The DJ/curator is a football passionista and creator of the seminal Hy Brazil compilations that showcase the country's forward thinking electronica scene
Up on the beaches of Niteroi, Chico Dub is biting his nails in front of the television – Brazil are struggling against Chile. Eventually, after much on-pitch crying and displays of mental fragility, Gonzalo Jara's spotkick will prove costly and allow Brazil to scrape through the lottery of the shootout.
Chico is a busy man. He used to run Dancing Cheetah, a global ghettotech party, he founded Rio's Novas Frequências, an annual experimental music festival that showcases constantly emerging genres of music, and he releases the incredible Hy Brazil compilations, contemporary artefacts of Brazil's blossoming electronica scene. He's kindly made us an absolutely brilliant mix that he says "switches from very euphoric tracks with a Brazilian accent to brainy and introspective ones with more of an international sound. It represents my state of confusion as the tournament has been amazing and then there are protests against government corruption, social injustices and a lack of opportunities for the people." All tracks are from emerging Brazilian artists.
We spoke to Chico and spent time with him and his friends in Niteroi, just outside of Rio, watching the incredibly tense encounter between his home nation and the Chileans.
Dazed: What's the atmosphere like in Brazil?
Chico Dub: I’m in Rio de Janeiro. The atmosphere is pretty wild, like another carnival but far more international. Before the World Cup everybody seemed to be quite tense and angry – nowadays it’s impossible to not mix politics and football, especially with so much investments going on and all those crazy dictatorship FIFA rules. Protests are still happening, which is good, but the elections next October are now the best way to make a stand. Copacabana is a microcosmos of Rio and from what I’ve seen so far in the neighborhood it’s also a micro cosmos of the tournament. Colombians, Mexicans, North-Americans, Argentines, British… Everybody singing in the streets and enjoying themselves. Brazilians are very friendly towards foreigners so that makes the perfect environment.
Have you been pleased with Brazil's performance in the tournament?
Chico Dub: It's been nothing more than OK. Being a Brazilian you always expect more!
Where do you tend to watch the games?
Chico Dub: In Itacoatiara, a small beach in the neighbouring of city Niterói. Itacoatiara is one of the most beautiful beaches we have in the state of Rio and my girlfriend’s mother has a house there. I’m not the regular Brazilian soccer lover. I normally use every excuse possible to travel in those cases to stay far away from traffic jams, confusion, and frat drunk bros.
Your Hy Brazil compilations are brilliant, nothing sounds "traditionally" Brazilian. How do you find your music?
Chico Dub: I just dig through Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Since I want to showcase new artists and we don’t have massive media coverage, even online, this is the best way to discover fresh music. There is so much music out there, so any recommendations are always appreciated.
From the beginning I wanted to present a body of work not associated with Brazilian music. Our electronic and experimental music genres were shadowed by the clichés and the rich tradition of the cult classics from the late 50’s towards the late 70’s. We can be original without the obligation to use local percussive instruments on our beats; without having to sound Brazilian, do you know what I mean? So I always try to balance a more international sound with local flavours.
I want to release at least two more compilations before the end of the year. One focused on investigating the “canção” (songs sung in Portuguese) and the other showcasing music made by foreigners residing in the country. I don’t know the exact dates yet, but the first should be out around August and the other around November.
Are you DJing any parties through the tournament?
Chico Dub: I’m not DJing as much as I used to. Each passing year I DJ less to be honest. What happened is that after Dancing Cheetah finished, the global ghettotech party that I ran from 2009-2011, I got tired from weekly parties and club environments. I know it’s a phase but after you start doing your own festival (Novas Frequências) or working for Sónar in their 2012 São Paulo branch or trying to get funds for your crazy ideas it becomes to hard to keep up with new dance releases and the whole stressful work of putting on parties.
What advice would be give to someone visiting Brazi?
Chico Dub: Eat and drink a lot! Picanha, acarajé, bobó de camarão, pão de queijo, farofa, feijoada, feijão tropeiro, brigadeiro, coconut water and caipirinhas de cajú. If you are in Rio try to attend Wooble, which is a regular bass music night. Also unmissable is Audio Rebel, a venue that specialises in all kinds of experimental music. If you are in São Paulo, go to Metanol FM and Dubversão open air events. And Voodoohop parties!
Do you support a Brazilian football team? Who?
Chico Dub: YES! It’s Vasco da Gama, of course.
What message do you have for the Brazilian team and the Brazilian people?
Chico Dub: For the Brazilian team? Win that thing, god dammit!!! For the Brazilian people? Open up your ears!
Listen to Chico Dub's stunning tournament mix below: