance centred around the Black Bloc Brasil who continue to sometimes take to the streets to fight against police violence. Then you also have the media playing a dirty game trying to turn the population against each other publishing stories.”
In musical terms, he says local clubs these days are ‘more into techno, deep, house, keta House’.
“Lots of Brazilian clubbers have been visiting Berlin since 2010 and that’s had an influence on the sound here, plus lots of new labels and parties have sprung up combining those sounds with Brazilian elements.”
“There are still disco dominated parties happening and also funky/disco DJs but those kinds of parties have slipped in popularity somewhat compared to pop parties and even techno parties.”
While Carlos Capslock parties usually take place in Trackers, a semi-derelict tower block in Sao Paulo’s once notoriously dangerous no-go Downtown area, Superafter parties take place at D-Edge, though Paulo stresses that both events are unrelated.
“I’ve been DJing at D-Edge since 2008 and from 2010 we started to get closer and now I play there monthly and started a partnership organising the themes of the Superafter parties bimonthly,” he explains.
“Capslock still happens at Trackers Towers though I should correct you that it’s not an abandoned building, it’s more of an art space. There are workshops, expositions and shows alongside many other activities taking place there during the day.
“What happens is that sometimes the Capslock party happens on the streets or at other venues that usually function as other spaces or may be partially abandoned but to do real squat parties is almost impossible in Sao Paulo.”
“In fact, it’s increasingly difficult to promote open air parties because there are more and more laws against noise and disturbance so even during the day you can be arrested and have your sound system and equipment seized by the police.”
So have the authorities mellowed at all since ‘EDM’ restructured the mainstream?
“They are gradually getting used to club culture but sometimes when there are too many calls complaining about the noise we have to stop or deal with the consequences,” he says.
“The general vibe in nightlife is kind of giant at the moment, every week we have the big name EDM DJs performing here at clubs and free entrance big events- daytime parties are also increasingly popular. Even Trackers now has a lot of different types of parties, they now have a jazz night on Thursdays.
“What’s different it seems to me, is that more and more people are listening and dancing to EDM and more and more DJs here are starting to produce their own music and setting up labels. We’re becoming more professional but at the same time it’s still difficult for underground DJs to get booked at the big festivals and showcase parties.”
Spending a large part of July and August in Berlin this year, Paulo DJed at many of the German capital’s finest underground clubs and admits that Sao Paulo has some way to go before it catches up.
“I think that is impossible to compare Sao Paulo and Berlin, sure somewhere like Trackers reminds me a little as does Rua Augusta simply because of the huge numbers of bars and clubs there,” he says.
“People are still going to Augusta and drinking on the streets but the nightlife is being squeezed by big companies speculating so the action is happening further down the street, more into downtown.
Paulo is currently finishing his debut album (scheduled for a release in 6 months) and has two productions coming out shortly’ a remix for Rodrigo Pitta (Blue Tuesday: http://bit.ly/1jQUJBP ) and his own track on Rainbow Socks http://bit.ly/18blUCk )
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff