by Fled Tokyo for Tune ouT Tokyo @ THE HAPPYmAN CHEAKS
Xique-Xique is a low bpm project from São Paulo, Brazil, the DJ and producer duo Dunwich and Bibana Graeff, inspired and influenced by the Voodoohop Collective.
Interview with Dunwich from Xique-xique and Fled Tokyo from Tune ouT Tokyo.
THE XIQUE-XIQUE TOKYO INTERVIEW
TUNE OUT TOKYO: Xique-xique is your slow BPM project from São Paulo, Brazil. And in Brazil, Xique-xique is a city in the state of Bahia. Also, Xique-xique is the name of the cactus found in that region.
How did your name Xique-xique arise?
Xique-xique: Yes, I guess we just liked the sound. It was sounding like a percussion. And also there is some kind of pun, a game, the with phonetic and the sound in Brazil. People like to make some mistake writing the words differently, but with a phonetic similar sound.
So Xique-Xique sounds like also ‘chic’ C-H-I-C. Also, it was a bar close to the place where I was playing and we liked the fact it started with an X and knew the sound is different it’s CH because it’s Portuguese. And that’s it, we liked the whole thing and we kept it.
Xique-xique > Dunwich & Bibana Graeff
In February you organized and played the first edition of FESTIVAL XAXOEIRA in the nature preserve Cachoeira do Pedrão (Waterfall Pedrão) in Heliodora, Brazil.
Tell us about your after thoughts on your first organized festival?
Yes, it was really nice actually. We were trying to gather again all the people that used to do the Voodoohop in this place. In this very place. And the last edition, if I am correct, was in 2018. And with pandemic afterwards, we actually felt with my friend Pedro that it was time to just gather friends and just spend good time trying to keep alive this vibe, and the same sound and the same people around. And it actually worked very well. It was a very moving moment to see everyone coming back in this place and feeling that there is definitely something about this place and the connection with the sound and it all fits perfectly together. It’s really nice.
Any plans for the next edition in the near future for FESTIVAL XAXOERIA?
I guess there will be a second edition.
You’re based in São Paolo, Brazil, but you live deep in the forest. Images of indigenous people, colorful animals, waterfalls and ancient trees can be visualized.
How does this untouched culture and environment influence your music?
Well, Xique-xique was born after a festival of Voodoohop in this place. We felt so much magic with Bibiana Graeff that coming back from São Paulo from the forest, we said we need to do one music that synthesize all the beauty and magic that we’ve seen in three days. This music is Xaxoeira. And ‘Xaxoeira’ is actually also a misspelled, it should be ‘cachoeira’. ‘Xaxoeira’ is also a pun with the X and ‘cachoeira’ means waterfall. We tried to make one track that was keeping alive, I mean trying to synthesize the beauty of the festival. And that’s it.
So yes, I actually record a lot of birds around the place and I use them in the music. So this also influences a lot of course. There are so many different bird sounds and insects and bugs. It’s quite unique. So I use this as an intervention inside the music. Not as percussion so much. It’s like if there was a guest coming inside the music to perform.
Not too long ago, there was a downtempo dance music tsunami felt around the world from South America and the Voodoohop Collective arose globally.
How is Xique-xique related to this?
Well, Xique-xique couldn’t be here without this Voodoohop Collective that really had the idea about the sound to put some electronic drums on some traditional Brazilian track like Thomash did, Thomash is from Voodoohop, and well I think that there was a kind of wave from South America about this downtempo sound and I think I am here because I am a tiny drop of water on a big wave. And this is it, without Voodoohop (then) Xique-xique would not have been created. It’s extremely well linked I think.
What is the state of downtempo organic music today?
I think it’s the first time I see a genre which is still evolving and touching new people today so many years after it started. And at that same time, the people that were doing this sound at the beginning are already migrating or changing a bit of direction, but the original sound is still touching new people and this is very unique. So you have at the same time everything, the first interpretation of the style still alive and spreading everywhere and at the same time some new directions created also…clearly evolving.
Who are some artists in this genre that you like?
Then, I would have to say some new direction that I like. From Japan, I like very much Ground and DJ Amiga. In Russia I like Zoe Reijue (who’s) very talented. In Amsterdam I like Trippin Jaguar (whose) very good. In Germany I like Paul Traeumer and his label Kontrapost (which is) very good also. In Istanbul, Oceanvs Orientalis and Batu Ozer. In France the Crepite label is doing very interesting things. In Brazil I would say Psilosamples which is a veteran of electronic music and is amazing still renewing himself all the time. And for the new generation of DJ I would say Cauana and Kika Deeke.
