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Test Pressing

337 / Selvagem / Balnearico

Berimbau variations. Orchestral Tropicalia. Low slung Funk and groovy Rock. Jorge Ben gone electric. Ethique Boogie sunshine. Tom Tom Club-esque motion. George Benson-esque scat. A Frenchman singing Brazil`s praises. Modern Soul. Seductive female rap and a classic from a childhood in Rio. Percussão, bateria, tambor, stoned solos and hippie harmonies. A musical heaven, like a dream my brother.

Where are you based?

São Paulo, Brazil.

Is this your hometown?

Trepanado: No, I was born and raised inland São Paulo state, in a city called Ribeirão Preto (“black stream”), known as a major agrobusiness center.

Millos: No. I was born in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro’s Brooklyn.

What is your first musical memory?

Trepanado: Listening to lullaby stories pressed in records with the most creepy covers. Dancing with my mother in the living room to A-Ha.

Millos: My dad listening to Zucchero, Oingo Boingo and Ed Motta.

What inspired you to start DJing?

Trepanado: The radio made me dream about it. There was a program called “Big Apple Show” hosted by the great Julinho Mazzei, broadcasted straight from New York in the `80s and early `90s, that mixed Disco and House. When I was 14, a friend, Decio (from the House duo Anhanguera, that put some stuff out on Robsoul) got his first mixer with which we used to play eurohouse at house parties. Two years later, some of my friends were buying a pair of decks and records. I was just a music nerd, listening to everything from Heavy metal to Trip-Hop, asking myself if it was OK to like Slayer, Portishead and Chic at the same time. When I moved to Sao Paulo to graduate I started nightclubbing properly, dancing to Laurent Garnier, Robert Owens and François Kevorkian when they came down here, but it wasn’t until I heard Optimo that it clicked because I related to that approach, it was something that I wanted to pursue as a musical vision. And of course reading to Last Night a DJ Saved My Life and all those amazing stories, going through those club’s top 50’s playlists and just wondering how it felt.

Millos: I was not very interested in dance music until I was 20 years old, which was only 7 years ago actually. It was around that time that I started going to two very good parties in Rio de Janeiro, called Combo and Moo. The residents DJs played a lot of mutant Disco, Post-Punk, new Disco, and House tunes and I was blown away from the first time I went. They also had amazing international DJs as guests like Todd Terje, Prins Thomas, Richard Sen, Daniel Wang playing regularly. I didn’t know you could play an Azymuth record after some crazy German techno until then.

How long have you been DJing / making music?

Millos: I’ve been DJing for about 6 years now.

Trepanado: Roughly 10 years, I ran another party, as part of a different duo for two years in those crazy 2005 times when the music genre barrier really fell. I used to come up with crazy genres, Chitalo, Cock Rock, Post-Punk-Funk, for the flyer. Anyway, I only started to blend records properly 4 years ago, when friends bought me two turntables as a wedding present. Then I got an Urei 1620 mixer for my house setup. But I was giving up this “hobby” before Selvagem started late in 2011. I judged there was some sort of generation gap between me and the crowd in the places I was playing to and I didn’t have the patience to do any PR with clubs and promoters, having to work as editor-in-chief of an inflight magazine and running a house with wife and kid, even if friends supported me. So I was in the process of accepting that I was just a music head and working as a DJ was something I should put past me.

Then it all changed. I met Millos through a mutual friend, Selvagem’s best man, and he approached me talking about this Sunday spot at this bar just in the middle of this amazing square downtown Sao Paulo, a place we could throw a free sunset party once a month. From the beginning I sensed something different. For the first time in years I had real dancers on the floor. It was pretty emotional for me. People of all sorts; old clubbers, bears, queens, architects, journalists, other DJs, fashion people, started coming in a fun mood. Word spread out and people kept praising what we did. Musically speaking, we do what we want and people are embracing it.

How would you describe your sound?

Psychedelic, free-associative groove with a Brazilian edge. In the end, we just try to play whatever we like and feel it’s kind of danceable.

Which release are you most proud of?

Of course our only 12″ (on B.I.S.). Never in our lives did we think we could put a record out, even if it’s only edits. When we found the 7″ with that “I Feel Love” version we knew we had to do something with it, it was a secret that shouldn’t be kept that way.

What are your favourite places to play / hang out in?

Trepanado: I played once at the Sub Club in Glasgow, in one those “Optimo Presents” nights, and it was a lifetime experience. I definitely want to do it again if possible. The rooftop of the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District was magical too, crazy sunset. And of course in the places of our residencies: Paribar (a hang out of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil in the 60’s, and Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in the 70’s) for the sunset party, the villa house up in Santa Teresa hills in Rio and now this secret club hidden inside a concert venue in Sao Paulo. It is something like the Submercer inside the Webster Hall in New York, or if Plastic People was inside the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, called 1 1/2, where we just started playing twice a month.

Millos: Playing in the street is something else. It’s the best for me.

Do you see yourself as part of any scene?

Trepanado: Not exactly as I always behaved as some sort of lone ranger, but we are perceived as a player involved in the “block party” scene, of people who throw parties in public spaces, for free, in the degraded area of downtown Sao Paulo. And I like being part of it. Early in February we took part of this huge event that happened at night and gathered up to 10,000 people; 10-15 soundsystems spread all over old downtown alleys, from Dub to Indian music, really free-spirited.

Millos: I can say we are part of this wave of parties and collectives from São Paulo that started to throw parties in different places of the city, like squares, closed highways, occupied buildings etc.

Who are you currently working with?

Rio Shock, a new project of Joao Brasil that blends the classic 90’s House sound with Funk and Carioca / Favela beats. They’re getting huge here with this track called “Moleque Transante”, already a hit, and we got the stems to make an edit / remix.

Who would you most like to work with?

Trepanado: Lincoln Olivetti, Teo Macero. I’m daydreaming.

Millos: James Murphy.

Dr Rob: After watching this my flights are booked. Who`s with me?

If you need any more convincing you can listen to a couple of Selvagem sunset sessions here and here, and keep an eye and ear out for a compilation from the duo, continuing the Balnearico concept, in the near future.

Test Pressing, Mixes, Dr Rob, Selvagem, Brasil, Sao Paulo, Beats In Space,

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