Brazil’s Sonic Future is a name synonymous with quality, having established a stellar reputation with releases on the likes of Crossfrontier Audio, Suara and more. Catching up with When We Dip this week, the acclaimed producer shares an insight into his latest collaboration with rising Montreal imprint Fauna & Flora, his thoughts on the current status of Brazil’s electronic music environment and his on-going battle with tinnitus.
WWD: Thanks for joining us Cesar!
WWD: How was the end of 2017 been for you? Have you any particular highlights from the past 12 months?
It has been difficult times on my side for the last 12 months or so. It is something I have to be honest about and not pretend it went great. About 10 months ago I was diagnosed with a quite severe tinnitus problem on my left ear, mostly due to loud live gigging exposure. My doctor clearly recommended that I should avoid this type of exposure otherwise my chances of losing hearing completely were high. This changed my momentum completely and it was something I knew was happening but I wanted to pretend it was not. Many things come through your head, especially being a musician and having dedicated myself to this for so long, the risk of becoming deaf at such an early age was something I would do everything to avoid. It turned out ever since I quit the gigs the ringing is much lower and doesn’t bother me that much anymore. The downside is, when you don’t gig your creative flow for production goes down the drain and I went through a few months without producing music at all. It is coming back now.
WWD: From a distant it seems that electronic music is going from strength to strength in Brazil in recent years. How would you describe the current health of the scene there?
It is certainly becoming bigger each year but if you take into consideration the size of the country we still have very few clubs. The underground scene is much better now but there are very few slots and too many good artists to share these spots. Proper dj culture is created not only by big festivals or parties, but mostly by weekly club venues which form a community able to grow and appreciate certain sounds. Our country lacks a lot in this regard. Another factor is that Brazil seems to be an isolated cultural territory, which has its own trends and sounds and doesn’t necessarily dialogue with the rest of the world. It is a peripheral country not only geographically but in other aspects as well.
WWD: You returned to Fauna & Flora recently to remix Lowell Hales – So High. What can you tell us about the track? Has your remix approach changed much from the beginning of your career?
I don’t consider myself a remix guy. I do very few of them because I’m so used to working with my own themes and materials. Many times when I have to use others melodies or hooks it doesn’t flow for me, for some reason that I cannot fight against. One of the things that has changed is that, after realizing this, I’m very honest when requested, saying that I need 2 or 3 days playing around with the material in order to know if I can do it or not. I’m not ashamed to say if it doesn’t work for me.
In the case of Lowell Hales – So High remix, Khalid approached me and I loved the original ep. That was a great start. From there everything flowed nicely and it ended up sounding like a nice addition to the pack.
WWD: The release of the remix sees you combining very effectively once more with Fauna and Flora, one of the breakout labels in 2017. How did you first connect with the label?
It was through some of the tours I did in the Middle EAst, in Egypt to be more precise, I got to meet Khalid and later Tony (Tone Depth) and we have developed a nice relationship since then. I love the label, they are doing a great job.
WWD: 2018 offers a blank slate to artists, what do you hope to achieve in the coming 12 months?
Well I would love to keep my creative flow going, produce enough music to select for an album, and hopefully start gigging again. So Fauna & Flora guys encouraged me to write an album and I think right now I am musically mature enough for such task.
WWD: What is the one piece of advice you give now to the you from 5 years ago?
It would be to keep aware that the most important thing, even more important than being in the spotlight, is to remind myself that my musical mind will be on my side always, no matter if its working or not for others, the long journey is what counts in the end.
WWD: Who was your standout performer live or behind the decks in 2017? One artist you’ll be watching in 2018?
2 guys. One of them is Tone Depth, a Stereo Montreal icon and veteran producer certainly released impressive original material that has all the ingredients to take off next season. The other guy is Third Son. Another huge talent whose creative force is something else. I feel this guy has a lot to say beyond dance music realms.
WWD: Music-wise, what else can we expect from you over the coming months?
Well now in January there is a new ep coming out on Marc Poppke’s Crossfrontier Audio. Its part 3 of a series called Themes I’ve been releasing there for some time. Its focused on more intimate, unique pieces.
Besides that, I’m working on my first album. It will cover a varied of styles I like and there will be some cool collabs as well.
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