R$N Rolling: Mari Herzer selects

7Minute Read
pic by Ivi Maiga Bugrimenko 1
Written by Annie Parker

Subversion is at the heart of Mari Herzer’s work.

The DJ, producer and São Paulo native also constitutes one quarter of  Teto Preto: a Brazilian group of performers celebrating the diversity of the country’s vibrant music scene. Carrying close ties to Mamba Negra – a collective within which Herzer also plays a key role – Teto Preto are strident in their anti-capitalist message and dedicated to the empowerment of communities on the margins of Brazilian society.

As well as having a hand in the vibrant parties with which Mamba Negra’s name has become synonymous, Herzer recently joined their imprint roster with her debut album – a 10-track meditation on urban life, informed by her experience living in one of the largest metropolises in Latin America.


On ‘Cheia’, skittish rhythms, whiplash drum breaks and metallic clatters conjure a frenzy of bodies moving and the impression of infrastructure’s hardness. But within this chaos, refuge can be taken in the immersive soundscape’s moments of stillness, created by swelling synths and drifting ambience.

Touching bass at IDM, Drum ‘n’ Bass and Jungle, it pays testament to Herzer’s dexterity in deconstructing generic elements and abstracting them to make something all-together new.

We asked Mari Herzer to compile a playlist of the sounds which have inspired her over the course of her musical career, including the music tshe grew up listening to and that which she feels represents her homeland. Read below as she outlines a few of her choices and subscribe to the playlist to hear it in full and keep up to date with the next selector to take it over. Check out the playlist below.

Photo credit: Ivi Maiga Bugrimenko


Kassel Jaeger & Jim O’Rourke – Wakes on Cerulean A

This one accompanied me during the last minutes of the making of my first album, Cheia. It feels hermetic in the beginning and goes like that for about 6m30s -but then, something changes. A deep layer of tenderness begins to be added to this beautiful piece of drone music, and it keeps calmly changing its timbres over time without the listener really noticing. This is my official go-to cry song. The sound of what I like to call “the crying whales” that is added from 10 minutes on is wonderful, gives chills to the bones.


Origamibiro – Ada Deane

This one from Origamibiro is one of the many inspirations I have when composing. I love its repetitive patterns, the arpeggios, the almost pastoral nature feel it gives. I feel like from time to time I end up doing things that sound like this, but less organic and more synthetic.


RAKTA – Miragem

RAKTA is a band from São Paulo, Brazil and they absolutely rock. The mix of kraut, punk and electronic music with lots of reverb and delays is obscure, yet enlightening – a ritualistic witchcraft, perfect show to be at. I’ve seen them live many times and it is beautiful.


Kangding Ray – nine

Everytime I hear this one, the first word that floats in my mind is “malícia”, which means malice, something that is tricky and hard to catch up to. The unpredictability of this song is absurd, I love it. I always try to incorporate this element – the unpredictable – into my own music and hope to have even more dexterity in this domain on my second album.


Laurel Halo – Joy

This song was NOT made during the quarantine, in spite of its album’s name. But I believe the track “Threnody to Now” (which is in my spotify playlist and was made during the COVID pandemic) shares quite a similar quality with “Joy”. Both of them have a similar flow that feels quite ironic, sounding almost hopeful in the beginning. Things change in a way so subtle and timbres begin to pulse slower, in another direction, quite melancholic. Then Joy clearly becomes a threnody to itself. Joy does not last forever, so it must be eternalized musically. My album was made before, during and “after” the pandemic (things are still a mess, I know). It just felt like repetitive pulses of degraded and saturated sine waves could represent this moment so well. That was what I tried, at least.