Terminal V Podcast 015 || TERR
Already 15 editions in and our podcast series is really heating up. So far, we have presented a tidy selection of established headliners and the best in breaking artists. TERR is falls within the latter category but we put money on her breaking into the top tier in no time at all. The Brazilian’s thirst for new and exciting grooves and melodies has seen her gravitating to a number of leading labels that include Kompakt, Hotflush Recordings and Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound.
Through the releases on her jointly owned Clash Lion TERR continues to blur the line genres and relishes challenging the status quo of dance music. As well as the years spent digging through the archives of electronic music TERR is firmly in the driving seat of shaping tomorrow’s underground gems. Her mix for our podcast series is a testament to this genre bending ethos. As long as it bangs the right way TERR will join the dots.
Thanks for joining, TERR, what has been happening lately?
I’ve been making a lot of music in the latest months. I am preparing an album and some EPs, so I’m spending my lockdown days trying to produce as much as possible but it is not always easy as in these difficult times, creativity comes and goes… but I am sure I am trying my best. I am also very involved with Clash Lion, my label, listening to demos, having ideas, etc… I’ve been doing a lot of mental work to keep myself positive and see the light at the end of the tunnel that this pandemic will be over soon 🙂
Going back a few years Barcelona was your base, what drew you to the city in the first place? Was it a particular type of music?
Well, I always loved Barcelona – who doesn’t? – it has the sea, the good weather, I have some good friends there and the electronic music scene was really nice at that moment, so it was more or less an obvious decision for me. It has some great clubs and the summer festivals, so it was not that hard to choose the city.
What took you away from the BCN and to Berlin?
I lived six years in Barcelona and I loved the city – I still do – but I was feeling the need to do something different in my life. I was working with a lot of people from Berlin at that moment and made some good friends here, so I thought “why not spend some time in the city?”. And here I am, surrounded by DJs, producers, clubs and friends.
You have a serious amount of influences working away in the background, from electro, techno, house and punk in the early days. Has this always been the case?
Yes, why not? I simply can’t understand someone that listens or produces just one genre of music… There’s so much good stuff out there, why should someone stick to just one style? There’s good music in every scene, in every genre… And it reflects a lot in my music too – I would never be a producer today if I had to do the same track over and over again, the fun in it is to do something different every time… The artists I admire the most are more or less like this, very flexible, always coming with new ideas and surprises.
How do you choose which sound takes over when you are producing and also DJing?
When I am producing it’s all about the feeling. I usually turn on the machines and start jamming and see what comes at the moment. I never think something like “I’ll do a house track”, it’s just what happens at the moment, I am just an antenna for the universe and the collective unconscious… In fact, every time I “tried” to stick to a style I ended doing something completely different. The real fun is to use different ideas, different DNAs to make a track. The more open you are, the more interesting the result will be. So, when I am making music I do whatever I want, and think about it later – if it’s good, I keep on working, refining, etc.
When I DJ it’s a bit different, because it depends a lot on the place and time of the set, if it’s a festival or a small club, the other DJs, etc… I try to be as flexible as possible to adapt to the situation without losing my own style. A DJ is there to entertain the audience, to make people have a good time and good memories…
Do you find yourself ever conflicted with certain styles?
No. I’m fine with all styles. Of course, there are a lot of genres that I don’t listen to and I don’t play, but that’s fine. If you want to produce industrial-goa-punk, lounge-noise or waltz-disco, go ahead and don’t care about who doesn’t like your music.
You have been involved in some pretty high profile stream events since last year, do you have a favourite? Do you think that stream events like these will continue once clubs reopen as before?
It’s hard to pick a favourite, as I’ve put a lot of effort in all of them, so somehow, they are all special for me, they represent the music I liked and wanted to play at the moment. I think the streams will continue after the clubs reopen, it’s another form of entertainment that had to develop very quickly because of the pandemic. I’ve seen some very good ones. And, in the end, not everyone has the opportunity to see great DJs every day in their cities, so it’s always fine to have some nice streams around.
Moving on to your own music, you have a serious discography already with some huge labels. After releasing on the likes of Phantasy Sound, Kompakt and Correspondent, what keeps you coming back to the studio again and again?
Well, music it’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done since I was a child. I am very happy because I could work with great people and release my music on the nicest labels, but I see that as a consequence of my work and love – I never started a track thinking “I have to do this to fit on that label”. It simply wouldn’t work.
Anyway, I am very grateful because I had the opportunity to work with some labels and people I’ve admired for decades. It’s nice when a dream comes true, isn’t it?
What have you been working on in the studio? Anything you can give us exclusive news on?
I am working on my first album right now. I’ve been working on that for some time already, but now it’s finally taking its final form. I am also working on some EPs and remixes, as always.
It’s great to see your wide-ranging influences at work on Clash Lion, is this totally intentional to mix it up the genres or is it just the way the tracks arrive in your inbox? What’s the thought process behind the label release schedule?
We at Clash Lion are three people with very different tastes that somehow meet somewhere. The only rule that we have in the label is that we should only release music that we agree is special and relevant. Of course, we want the DJs to play it, but we try to release stuff that is a bit timeless, we are more focused on that instead of trying to release “trendy” or “hyped” music. We prefer to play a long game, the labels that I admire the most are like this – flexible, open-minded and timeless.
You have kindly mixed our latest podcast give us a tour of the mix highlights and what makes them so important?
I can’t think of a “highlight”, because every track is important and has its moment… Of course, there are some personal favourites, but I think that the listener should pick up their personal favourites 🙂
I tried to mix some stuff I’ve been into at the moment, be it house, acid, darkest stuff and some personal classics from the past. It was fun to do, the hardest part was choosing what wouldn’t go to the final cut, as I began with more than 50 “possible” tracks.
Is this an accurate picture of your sound right now if you were to play a club or a particular strain of TERR? Tell us more.
I think so, this set represents a lot of different sides of my musical personality nowadays, going from happy and uplifting house music to the darkest parts of the freshest “dark disco” scene, but always interesting and full of feelings.
Probably if I played in a club today I’d spin all these tracks and a lot more. I’m so hungry to play again that I’d do a 100-hour set right now!
Interview by Stu Todd