Skip to main content

Rebel Waltz - Adventures in Brazil

Murray Richardson reports on his and Stuart Patterson's tour adventures

We take off to Heathrow airport late afternoon and as the taxi heads through London we are well pleased with ourselves as it's pissing down with rain and we know that in a few hours we will be on a plane heading towards the sunnier climes of South America and Brasil. It's the sixth time I've been over to Brazil in the last few years and its Stuart's first time in South America so we are well excited and I'm looking forward to hitting the country again which is without doubt one of my favourite places in the world!

The flight to Sao Paulo is around 12 hours in all and when we arrive in the new world it's nice and hot but not too hot and we manage to make the jump from winter to summer with the greatest of ease.

We head straight to a bar for a celebration beer breakfast and get stuck into some Coxinha de Frango (fried chicken type thing!) and Pao de Quiejo (fried bread and cheese type thing!), typical Brazilian delicacies. It becomes clear that these along with beer will become a staple of our diet while on tour!

Sao Paulo, the capital, is buzzing and as we slowly sink into the city's vibes it amazes us how massive it actually is with around 22 million people and "growing more and more all the time" according to our friend Wagner from Sao Paulo's Colors club. Along with his brother, Wagner has been runing the Colors parties for over five years and has built up a reputation of having one of the best underground house crews in all of Brazil, not just the capital. It's the Vegas venue downtown where we find ourselves for the first gig of the tour and it's a great night with a packed dancefloor all night long and everyone loving the deeper house sounds of Rebel Waltz, giving us both a great reception and a great way to kick start our tour!

The following day it's a three hour car drive into Serra Negra for a stop off to play at Mansao, this crazy party up in the coffee mountains of Amparo. The club itself is in an old farmhouse and its definitely one of the most bizarre venues of the tour. It pelts it down with tropical rain outside, the crowd are well into our tunes and there is a nice energy in the place as the party continues on into the small hours and their own pizza kitchen built as part of the club provides a nice touch, with free pizza being served up all night! All in all a good first weekend and its already apparent that there is more to Brazil's burgeoning club scene than just trance and commercial house music.

The following week we catch a flight down to the south of the country and spend a few days chilling out on the beautiful island of Floripa which is sun-soaked and loaded with surfers and beautiful people as everyone mills about on one of the 42 beaches that the island possesses. It really is a top spot and only a short car drive to Camboriu which is where we are playing this weekend at a club called Kiwi, situated on a stretch of beach that plays host to five clubs in all, including the famous Warung beach club. Kiwi however is on the slightly more underground tip and with its open air terrace feel it reminds us a bit of our night in Barcelona, so we feel well at home as we rock it into the early hours of the morning alongside the resident DJs and Jon Sa Trincha who is also touring Brazil.

With our second weekend of DJing behind us it's amazing how quickly the time flies here and with the weather being slightly indifferent in the south we are already thinking about shooting back to the north and the beaches of Rio De Janeiro.

We arrive in Rio and are immediately captured by the hustle and bustle of the place, and although its dubbed as one of the most dangerous cities in the world there is no escaping its charm and beauty. After a day spent lazing about on the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana we head up to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain for what is truly one of the most breathtaking views you will ever see. With the tourist bit out of the way we hit Dam de Ferro, one of Rio's longest standing underground house spots, to give the Cariocas a taste of the Rebel Waltz soundtrack. We stumble out of the club in a drunken haze into a really hot Rio morning and spend the following day melting by the hotel poolside.

Rio's nightlife seems to fluctuate quite a bit with clubs opening and closing on quite a regular basis but its definitely a place to check along with Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Campo Grande for some top mid week house action. The country also boasts a whole host of great underground house DJs and producers, including Rafael RM2, DJ Robinho, Filipe Forattini, Rafael Accorsi, Andre X, Wagner J and Wander A...

After another weekend on tour over, we take a stop off at a place called Paraty for a little r & r and it's yet another idyllic paradise spot with loads of little islands and beaches dotted all around the place. It's a small place situated half way between Rio and Sao Paulo and a great place to kick back, switch off and chill out. As we approach our final weekend of the tour we reflect on how good the trip has been. It's such a great country to travel around and the energy of the people is something that has to be experienced first hand, as well as the slow paced way of life. The club scene here might still be relatively new but as we browse through the brand new DJmag Brazil which has recently been launched, we realize that there are a load of top international DJs playing here on a regular basis. It's also nice to know that there is a wicked little underground scene bubbling away throughout the country also!

For the last weekend its up to a place called Trancoso which is near the old city of Porto Seguro which is where the Portuguese landed to discover Brazil. It's another amazing setting as the small town is situated right on the beach where we will do our final Rebel Waltz party of the tour, an open air club venue and restaurant called Pararaio. The club has been on the go for many years and is run by resident DJ and owner Claudinha who is a top host, and her club has had many international DJs pass through and is a particular favourite place of Layo & Bushwacka, who were just here DJing last week. The club rocks and the soundsystem is proper good. The club is running on full and absolutely bouncing. It's been quite a trip and one we will for sure never forget!