TropicalBass talks to: DJ Chernobyl

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I have not only had an opportunity to meet Fredi, also known as DJ Chernobyl, but I’ve also had the chance to catch two fantastic gigs and steal some of his time to do an interview. This guy has been all over the place and on everyone radar as of lately. We must first give thanks for his amazing hand in producing Bonde Do Role’s album titled With Lazers. If it wasn’t for his discovery of the festive, dance floor shaking, eclectic group, they would have never been introduced to Diplo and therefore would not have been introduced to the world in such a perfect manner. Many of you may know him from a band called Comunidade Nin-Jitsu, with who he composed the first bailefunk tracks out of the Rio de Janeiro’s favelas in the 90s. They were also the support band of Red Chili Peppers in Brazil and won two VMB’s (MTV Music Brazil awards). This guy has definitely been keeping busy producing track for labels around the globe, such as Universal Music Japan, Exploited Berlin, Man Recordings, Mad Decent, and Domino Records. Did I mention he is extremely badass? Let’s hear what he has to say!

Could you explain “Le Cheval?”

I came from the south of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, wich is frontier with Argentina and people use acordeon in a similar way as tango. As I´ve been working in mixing bailefunk with many styles, after listening to many balkan stuffs last year, I decided to make a tipical brazilian south track with acordeon. I decided to highlight something that was always by my side… From the bailefunk, I put just a beatbox in the track.

So you are pretty well known for being in a band called Comunidade Nin-Jitsu. Where do you stand with the band today? Will there be any surprises in the future?

Comunidade Nin-Jitsu s 15 years old, we were the firsts guys that mixed bailefunk with rock and rap, in a time that “cool” people in Brazil didnt respect this amazing ghetto style. Nowadays I go to the south to play with the group twice a month and we are preparing a track with MC Gi, the girl who raps with me in my Empina a Pipa EP, released by Exploited (Berlin).

You have shared the stage with some internationally recognized artists such as Simian Mobile, Groove Armada,and A-Track you have built yourself quite a name in Brazil and various parts of the world. Is your following the same in Germany or the US?

I played with this guys in Fuji Rock Festival and it was very important to me. As Ive been releasing 70% of my music nowadays in german´s labels, for sure I´d like to make a big noise in German. About U.S., actually, I produced Bonde do Role for Mad Decent, an american label, and Domino (english label), but Id never performed in U.S.. In 2006 I lost 7 gigs in U.S. with Edu K because American consulate in Brazil didnt give me the Visa. I really wanna go next year. Im sure people will bang the head and shake the ass with my music.

What are some of the biggest differences with the parties you play in Brazil as opposed to parties in different parts of the world?

I play for crazy people in the whole world, we are connected by music and internet. People are very similar nowadays. The style, clothes, etc…but I think the way people dance is something really cool to look while I play. Brazilians grow up shaking the body (butt) with a tropical groove, and this is the biggest diference.

Do you think the US has experienced a full dose of this genre? Or do you think it’s about to start rocking parties on a whole new level?

I think americans created the booty bass, like miamibass, but we changed it puting our “macumba” and samba vibe, that´s the bailefunk. I think bmore is quite simple, dirty and funny, as bailefunk. We can mix the styles in the parties. But we dont need a specific party to play bailefunk, cause I mix with electro in a eletronic party, I mix with hiphop in a hip hop party, etc….we found many ways to show our music.

If I were to travel to Brazil tomorrow, would it be pretty easy for me to find some serious Rio baile funk favela with some bonde das popozudas? Does that even make sense?

Yes, it makes sense. Haha! We don´t find serious music just when we found a serious and politic lyric. The serious music is a serious groove, and a serious groove is what make you dance. Gaiola das Popozudas are working for many years, they make people have fun, and having fun is a good thing for us. You will enjoy!

