A night at the Mango Disco w/ Tahira
DJ, Producer, Digger: São Paulo-native Tahira is truly a triple threat. With over 22 years in the game, he's certainly no stranger to the turntables. Alongside his deep crates and explorations of rare Afro-Brazilian cuts, Tahira is well known for his EBS Diggin' label, which whilst active showcased the diversity of the new-Brazilian scene. Recent times have seen Tahira formulating transatlantic partnerships in the form of a collaboration between himself and German imprint Jazz & Milk. Released on February 23rd, Tahira-curated Afro-Brazilian compilation 'Levanta Poeira (Afro-Brazilian Rhythms from 1976 - 2016)' has showcased a wide variety of Brazilian instrumentation richly rooted across the country and over 3 decades. Having been invited to play for the first time ever in Sheffield by Mango Disco, we caught up with him over at Bal Fashions with a few questions for the selector...
You've been DJing for quite a while now; how did you first get into it?
Radio stations in Brazil were constantly playing dance music, with in-the-mix shows every day. I loved hearing the songs mixed with each other and was fascinated by that.
So I started to get interested in learning how to DJ.
Do you remember the first record that you ever bought?
It was a compilation of Science Fiction theme songs. I love Buck Rogers!
Do you think your early influences still have an impact on your work today? Did you get more into traditional Brazilian music at the very start or later on?
I was already into Soulful House when I started as a DJ, and I am still in love with it... My fondness for Brazilian music came later around the end of the '90s and the early 2000s with acid jazz. Brazilian radio stations used to play a lot of terrible Brazilian music, but with this, I learnt to appreciate more authentic sounds of Brazil.
You temporarily left Brazil for the U.K. in the early 2000s, what did this stay bring to you musically?
I was studying English at that time. I was impressed with the diversity of genres in the nightlife scene. And of course, I saw incredible DJs such as Gilles Peterson, Patrick Forge, Norman Jay, Dr Bob Jones, Phil Asher, Paul “Trouble” Anderson, and many others.
Has the music scene in Sao Paulo changed a lot from your beginnings?
The musical landscape changed so much. Now it’s really beautiful, very diverse. Brazilian music has never been so strong: everybody is digging. Many parties are taking place outside of clubs. I love these days.
Can you talk a little bit about your label, EBS Diggin?
The aim of EBS Diggin is to highlight contemporary music from Brazil, of any kind. It’s an online-only label. Releases are only digital and in most case, available for free. But this label is currently on hiatus. I would like to revive it in the future, but I need to find the time to do it.
What have you been working on more recently?
I’m focusing more on my production at the moment. I plan to work on an authorial EP, but it’s a long process.
Are you pleased with the reception of your compilation 'Levanta Poeira (Afro-Brazilian music & rhythms from 1976 – 2016)' on the Jazz & Milk label?
Totally. I did not expect to find such a positive reaction, it was amazing!
What is your view on the alternative electronic scene in bordering countries?
The whole of South America is doing great. Finally, we’ve started to communicate better with our neighbours. It was a real shame it hasn’t happened until now.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2018 and beyond?
I plan to do more music! And I’m looking ahead to working on future releases with Jazz and Milk.
Thanks, Tahira! Readers can keep up to date with Tahira over on his Facebook page here. And thanks to Mango Disco! Check out their Tramlines closing party on the 22nd July at The Washington, entry is free!