We last got together with Fernanda Martins back in August ‘18 with a tour guide feature. Since then she has yet again been non-stop touring. I asked her about some of the highlights since and she filled me in on some exciting experiences which overwhelmed her expectations starting with her very first visit to Estonia in September. “A gig that was surely beyond of my expectations” she said. “Mainly because I was so surprised at how cool Hall Club is in Tallinn. The party people of many who travelled from nearby countries, such as Finland to catch me playing.” In September, and after a long time she visited Prague again and it was a lovely party at Storm Club. The last trimester was super busy with gigs during ADE in NL to gigs in some of her favourite countries as Germany, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Austria. At the beginning of this year, in January she visited her home country Brazil to play at D.Edge club in Sao Paulo followed by a festival in the beach cost of Chile. “Since being back in Europe I’ve been travelling all weeks, except one. Fortunately, it was also possible to find a day to play in the City I live in, Barcelona. It was 3 weekends ago, and it was a real bomb party” she said.
As a follower of Fernanda Martins you would know she also formerly worked under the alias of Dot Chandler. She told me. “In some point of my career, to create the alias ‘Dot Chandler’ was nothing but a work strategy” she explained to me.
“Honestly, I really think I can play whatever I want – or whatever I like – and I should not to be obligated to put the work I do as a DJ under a tag or another name.”
Fernanda started DJ’ing more than 10 years ago, at the time she used to play only Techno. Over the years her sound started to go more and more towards the hardest variations of the style. But even then she never stopped working with Techno. “In the last years I had much more Hard Techno gigs and my name got labelled and very connected with the style. When I decided to come back strongly with Techno in 2013 and considering a lot of people just knows my work as a Hard Techno DJ I thought it was necessary to use different names for the crowd to understand what was going to happen in one set or another. I thought the ‘Dot Chandler’ alias could help me to show my followers a different side of my musical taste” she explained.
Now, many years after presenting her full range of musical possibilities to the crowd she thinks it’s best to let her different tastes of Techno which are free from ¨labels¨ or in this case ¨alias” because, in reality she can be a very flexible artist. And at this point she knows this is already understandable by the people that follow her. “I don’t feel anymore that I need to split my artist personality under two different names” she said. “Besides that, it’s very messy to keep two names and my agencies where already requesting me to use only ‘Fernanda Martins’ as promoters always want to book this name (being the most well-known). Now it doesn’t matter what I decide to play at the gig.”
Having a shared influence of the New Wave era of the 80’s with us both being of a similar age we discussed the synth pop gateway into electronic music. Ultravox, New Order, Depeche Mode, The Cure and also Pink Floyd moving more into the progressive rock realms. Fernanda commented they are still considered what was called the ¨new wave¨. “Actually, in the 80s the new (and fresh) wave came in very different musical styles. And I guess lots of the groups and artists I started listening to when I was still a kid were influenced by others such as Kraftwerk or Bowie, for example … well, the non-stop feedback and renovation…”
Some of her own favourites were New Order, Depeche Mode, The Cure, but she also spoke of Eurythmics, Pet Shop Boys, The B-52s, Tears for Fears, A-ha. But also, David Bowie, The Police, Men at Work and so on. “Let’s be honest it’s nothing new. Everybody around my age that is into electronic music nowadays loved all these groups and artists I mentioned” she said.
For me personally FSOL ‘Pappa New Guinea’ was the track that fully immersed me into clubbing culture. Maybe even The Prodigy – Charly. From the real beginning of Fernanda’s contact with dance music she chose ‘New Order’ – Blue Monday & Eurythmics – ‘Sweet Dreams’ commenting she loved these songs very much, and A-ha – ‘Take On Me’ because when she looks back she remembers herself as a child, listening and listening to this track many times. “I guess it was when I really started getting interested by these alternative, new wave, synthpop artists” she said.
Now as an artist herself Fernanda plays towards the harder end of the techno scale and mentions of certain Influences like Carl Cox, Jeff Mills, Laurent Garnier, Dave Clarke, Mauro Picotto and Dave the Drummer. I dropped out that I used to love Dave Clarke’s remix of Midfield General ‘Coatnoise’ from back in ’99 which then got her thinking of some of the tracks which captured her ears. Here’s a little list of what she always listened to years ago…
Jeff Mills – Step to enchantment
Laurent Garnier – The Man With The Red Face
Dave Clark RED. 2 Wisdom to the Wise
Mauro Picotto and Riccardo Ferri – New Time New Place
D.A.V.E. The Drummer – Hydraulix 9 – A-Side
The electronic music scene in the South Americas is so strong and vibrant yet many artists choose to relocate to Europe, as did Fernanda. In her case she moved to Spain for personal matters, plus things which had happened in her professional life. These factored together made Fernanda establish Barcelona as her home city. “I also know there are some artists from Europe that moved to Brazil or Colombia or Argentina for example. But my opinion is that people are moving all the time, and everyone has their own matters and motivations to do it. The main thing is to be happy wherever you are. I know that external factors can help people to decide their moves, but ¨how strong is the market here or there¨ can’t really guarantee the success of a professional or a company” she explained.
