My younger sister, Amanda has seen a lot more of the world that I have. Unlike me, she has traveled throughout South America and has fond memories of her time there. Brazil is a place I can only imagine from what I’ve seen on TV. Rainforests, monkeys, iguanas, leopards, macaws, toucans… that type of stuff. A potentially unsettling environment that is both beautiful and intimidating, all at once.
It was the use of the ‘Small Percussion’ kit from Native Instruments Battery 3 that inspired the title of my tune, ‘Brazilian’ which I am proud to finally release today on Bandcamp. Mambo bells, woodblock, cuicas, agogo and some bird-like whistle samples found in folders on my hard-drive.
This track marks some ‘firsts’ for me. The first release on my Ved Sengen label, my first ever dubstep release and the first track I’ve put out since I was involved in the Grim Trinity/Intergalactic Spokesmen 12”EP way back in 2008. I started this project in 2012 so it’s release is a long time coming.
The main motivator of completing this project so many years later is a few good responses from others over the years. My friend and avid dubstep fan, Jordan once expressed an interest in cutting a ‘dub-plate’ of the track and it was also the first of my productions I played on a sound system to an audience. One of the audience members was Danish producer, 2000F who came up to me while it was playing at a Strøm Festival event in August 2015.
Nadja, my girlfriend at the time, strongly encouraged me to take a track along to a dub workshop and listening session with Sherwood & Pinch who were playing a live show at the festival later in the week. I also attended that event which included Andy Stott on the line-up; plus a talk with Hyperdub boss, Kode9, also from the UK.
I arrived early at a venue called ‘KPH Volume‘ in Vesterbro on the Wednesday night with a couple of Tuborg Grøn cans in my bag and my tune on a USB to play on the sound system after the workshop.
I remember smoking a small joint on my own out the back of the venue alongside the Strøm Lydcykel to calm my nerves. Waiting around for the event to start, I reintroduced myself to Pinch after meeting him in Melbourne at a Heavy Innit!! event which I hosted with my friend Graeme some years ago. This was a good move as it gave me an opportunity to join in a conversation with Rob and his cohort, Adrian Sherwood before they did their workshop.
Adrian was quite friendly and the conversation was light and relaxed. It helped me to chill out about being there ‘alone’ and playing my track.
Eventually the workshop kicked off and we were shown how the guys ran their live dub-mixing set-up for their show. A Midas desk, some samplers, a laptop and a few effects boxes. It was great to see how they put their live show together.
After this was the listening session and I patiently waited my turn to hear my tune on the sound system. Being a newcomer who didn’t know any of the locals, nor speak or understand any Danish at the time, I was fairly timid.
It was getting close to the end when I noticed that my name had already been crossed out but my track hadn’t been played. I thought that maybe I would miss out, but let the DJ know what had happened. Finally, the last tune came up and it was ‘Brazilian’.
Some people had left the event by this time but that didn’t bother me. I was just excited to hear the track playing over the speakers.
Some people danced and seemed to get into the vibe which was a good feeling. Then when it was about two-thirds of the way through, Frederik came up to me and asked me if I’d produced the track. Naturally I said, ‘Yes’. He congratulated me and handed me his business card: ‘Frederik Birket-Smith, CEO of Strøm Festival’.
Of course I was chuffed with the experience and biked home to Nørrebro with a smile on my face, arriving at the door to thank Nadja for encouraging me to take a track along to the session.
Later I would play this track alongside two other productions as part of a series of events called ‘Crossroads’ at Bolsjefabrikken that was curated by myself and my friend, Malthe (AKA Roger Jr.). Malthe would later invite me to join him on the Bas Under Buen Tour of Denmark in 2016. These are some of my fondest memories of Denmark and experiences that I am most grateful for.
How could I not want to finally release these tracks to celebrate my achievements?
This one may not be the greatest production I will ever make but we all start somewhere. The process of finishing a track is so different from starting one. You learn skills you don’t need at the beginning of a project. This is why I plan to complete a bunch of older works to gain the experience, build my confidence and speed the process in the future.
‘Brazilian’ is available now via the Ved Sengen Bandcamp and as a bonus, I’ve included a sample pack in WAV format from the project. You may like to use these in your own productions. The track will appear on streaming sites in the coming weeks.
Below is a playlist that guides you to the place that this track comes from and I’ve also included a video for 2000F’s ‘Blæst Igen’ (‘Blazed Again’) and his classic collaboration with J.Kamata, ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is’.
‘BRAZILIAN’ ON SOUNDCLOUD
‘BRAZILIAN’ ON SPOTIFY
‘BRAZILIAN’ ON BANDCAMP