Sinchi & Friends 95 – Carol Mattos

We’ve been avid listeners and fans of Brazilian artist Carol Mattos for some time and were delighted to hear when we made contact that the feeling was mutual. It took some time to make this work due to unforeseen circumstances which you can read below, however it was certainly worth the wait. In her own words…’ I wanted to make it really special, since Sinchi Collective is one of my main references, so I gathered my favourite tracks from these past months, but it wasn’t easy to put them together.. Also, I’ve been away from the dance-floor for a long time now (even before the lockdown started, I had to stay at home because I broke one of my ribs completely) and I’m missing it pretty hard, so it’s a mix with tracks that made me dance even at home. They also have a touch of resistance and optimism into them, so I hope they can liven up the listeners the way they did to me :)’.

1) Introduce yourself?

I’m from a city in Brazil called Belo Horizonte, which isn’t small but has this really warm and welcoming atmosphere, besides having a strong character of occupying public places with parties, parades and music as an act of political resistance. There, I started producing electronic music parties with the collective I’m part of called MASTERplano in 2015, when I also started to DJ. At that time I was an architecture student that worked with social and collective construction and wasn’t intending to follow a musical career, but it happened that I found something that I love and it grew quite fast. In 2016 I became a resident DJ at MAMBA NEGRA, from São Paulo and I moved here almost two years ago to follow that path.

2) What have been your highlights from the last 12 months?

I would say the tour I made around South of Brazil at the end/beginning of the year. It had been a long period since I was there for the last time and It was a great experience when I got to meet amazing new projects and new people in cities I haven’t been before, with audiences that were so lively and receptive. Also, the party we made as MASTERplano at an old market in Belo Horizonte with free entrance, it was surreal, the dance-floor was on fire. The 6 year Mamba Negra party last May, specially when me and Cashu finalised it with a b2b in the morning outside and the whole crew – artists, producers, performers – were reunited at the stage to cut the cake. Also, playing in London at the Boiler Room festival and at Madrid, for the first time, a city that I lived for some time and I’m still very fond of.

3) What do you have lined up for the coming year?

I was really excited for this year, because I was finally going to get around South America. Bolivia, Chile and Argentina were in my plans and I was also setting up a tour around Europe in October. They’re all on standby right now as the virus is hitting hard around here, but I’m enjoying this moment to spread my networks and to be in touch with other artists and producers around the world. So I hope to get back to these plans when this situation gets better. Right now I’m studying a lot about music, teaching and gathering with other producers and my colleagues from my collective to reflect upon projects and formats that could work for the electronic music scene in this new context.

4) Do you have a favourite track in the podcast?

I even listened to them again to check if I actually had one, but I don’t, sorry! They’re all very special to me, each in its own specific way.

5) What tracks have really stood out for you in the last year and why? (i.e, dancefloor bombs, originality, inspiration)

Pardon Moi – Addiction (Dawad Remix) – I think this is one of my favourite tracks ever. It has these punky angered vocals, great synths and a such a nice and and engaging evolution. It has an amazing effect on the dance-floors as well.

Horreur – Night Ritual (Stockholm Syndrome AU Dark Is Light Remix) – This is a strong track with very angry basses, but its melody also carries some sadness. It touches me quite deeply, it’s like when you’re so sad that you’re actually angry, but then you release it in an empowering way.

Borgie – Danza Obscura – This is a wonderful, not very known track that actually made me cry the first time I heard it. It appeared to me last year during a rough time, after I’d been through a divorce. I was researching in my living room in the dark and I started dancing with my headphones on when I felt that for a moment I could disconnect from what I was going through and just let me be driven by music. It also gets a new beautiful harmony when played at 80bpms or lower.

6) Who or what are your biggest musical influences?

I would say punk and new wave movements together with disco.

7) Tell us about 3 DJ’s / Producer’s we may not know but should be looking out for?

I’ll use this opportunity to talk about great local artists whose identity have much to do with Sinchi Collective, but you may have not heard yet.

DJ Magal has been on the scene for 36 years and I think he was the first who brought EBM and post-punk to brazilian dance-floors. He has built an extensive research among all those years with records we won’t find anywhere else.

Supololo performs punk and queer with latin american beats and pop which build up to his unique sound, impossible not to dance to. Martinelli is a machine-experimenter and one of the talented group of new artists that perform impressive live-acts on the dance-floors.

Frontinn is a DJ and producer and has a stunning and sensitive research I only listen with her.

I also love Nikatze’s sound, who is one of the feminine forefronts here in São Paulo and produces Blum, a party that’s like our cosmic utopia.

Finally, Barsotti, a recent discovery, that is so careful with everything he makes and never let us down. I have many more, but this is getting way too long.

8) What is your favourite Venue or Festival to play at and why?

Definitely the street or any other public space, specially when we can be the whole night out until morning. Inside, I love to play at the building at the Deocleciana Street, 105, here in São Paulo. It’s an old industrial building with three floors, many passages and ambients and opened lateral walls, so the light enters when it’s morning and has this beautiful effect with smoke, like there’s dust in the air. It has lots of different ambients and hidden places, so the parties use them to put installations, places to rest and talk, sometimes even beds. It’s always fun to circulate around it and this also gives its dance-floors a more refreshing atmosphere, since people aren’t confined at the same space for too long. It has hosted so many great parties that it feels like home for the local clubbers.

9) Do you have a ritual before you start playing or straight after?

I like to be well rested, to meditate and have a nutritive meal (not always possible when I’m on tour), it makes a huge difference. Sometimes I also put a bit of lavender oil on my wrists and between my eyebrows to feel more relaxed. I also like to arrive at least one hour before starting so I can feel the atmosphere. When I finish I go straight to the dance-floor.

10) What is your favourite bit of kit? 

Sadly it’s not easy to purchase electronic music equipment in Brazil, due to our devalued currency and all the import taxes, then I had chosen to focus more on my DJ equipment. For production I basically use my computer and my Arturia Keystep Sequencer. My friend Kakubo is spending quarantine at my apartment and brought her Roland Mc-505 and it’s a great machine to create and experiment, lots of great sounds in it.

11) What is your favourite film score?

I love the soundtracks Podeserdesligado (Jhonatta Vicente) made for the movie “Negrum3” (Blackn3Ss), a short-documentary by Diego Paulino that shows the life of young black people in São Paulo, their aesthetics, expressions and celebrations. He is a producer from Rio de Janeiro and combines Funk carioca with futuristic synths.