Fernanda and Lucas Freire have been a couple for 12 years now. They met each other around 2 years after Fernanda first began DJ’ing. In 2009 they started their first Label together: AudioCode Records which was dedicated to the more extreme and fast kind of Hardtechno.
“Wow, already 10 years and AudioCode is still here” Fernanda gasps.
“Devotion Records is our new baby. We had the idea to start a Techno dedicated label in the beginning of 2014 but the first release came out in 2015. We are now coming back with Hardwork, a label that previously was managed by Lucas and one of his friends. The releases of the label were stopped in 2008. But now we are reopening it; intentionally to fill the gap of styles that exists in between Devotion and AudioCode” she explained.
What drives Fernanda to run record labels first and foremost is the satisfaction of cultivating one thing that you created from the bottom. To feed it with what you consider good and important, and to see it growing day by day. Secondly, she mentioned to create a bigger connection with colleagues around the globe who, just like you, are working in something they really believe. To have a label helps you to be in touch with some artists that maybe you would never meet live, but you are always in touch with because you love the same kind of music. And thirdly, to know new artists.
“How many producers I got to know just because they contact the label to present us their music and now, I play their tracks in every set I play. So, I think it’s a really rich experience to be running a label for you, as artists and for the scene in general.” she said.
I was also interested in Fernanda’s thoughts on Bandcamp as a platform. I see more and more artists beginning to use it now to sell their music. “Well, I like Bandcamp. We are now using it for Devotion” she told me. “We still sell in the main online music shops. But more and more of our sales are growing in there too. I would totally recommend to use it.”
With IMS Ibiza just around the corner I asked if she gets the opportunity to attend many conferences? Specially Sonar now being based in Barcelona? “Hummm, not really. I’m not going to lie. When I can travel to places where things like ADE or Sonar are happening I go to the parties” She laughed. “Ok, I also make some meeting at these things, but I’m not very into the conferences too much. Even so, I do it sometimes. Well, for Sonar, I always try to be in the city, to go to many events, to meet with friends and business colleagues, etc… This year is not going to be different.”
So, what is coming up next for Fernanda Martins? She’s excited to see (and touch) the new remix she made together with Lucas Freire, that is going to be out on the second vinyl release of Devotion Records (DVL02). “The release is going to be out in July” she informed me. And, as every year she’s excited for the summer festivals and this year she already has festivals confirmed in Spain, Germany, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Portugal. “But right now, I’m really looking forward to my first gigs in Asia. In May I will play at Glow Club in Bangkok, Thailand; and in June at Vision Club in Tokyo, Japan.”
As our conversation come to an end Fernanda thanked me for the opportunity to open up a space for her to talk about what she’s working on and to show a bit of her work with the guest mix. “When it comes to preparing a podcast I always try to put some of my favourite tracks of the moment into it.” Now we’ll let the music do the talking.
Decoded Radio hosted by Luke Brancaccio presents Fernanda Martins.
01. The tribe of good – Heroes
02. Bruce Loko – Do it Right
03. Rebuke – take that back
04. Piemont – sleepyhead
05. Fabio Aurea – Yini
06. Arm in arm – hunger for your vibe [moonwalk]
07. Oliver Huntemann – Vertigo (Olivier Giacomotto Remix)
08. Matador & ARTBAT – Apollo 11
09. Oliver Huntemann – Momentum (Andre winter Remix)
10. Hito & Sudo – Hale
11. Vonda7 – Revolution
01. Marco Bailey, Dany Rodriguez – Re-Meet [Materia]
02. Vanessa Sukowski – Lucanus Cervus (DJ Dextro RMX) [Insectum Records]
03. Ike Dusk – Decoded Identity (Matrixxman RMX) [Codec 992]
04. Keith Carnal – Backstage Gathering [ARTS]
05. Robert S – Acid Politics I [Planet Rhythm]
06. Oscar Escapa – Old School [Mazzinga Records]
07. Andres Gil – 1459 [Devotion Records]
08. Dystopic L. – The Beast [Devotion Records]
09. Sarf – Intrapolation [Analog Section Records]
10. DJ Sodeyama – Test Pttrn 021 [Quartz Rec]
11. Giorgio Gigli, Paul Ritch – Grey ([lanet Rhythm]
12. Andres Gil – Inhibitor (Avox25 RMX) [Devotion Records]
13. Keikari – Paratiisi [Faut Section]
14. Quentin Ravn – Apollo (Spiros Kaloumenos RMX) [OFF Recordings]
15. Moddullar – Scale 1 [INNSIGNN]
16. Gabriel D’Or & Bordoy – Circuit [Rxxistance]
17. Slam – Antonym [Soma Records]
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