This month Brasilian artist Edu K joined the Modarnity ranks with his new EP ‘I Love It Louder’: two dark techno-leaning anthems that will send chills up your spine. We caught up with the outspoken and charismatic DJ and producer top get the lowdown on his life and career to date.
Thanks for talking to us Edu… What’s your musical background and how did you first get into electronic music and DJing?
Hey, thnx a bunch for having me! I’m a DJ, producer and performer from Brasil – i had an international hit with Popozuda Rock N’ Roll, released by german label, Man Recordings – i toured a lot of the world as a DJ and i’m also the singer in ground breaking rock band, Defalla. I grew up listening to lots of jazz and brasilian music, MPB, that mom & dad banged in our living room stereo and then, one day, i saw James Brown doing his cape routine on TV and, BOOM, i was hooked for life! After that, Saturday Night Fever, the movie, came out, and i became a kid version of Tony Manero, hehe, ’til i found hip hop on the radio – brasilian DJs used to rap some holidays bullshit over Sugarhill and Kurtis Blow’s 12’s flipsides, the instrumentals, and that music blew my mind.
Around that time also, a neighbour got me hooked on Kraftwerk and Moroder so, yeah, i was funky kid, haha! Hip Hop and Disco made me wanna become a producer but, back in the 80’s it was impossible to get your hands on a computer so, for a long time i had notebooks where i wrote ideas for the music i wanted to produce one day. Only around 91 i got a chance to produce my first electronic music per se, with Notator, Logic’s grandpa, hehe, on an Amiga computer, when i co-produced, with a friend, Defalla’s crazy collage hip hop metal album, Kingzobullshit. DJing, on the other hand, came way before all that: i was a resident DJ at an underground club in my city, Porto Alegre, called Ocidente, from early to late 80’s. I used to get into fist fights cuz aside from playing the usal technopop, goth, post-punk and rock from the day, i also spun a lotta early hip hop and people would get pissed off about it, can you even imagine that? haha! just plain bonkers!
How do you feel your own sense of identity and your personal background influences your creativity?
To me it’s all part of a boiling voodoo soup that is all over everything i do, and am. Coming from a punk and D.I.Y. background – Paul Weller, from The Jam, once said his guitar was and extention of his arms – i feel like my life is my art, my body is my canvas and my mind, the myriad of brushes that i splash around creating sound + vision, moods and colors, telling stories made of abstract bits and pieces put together by all this things that i am, that i lived and that i love. Everything, all the time, is inspiration, everywhere – inside and outside.
Talk us through the production of your latest EP I Love It Louder – how did this one come together?
All and everything starts with Tau0n, my lovely zerpos! I got to know their music thru Sacha Robotti’s label, Slothacid, and i fell deeply in love with it. When i met the beautiful people behind it, it was the beggining of long love affair that led us to my first EP, I Love It Louder, with their amazing label, Modarnity. We totes vibe from each other and are part of this freak psychedelic fun loving fam! At first i was more into tech house and stuff like that but when i flipped to techno, Scott – one part of the DJ/producer duo, alongside beautiful Lilit – vibed on the tunes and even worked some amazing post production/mixing magic ‘pon them! On my side, i did everything on a piece of crap PC, haha – i don’t even have a controler and have to use my notebook keys to play the synth notes! talk about punk rock ethos, huh? haha – using Ableton Live, in my bedroom. For I Love It Louder vocals i used Replica, this amazing voice gen site, and for Deathbed i had the amazing Ginger Mosley working her black magick spells ‘pon the track.
They’re described as “dark anthems” – did you have Halloween in mind when making these?
I did not, in fact, but the tunes sure fit the witches’ holiday! The thing is i’m a scorpio, hehe, and we are very dark people! We are magical beings that inhabit the shadows of the dark side! I love all things dark, heavy, weird, cyco, magic, strange. I have this little anecdote that illustrates that perfectly: at a certain moment, i was very into trashy housey pop anthems and wanted to try my hand on that – always moved by passion and curiosity, yeah, that’s very me. So, when a friend came by i told him i was producing these super light, happy go lucky, friendly tracks and showed ’em to him. After he listened to the tunes, he looked at me with sarcastic disbelief and said, “this is the darkest shit i ever heard, are you kidding me?” hahaha
Speaking of loving it louder, as you always pushing things into the red as a DJ?
I tend to, literally, push it to the red, hehe. I gots no limits and also no regards to technical stuff, you might ask Scott, haha! I go for bust and i follow my feeling and my ears – i’m a 100% uneducated engineer/producer, i have no idea what i’m doing, haha! Back when i used to work with consoles, in studios, sometimes the engineers would ask me, “hey, do you want a saw so you can cut the console and push the level buttons to eleven?” hahahha! That’s a true story! Re DJing, it’s also like that. I’m very techno oriented right now but, i love the idea of pushing the envelope dropping some stuff that’s very out there in the middle of my sets – from trap, to baile funk, to current pop to, even, metal, why not? I see no boundaries when it comes to music. If that’d piss off the techno/tech heads is a good question, haha, but i’m a bit of a (merry) prankster and hey, what would you expect from a punk rock dude? I always say that i’m like Iggy Pop on decks, hehe!
Are there any technologies or instruments you’re currently using that have completely changed the way you make music?
Ableton Live, fo sho! I was a Reason head, like Liam Howlett, til a good friend hooked me up on Live! I was a bit like, nah, i’m happy with Reason, i don’t need to swap. But he insisted: “you idiot, at least try it, i know it’s gonna rattle your cage good”! And so i did and well, it did blow my mind, hehe, ofc dude was right on the mony! At first it felt like one day i woke up and forgot how to ride a bike, haha, but sooner than soon i was flying high on it – it totes changed my musical/production/actual life! The only thing is, now, i’m already bored a lil’ with it – i believe, a 100%, that the tools are not only part of the production process but also a huge influence on the creativity side of it – so i’m kinda waiting for the next gear already, hehe! It’d have to be way more intuitive then what we have right now tho. I belive the future lies in the mashing up of human-machine: we be collabing with our computers very soon! hehe!
What do you think it is about electronic music that does something that other artwork forms might not be able to?
First of all, the sheer power of it. A guitar chord can rattle your windows good but, a synth or an 808 kick can go way further! It’s a sonical thing but also a mind thing because of the power of hypnosis: electronic music is very cathartic and immersive. I believe that music, specially techno and electronica in general, can be the true conduit of revolution, be it political, social, sexual, and everything else in between – i gets people to come together, in a trance, with minds wide open, in a loving fun kind of way.
What else should we be looking out for from you this year?
In Brasil i’m releasing a new single every 21 days, a crazy hollaballo of musical styles, from baile funk to pisadinha (the new electro forró, the brasilian northern trad music), but also throwing some rock and punk in the mix and next year i’ll be putting out an album called Vacinado No Bum Bum, with Maxilar, the indie label that’s fam down here in the South. Up North i’m sure to be cookin up a riot of singles with my L.A. fam, Modarnity and Tau0n and we also workin on a project for next summer: a house party tour! Prepare your living rooms, your kegs and your red cups cuz here we come!