Fernanda Martins: Hard Techno can take your stress out!

Brasilian diva has mixed us a podcast that’s bursting with energy and gave us a quite interesting insight in the most intense stream of Techno.

One of the world’s most famous Techno DJs Fernanda Martins also plays one of the most powerful club music styles: Hard Techno. This genre is characterized by extremely fast rhythms, evolved from 90’s hardcore, yet it’s built on modern sharply produced sounds. Fernanda has antother alias – Dot Chandler – which she uses when playing the more classic style of hypnotic Techno, gaining great success under that moniker, too. We’ll have the privilege to hear her set at the Hard Techno Special event under the flag of the slovenian ECO Festival (more on that at the bottom of the article), so get to know her style through the podcast and the following interview. Jump in the relentless Hard Techno groove and discover the pleasures it can bring you!

Even though it has the term “Techno” in it’s name, Hard Techno is quite a specific genre. When did you first encounter this style and how did it attract you?

Honestly I just started to like it around 2006. Before that I must say I didn’t like this hardest slope of Techno. My first impression about this sounds what not good. But with time, checking some artists together with my friends that loved this sound, I started to understand it and suddenly it took me into it. I started playing techno in 2005 and just started trying with Hard Techno around 2007, 2008. Actually in my first European tour.

What would you single out as it’s main characteristics?

It is powerful baby!

Describe the vibe you get at hard parties! Is it just more intense in a physical way, or the crowds get into a different state of mind, compared to the other styles of club music?

It can be amazing. You know? But it a matter of many factors, just the way it is in another styles’ parties. Most important for me is the sound system! If you can clear listen and feel this music … woowwww! It can take you to another world. And yes, the physical thing is as intense as this sound is. To dance many hours on this beats can take your stress out!

Give us some details on the DJ skills required to deliver a quality set of really fast and banging music! How do you keep it interesting and dynamic, thus evading boredom that would result from repetitiveness?

Well, each one develops their own skills when playing it. To get the rhythm you just need to feel it! I let my body, my arms, hands and fingers dance on the rhythm of the music under the mixer and decks. As much as I feel confortable – or better said ‘Free’ – as much I can go further with the mixes. It happens to all djs! Doesn’t matter what I do on the mix, if you do not like the style you will say: ‘it’s boring’, ‘it’s repetitive’ and blab bla bla! It’s a matter of taste.

What is your approach to composing this kind of music in the studio? Are there some rules you follow, considering the colour of the sound, the structure of the tracks, BPM etc?

Sure! To get this texture is very important to complete all the frequency spectrum giving a bit more protagonism in the final mix to the drums elements. A lot of compression (without to exceed the good sounding parameters) will help! For my taste, I prefer more clean elements. Too much distortion and dirty not always convinces me. For my Hard Techno tracks I usually produce between 146 and 158 BPMs.

About the structure I think about when the track is been mixed. To make it easy and delicious to the Dj that is going to play it to mix with another track. Grouping the different scenes in 32 or 64 mainly, but it can be different, of course! All this is very general, everything will depends how I feel when I’m working on the track.

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When you start producing, do you know whether it will be a Fernanda Martins or a Dot Chandler track?

For sure, when I sit down on the chair I already know if it’s going to be Techno (Dot Chandler) or HardTechno (Fernanda Martins).

How do you perceive the future of the hard sound?

I don’t really know. Lots of people are telling it’s going to die and I see it as impossible! No style just “dies”. They change, they mutate, they evolve. When you are really into the scene you know how many people is in love with it. OK! We are talking about Hard Techno / Schranz here, as I can’t talk about another styles of hard music. The future I don’t know, but I will keep working with it till the day I’ll keep feeling it as I do now.

You’ve started in Brasil, but now one could say that you’re metropolitan – playing all around the world. How did this change your perspective of the clubbing culture, the audiences and the show business in general?

It changes too much! Actually to change from the dance floor to the dj booth changes all your thoughts about this culture. At least with me was like this. And, to play in different countries makes you realize how different can be this culture from one country to another. The business part is the one which passionate me less. I prefer just think about it as my fun and not a business. But I have clear in my mind that’s something very important if you want to take it as a profession as I do. And I try do my best in this sense.

When did your collaboration with your compatriot Sheefit come about and which qualities each of you bring to the table when working together?

Life took us there. We are close friends and I realized that you can do better when there is a real confidence with the person. The same happens with DJ Lukas. Gabriela (Sheefit) is a great dj. I really love the way she mixes and the sonority she gives to our sets. It’s her personal characteristic, and I like to mix it with my vision of this music.

What kind of a show will you be presenting at the hard techno event curated by Eco Festival?

We are preparing a very special set for this occasion. It will be the last gig of Sheefit before she goes back to Brazil and we want to celebrate it a a very powerful way.

You’ve performed many times in Slovenia! Share with us some anecdotes and impressions from these events!

I just have good memories from all events I played in Slovenia. Even the smaller parties were full of joy. Impression? I love the Slovenian crowd! They are sweet, full of energy and they care very much in show their love for the artists and the music.

Also, you’ve played a lot in the other Balkan countries. How did you click so well with our local audiences? Is there some kind a mindset connection between the culture in this area and your homeland?

Not at all! Brazilian culture is way different. But I don’t know why, I have an special connection with Balkans. Maybe some ancestral connection? Heheheh I don’t know, but its true when I land in this countries I close my eyes, breath deep and I feel like I was home. I love the landscapes and the people. I feel so curious about the history, culture and even the language. I even looked for a particular teacher to teach me the language here in Barcelona some time ago but I was lucky. Maybe in the future…

Thanks very much for the interview! Looking forward to ECO Festival.

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Even if you weren’t a fan of Hard Techno, we hope you got interested in Fernanda’s sound and her charismatic persona, too – catch her performance on October 1st in club Cvetličarna (Ljubljana, Slovenia)! More info on the Hard Techno Specials program can be found HERE (only in Croatian language).

Fernanda Martins

Dot Chandler

Petar Car