Following his hypnotizing industrial mixture, we sat down with Sombra label boss Joao Shcuro to know more about his recipes, his story with electronics and his future projects.
- Hi Joao, we are very pleased to host you in our project…
Hi guys, thanks for having me!
- Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m a 29 years old guy from Lisbon who likes to make noise with machines and play records.
- What is your musical background on both electronics and non electronics?
When I was a teenager I got really interested in the local punk / hardcore scene (in Linda-a-Velha, a suburb of Lisbon where I grew up and still live) and I think that attitude has always been present in the way I approach music when I’m in the studio or DJing. Nevertheless, I come from a broader background, I’ve played in rock bands and listened to a lot of hip-hop when I was younger (still do tho). I remember getting a Walkman and having the same cassette there for months – an album from Wu-Tang Clan on one side and Nirvana on the other.
As for the electronic stuff, I was listening to some big electronic stuff at the time, like Underworld, Massive Attack, Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers and when I started going out I quickly started to enjoy dancing to house and techno and got interested in it. Some of my friends were into it as well, we used to hang out a lot and one of them bought a mixer, two turntables and two cdjs so we all started buying records and recording cds to play at his house. We were pretty immersed in it, staying at his house all weekend and playing for hours and hours.
- You launched Sombra records in 2014. How did this idea come to reality and what were its motivations?
Me and Pedro launched Sombra together. We went to school together, ended up at the same guitar lessons and became friends in there. At some point we had a band together and we always liked to share music with each other. We started making music individually and we always had the idea of making something else together. Basically we wanted to create a platform to share our vision with the world and put out records from people we believe in and our music as well.
- You will perform at Forte Festival to be held in late august in Portugal. What can you tell us about this festival and what one can expect from your performance there ?
I’m pretty excited about playing there, the line-up is strong and the castle looks amazing! I have new music that I never played before, forthcoming stuff on Sombra and loads of new stuff I think will work perfectly in there.
- Being our first portuguese guest, we are curious to know more about the electronic scene in your country… Can you give us a glimpse about what’s happening there ?
The scene in Portugal is small but there are a lot of super talented underground artists. Actually they are getting a bigger exposure now due to the fact that, almost a year ago, two of them (Violet & Photonz) launched an online radio (Rádio Quântica) which aims to give a voice to these community of Portuguese and Lusophone origin DJs, producers, crews, labels and activists, bringing them together in a safe platform. I must say it is going pretty well and it’s not the only initiative with this purpose but probably the most beautiful and effective one.
Besides of that there are some excellent labels and artists everyone should pay attention to: One Eyed Jacks (founded by Photonz and home of Violet, Lake Haze and Roundhouse Kick), Terrain Ahead (founded by IVVVO, Trikk and Solution), 1980 (Nave Mãe, Tugalife, Mind Safari), Príncipe (home of Nigga Fox, Dj Marfox and DJ Firmeza), Labareda from Sonja and various exciting artists as A.M.O.R., Silvestre, Emauz, ppueblo, Elite Athlete, 2JACK4U, Cindy, Marie Dior, Onto Hek, Relapso and DJ Zé MigL to name a few.
- You’re also a resident at Lux club in Lisboa. How did this story start and what are the main artistic lines in that club ?
That’s not true, I play there from time to time, the last two times I played back to back with one of the residents, Dexter – which is a veteran of the Lisbon techno scene – and the last one was one of the best gigs I played, but I’m not a resident, although I would absolutely love to be!
- You did your first Tresor appearance one year ago. How was that experience like ?
Tresor is a techno institution. Since I stepped a foot there, 9 years ago, I instantly thought I’d love to play there so the expectations were big. Anyway it was even better than I thought, it went pretty well, I opened the night and played for three hours, two of them to a packed dancefloor, which was an amazing experience, a dream come true!
- How would you describe your musical productions in words?
I find it very difficult to talk about my music. I can only say that it’s my favourite way of channeling my emotions and to explore my inner self. That usually ends up being something dark, heavy and hypnotic.
- What labels could fit the most with your musical universe at the moment?
Downwards, MORD, The Weevil Neighbourhood, Blueprint, Editions Mego, Blackest Ever Black, Hospital Productions and Avian.
- Do you have any connections with the French techno scene ?
Not much, I have a french friend who’s a great DJ and promoter, Ed Isar from Paris. We show each other a lot of music, specially acid, early trance and oldschool rave. Besides that I follow closely the work of In Aeternam Vale, François X and his Dement3d, Polar Inertia, Birth Of Frequency, Hiss : 1292, Zadig and his Construct Re-Form.
- How did you built the mix for Paradox?
I’ve recorded it at home in a foggy morning with a mixer, two turntables and two cdjs. I don’t like to plan my mixes too much, I just go with it.
- What kind of non electronic music do you listen to usually?
I listen to a lot of different genres of music, although most of it is electronic. Lately I’ve been listening to some Brazilian music, like Tim Maia, Ed Motta, some bossanova and a few days ago I listened to the last Deftones album and I really liked it.
- What artists/labels hold your attention in 2016?
Besides from the artists and labels I already told you about I’m really into DJ Bone stuff, Jeff Mills still finds ways of impressing us all, Damaskin, Demdike Stare, Positive Centre, Ilian Tape, SHXCXCHCXSH, Helena Hauff, Madalba and her label Arkita, Simon Shreeve and the latest output of Downwards, which is probably my favourite label of all time.
- What can we expect from you in the near future ?
I have some new stuff coming out, one remix for a label I’ve released before and one for a new one, I’ll keep doing my shows on Rádio Quântica – Sombra and Paraíso – this last one is developing into something else that I don’t want to disclose too much but it’s about giving something back to the portuguese dance scene and I’m pretty excited about it. Stay tuned!