Davis: The ‘Wednesday Alternative’ Mix
São Paulo is arguably one of the most forward-thinking cities in Brasil when it comes to underground music and night life culture. Warehouse parties like Carlos Capslock's have been going for almost a decade, while smaller spots like listening bar Caracol are catering to intimate and discerning crowds.
DJ and producer Davis is immersed in the music scene there, running his reputable ODD party series which brings together both local names and international artists including the likes of Courtesy, Daniel Avery, Funkineven and Legowelt. In May he added a label arm, ODDiscos, which has just marked its second release with an EP from local producer and ODD resident Vermelho, backed up with blinding remixes from Tolouse Low Trax, Sphynx and Khidja.
We invited him to take control of this week's Wednesday Alternative mix which he gladly accepted. Recorded in the city's aforementioned cosy spot Caracol, the mix is a segment of a set he played in the warm up for Lena Willikens…
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you
DJ and Producer from São Paulo. I run the labels ODDiscos and In Their Feelings. Also, I have the infamous ODD party series.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
Well, if you consider what our imagination got right and got wrong regarding the music we would be dancing to in the XXI Century, I think it lies exactly at the middle: it could be the soundtrack for those weird club scenes we saw in sci-fi movies, but it is also deeply rooted in our current reality.
Where was the mix recorded?
It was recorded at Caracol, a listening bar and a very cozy and fun environment in downtown São Paulo. It was quite a special night when I shared the decks with Lena Willikens and I think the energy that was in the air is pretty much present in this recording.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
I wish everyone could have been there with us, but since it is not possible, the mood it conjures is very flexible to any setting.
What should we be wearing?
Something light and fresh that won’t get in the way when you start dancing. Think of those tunics that people wear at Kanye’s Sunday Service, but cooler and less pretentious…
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
I could go crazy here, but I’d rather keep it simple: my inner space when it reaches that feeling of freedom and connection that propels any unforgettable set. It is about the music and your state of mind, after all.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
HAUSCHKA – Wonder.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Safe to say, without any intention of sounding a bit cheap: this one.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
It is hard to think of just one name, because I have been privileged enough to have enjoyed a fair share of those with people I admire throughout my own history, many of whom I now can call my friends. That being said, I am going to imagine a very unlikely one, since we are making an imaginative exercise: Aphex Twin, for the sheer boldness of his approach and how it could challenge me to play out of my comfort zone.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
It was three in one system with a cassette player, turntable and radio AM-FM that I would sort of ‘hack’ by placing the output switcher right at the middle of the intersection between ‘radio’ and ‘phono’ and record the results. That is how I got a lot of mixtapes done for my friends when I was 13 years old. Nowadays I have a pair of MK2s, three CDJs Nexus II and I am eagerly waiting for my Alpha Recordings Rotary that should arrive anytime soon.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
The former, as for me it works as a compass and sets at least a general direction for everything else to come.
What were the first and last records you bought?
The first was a compilation released by legendary club in the East Side of São Paulo called Toco, I lived nearby and spent quite a lot of time there. I remember clearly it had “Paid In Full” among its tracks. The last, as of the writing of this interview, was “Lasakaneku” by Slikback.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
A moqueca: a fish stew with coconut milk and spices that is a traditional dish from the Brasilian Northeast. I think both in terms of flavour and texture this mix conveys the type of delicious diversity a moqueca brings into your mouth.
If it was an animal what would it be?
A Golden Retriever, the third of the pack with whom I share a roof.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
LCD Soundsystem – 45:33 You Can’t Hide (Shame On You). Simply because I like it so much that I always have a hard time trying to cut it into anything else. Every time I play it, I want to enjoy it thoroughly.
Upcoming in the world of Davis?
I am in the recording process of a new record in partnership with Martinelli, a young talent from the ranks of our ODD collective.
Anything else we need to discuss?
I guess we should all be discussing a lot of things nowadays, but we've somehow forgotten how to do it properly in order to reach a common ground together first and foremost. I think we should keep listening, to ourselves, to each other and especially those whose voices can’t reach much further for any reason. As artists, we are blessed with the opportunity to make ourselves heard in a lot of places, far and wide, so I feel we need to make it worthwhile, for us and everyone else.