Life in Tokyo and around the world moves faster, harder and more relentless every day. Your music can be seen as an invitation away from all of this. Besides the slow relaxing BPM massage, the tribal grooves and the bird sounds, there seems to be a deeper spirituality in your sound.
Do you agree with this statement?
Yes, I think maybe it was unconscious at the beginning. My idea was really something connected to nature. Like somehow if you could put the microphone in the forest and just listen to some deep manifestation from birds and the trees. And that was the idea and I understood later it has some, maybe, spiritual impact or lecture. I think it is very interesting, of course I am just being careful sometimes with some marketing use which is done about anything spiritual related with music, but it is interesting.
You’re performing at Bump at Womb on Saturday, March 18th. And the afterparty at Sunset Park Club. Last weekend you performed three gigs in Korea, too.
How did this Asian tour form?
Well it was a bit magic actually. It started with this gig in Thailand and also I knew I had the confirmation to play at Immersion which is a party traveling and this time it will be in Indonesia in West Papua to be exact. And so I had those two gigs and no vision about an Asian tour so far. And then my agent told me that there was a possibility to play in Tokyo at Bump party at Womb. And somehow I was playing with Que Sakamoto in Brazil in the festival I organized and I told him I was going to Tokyo and he help me found three gigs in Korea. Then it suddenly appeared like a tour when you linked all the dots. It’s very nice because it’s a good illustration of how I like to lead my life which is making room for the impossible to happen. If you don’t make room for it, it doesn’t happen. I had to believe that I could make a tour, I had to believe that some gigs would happen. Otherwise I would have moved out, move away, go to some other place, but I said no, something will happen and it happened. So I’m glad I left enough space for it to happen.
In the near future, after this Asian tour, where does the journey lead next for Xique-xique?
I don’t know. I like to believe the path is getting enlighted as long as you walk. So I can’t see so far away. I am focusing on where I am right now. And the plan for this year would to perform a majority of gigs live with Bibana Graeff which is the other member of Xique-xique and she’s in Brazil. But the plan is yes, to make more and more live with her because it is a perfect representation of Xique-xique actually, the live act with Bibana Graeff, it’s a perfect format. And we already can say that the first gig this year together will be in Berlin at Kater Blau in July and we are looking forward so much for it!
INTERVIEWER: Fled Tokyo for Tune ouT Tokyo
LOCATION: THE HAPPYman CHEAKS, Shibuya, Tokyo
EVENT: BUMP 4th Anniversary @ WOMB > March 18th, 2023
EVENT: BUMP Afterparty I @ Sunset Park Club > March 19th, 2023
EVENT: BUMP Afterparty II @ Traffic > March 26th, 2023
Tune ouT Tokyo thanks Xique-xique, Satoru from THE HAPPYmAN CHEAKS, and Ken from the BUMP party and Womb, Tokyo.
ASTRAL BLACK | AST046 | Limited edition vinyl & digital release October 13, 2023 NIGELTHREETIMES aka Nigel Reynoso is the Queens, New York Drum & Bass / rolling breaks producer and DJ who recently played…
by Fled Tokyo @ Tune ouT Tokyo MIJO is the prolific producer of Mexican techno, multi-instrumentalist, and international DJ who performed for his 1st time in Tokyo @ BONOBO / Sky Diamonds by Lucy party…
REMOTIF – IN THE BLINK OF A COMSIC EYE EP Released on X-Kalay, July 21, 2023 > catalogue: XK030 REMOTIF is the moniker of Joe Reddick, the Bristol based DJ / producer, who through his…
Hemlock Recordings| digital release September 29, 2023 | physical March 1, 2024 AIRHEAD aka Rob McAndrews is the London born electronic musician, multi-instrumentalist, and producer with his release “Lightness” on the U.K. label Hemlock Recordings…
MAYUDEPTH – ANGELS FROM HELL FEAT. UMI ISHIHARA EP A ‘SHIKI KYOKAI‘ vinyl release from ‘DBH MUSIC‘ distribution >>> July 1, 2023 MAYUDEPTH, DJ and producer based in Tokyo, sent waves worldwide with her party…