Diogo Strausz Talks about Emancipação, Ron Trent, Razor-N-Tape, BainaSystem, Clubbing in Rio de Janeiro & living in Paris
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An interview with The Insider for Le Visiteur
Diogo Strausz is a producer, song writer and multi-instrumentalist from Rio de Janeiro. He has already blazed an impressively accomplished trail in the world of music. Part of the duo Balako, Diogo Strausz has released previously on Razor-N-Tape, Barefoot Beats and Joe Goddard’s Greco-Roman. This week he releases his Emancipação back on the Brooklyn label with a remix by Prescription Records head honcho Mr Ron Trent. We have a chat with him ahead of the release. You can check the premier of the Ron Trent Remix below.
Diogo also put together this sublime mix for our Selectors series mixing up electro, soulful house, Latin funk and with house bubblers. Check it out below and please give it a share over on Soundcloud and help us spread the word.
It’s great to talk to you! Thank you for your time.
Happy to be here talking to you and the Le Visiteur readers!
Are you in Paris or Brazil right now?
At the moment I’m based in São Paulo but coming back and forth to Paris all the time. It’s intense but fun!
How long did you spend in Paris? What enticed you to the city?
I stayed there for two years. After working with French artist Voyou doing co-production for his record we became good friends and he invited me over to tour on his live show, which I did playing congas, guitar and taking care of sequences. I always wanted a chance to live abroad for a while. So after convincing my wife to come along we went together to the city of lovers.
Where exactly are you from in Brazil?
I’m from Rio de Janeiro
Is there a disco/ house club scene in Rio?
Oh yeah. For those coming to town, you won’t be disappointed!
What is the best place to go if we get to visit the city?
For enjoying the dance music scene, I recommend checking out the collectives. They are killing it, throwing parties all over town: Domply, O/nda, Cocada Music, Climão, Mango Lab and many others:
I am obsessed with the Paris club scene So vibrant and edgy. The Rex has a pretty cool reputation for putting on some class DJ’s. Have you played there? Do you aspire to?
Not yet but if you’re the booker of The Rex feel free to DM me on Instagram! I had the chance to play at a few places such as Le Mazette and La Sauge where my label Cracki Records throws some amazing open air parties.
Tell us about your musical background. When did you first begin to compose?
I barely remember to be honest! When I was a kid I had a hard time focusing on anything (maybe like most kids?) and imagining songs in my mind was a great way of escaping reality. As I grew older and learned how to play a couple of instruments I could translate those ideas into music.
You worked on the incredible Pausa project last year. Tell us a little about that..
Thanks for bringing that up! This song is very important to me. I have a passion for composers such as Tom Jobim and Ryuichi Sakamoto but I could never reach that level and as I mentioned before, I’m not exactly a skilful pianist. So, one afternoon during lockdown in Paris I started to jam and record everything. At the end I had 1 hour of mistakes but felt like some parts, if properly put together, could become a good song. At the end it became this audio-visual collaborative project with musicians, drone cinematographers, my good friend and director Jacob Perlmutter and many others. It was a little light at the end of the tunnel for me.
I know that you DJ as well as produce and compose. Which area do you feel you are most comfortable in?
They all go so well together, you know? Because to share the music with a group of people is what gives life to what you produce and compose. And when I produce I can’t stop thinking about how people may react, if they’ll feel the same way I do about those ideas. So, it’s all very connected.
What was your first release to the disco, house dance scene ?
It was an EP called “Hora de Balako” released by Greco-Roman with my former project Balako. It won two amazing remixes by Ray Mang and Eric Duncan.
I adore Flight Of The Sagittarius. Big win on Goutte D’or Records. Is that your vocal on the record?
Thanks! So happy you connected with it. It is my vocal, the whole EP that will come out in April. It talks about our relationship with vulnerability in the era of image, so I challenged myself to do something that puts me in a vulnerable position.
Do you think it will be a vinyl release?
It definitely will, the vinyl is ready! They will come out with the full EP in April.
What other labels have you released on?
As Diogo Strausz and Balako I released in Greco-Roman, Barefoot Beats, Razor N’ Tape, Risco and Cracki / Gout D’or Records
You have released on Greco-Roman after you caught the attention of Hot Chips Joe Goddard. How did you guys meet?
My former duo partner and still great friend Rodrigo Peirão, is one of these bigger than life kind of people, which leads him to all sorts of unexpected circumstances. Apparently during some vacations in Bahia, Rodrigo made sure Joe wouldn’t miss the boat that Rodrigo and his friends were taking to a paradisiac beach at the island of Boipeba. They became good friends that day so when Rodrigo sent our freshly made tune “Hora de Balako” to Joe. He probably felt that nostalgic breeze that only Bahia provides. The song was not bad either!
Brooklyn’s RNT have you on board for your third release. You did a remix project with JKriv and BainaSystem. Are you friends with the guys from Brazil?
Yes, Beto Barreto from Baiana is a good friend and collaborator.
So, this is now your third outing on RNY. How did you hook up with Aaron and Jason ?
My good friend Rodrigo from Fatnotronic hooked us up! Balako had some tracks that we felt could be a good fit with RNT back then. Lucky me for reaching out to those guys, it became a very cool and prolific relationship professionally and friend wise.
Tell us about Emancipação. How did you begin to create track? Where did your idea come from?
I’m a huge Azymuth fan and got very inspired by Jazz Carnival when I saw it being played by Dan Snaith once at the end of his set at Pitch Fork Festival. For a while I even thought that my melody could be a copy, later I double checked, and it wasn’t. When I started taking the track from my head to real life, some new ideas kicked in such as adding a shuffle feel to it. Later I had the collaborations of two amazing musicians, Rafael Vernet on the keys who threw in this crazy organ solo. And my good friend Patrick Laplan who spent an afternoon with me playing drums so we could find cool drum loops for the track.
Ron Trent adds a new feel to the already stunning original. Are you thrilled with what he’s done?
Have you been a big Ron Trent fan over the years? Do you have a RT fave track?
Well, he remixed my idols.
How would you describe Ron’s take on your track? What do you feel Ron has done to it?
The original is not an easy track to fit in a DJ set because of the shuffle feel. Ron turned it into his own House Music long jam without losing the essence of the song, he added a lot of interesting new percussion and keys. Plus, he replaced the shuffle feel for a more Latin oriented clave that suits really well with a house music beat. That guy is such a maestro.
Tell us what other new material you are working on at the moment?
I’ve been working a lot on my live set, to make sure it is up and running. There are some gigs in the near future and I’m already daydreaming about them.
What else should we look out for in 2022?
Stay tuned on my socials, I’m looking forward to sharing good moments in the clubs and venues. Hopefully in the same town as our readers!
Grab the EP from here: https://razor-n-tape.fanlink.to/EmancipacaoExtented
For more info please check:
Diogo Strausz Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/diogostrausz/
Diogo Strausz Twitter: https://twitter.com/diogostrausz
Razor-N-Tape Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RazorNTape/
Razor-N-Tape Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/razor-n-tape
Razor-N-Tape Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/razorntape/
Razor-N-Tape Twitter: https://twitter.com/RazorNTape