Are funk mc’s still expressing social and economic issues in today’s “neo funk?” It is such a shame that everyone doesn’t automatically understand Portuguese! Haha

The MC´s talk about our reality. Sometimes you think about your problems and write a social lyric… sometimes don´t…freedom of expression, just it. Funny lyrics are cool as well. We have 20hours a day to sleep, eat,work,help friends, try to find solutions for the corruption in Brazil…but when you go to a party you don´t want to think about social problems.

What are you using to produce?

I use PC with Reason and Nuendo (softwares), I also have a 90s sampler ASR-10 (Ensoniq) and a microkorg.In Bonde do Role´s album I recorded all instruments ( no samples ) and I used the classic guitar Gibson flying V.“heavy metal rules!”

Any tips on producing baile funk or neo funk? What would you say is the most important “ingredient?”

For making neo-baile you must be connected to the new vibes, as a dj of eletronic music. And then you chose what will you mix with our baile grooves. Its really important to listen new baile funk tracks and know the oldschool stuffs as well. As I play guitar I started mixing with my rocker background, but nowadays Ive been mixing with many vibes.

Can you give us a heads up on a couple artists we should be keeping our eyes and ears open for?

In Brazil there are some guys that are always making amazing tracks with some tropical or bailefunk vibe inside the eletronic music: Disco Killah and Killer on the Dancefloor. I like the new generation of producers like Ophex from Bosnia and Lazy Ants from Italy.

Any recent projects you’d like to share with us?

I´ve been working with a rapper from São Paulo, Xis. You can check and download the music Tudo Se Nada in my . Wow! and I´d already recorded a clip in Moscow with the nuts MC´s Bazooka Boom. It was really cool, the russian director Nycolai Semenov is amazing. The track is Hooli-Gun Yo, and its released by Exploited Records (Berlin). You can check the making of here:

More Videos Here:
Le Cheval
DJ Chernobyl in St Petersburg (Russia)- Pop Party
DJ Chernobyl in Kiev (Ukraine) – Zhiguli Party

Producer/remixer Discography:
2006 – Tabaco EP _ Bonde do Role MAD DECENT (all tracks with Gorky)
Bailectro mixtape (Mad Decent blog)
Bailectro#1 chateaudisc (Japan): bailefunk ilegal remixes for Mylo and Tim Deluxe 12inch
2007 – With Lasers _Bonde do Role (most of the tracks)
Spunk Scat and Politics_ KSR Records (Japan):compilation w remixes for CSS,Deise Tigrona and much more
Bailectro #2 chateaudisc (Japan): bailefunk ilegal remixes for Rinocerose and Alter Ego 12inch
GATAS GATAS GATAS (remix) Edu K_ Man Recordings 12inch
Pancadao do Caldeirao do Huck_SOM LIVRE (popular label compilation in Brazil) – it was the 5th most sold in Brazil in this year
Neo Funk – (som Livre) compilation of Chernobyl’s prod’s in Br
2008 – Miss Pacman (remix)_RQM–EXPLOITED RECORDS 12inch
Neo bailefunk mixtape had 16.000 downloads in 2 days at Discobelle
Neo bailefunk#2 mixtape (Mad Decent blog)
2009 – Wachadoin(official remix)_N.A.S.A w M.I.A.,Spank Rock & Santigold
Boom da (baile banger remix) _ Mixhell
Space Travel (prod)_Tigarah _UNIVERSAL MUSIC (Japan)
Mestre (cd remix)_ Batida (Lisboa project of dance mwangole)
Dancefloor is not a Serious Place mixtape (Mad Decent blog,Discobelle blog,etc)
Gringo Oba Oba(remix)_Killer on the Dancefloor (Djs are not Rockstars records,US)
Empina a Pipa –Chernobyl ep (Exploited Records-Berlin) – rmxs from Renaissance Man, Samim,Dex,Edu K,Toy Selectah,Joao Brasil,Beat Laden
2010 – Le Cheval EP (Exploited records – Berlin) w rmxs from Yolanda be Cool, Lorcan Mak and Horatio
Habibi EP (exploited records) _ Malente & Dex _ doodoodance remix
The Sun is Down (WINNER REMIX)_Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band

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