Click Box - The Boys From Brazil
The Glasgow debut of the inimitable Brazilian duo Click Box marks another in a long line of exemplary bookings for underground DIY club nights in the city. Living on the other side of the world makes Click Box something of a rare catch, so when they visit Scotland for the first time this month it’s just as well it will be for a two-legged gig which sees them playing live in the new venue occupied by Guilty Pleasures of Mother Goose (GPMG), as well as DJing at Saint Judes.
The São Paulo residents have been in the corner of many a discerning fan’s eye since releasing the jolting, high frequency Espaço E Tempo on Magda, Marc and Troy’s Items & Things imprint in 2008, before providing some of M_nus’ more intriguing sounds of 2009 in the form of Helen In The Keller (with Run Stop Restore) and the Shades and Wake Up Call EPs.This year has already seen Pedro Turra and Marco A.S. release the brilliant, brain-freezing Body Fall and Clock Active through Brazil’s own Noise Music Records, so the duo are on red hot form as they join up with GPMG, who themselves have been gathering a considerable flock of late with a recent enchanted forest party which, for those lucky enough to be in attendance, was something of a breakthrough when it comes to coppice-based techno carnivals. They have relocated to the mysterious and imposing brick confines of The Old Whisky Bond on Washington Street, a space never before danced in, and, according to them, an industrial clubbing space which "rivals Berlin's Tresor and The Berghain."
Click Box are unapologetically progressive, making future music which sounds like a paradigm from the annals of the genre’s origins, which can seem oft-forgotten today. Distant, but by no means aloof, the 10,233 kilometers which separate Click Box’s studio and the electronic music capital of the world allow the pair to distance themselves, literally and sonically, from the current trends. "We love Berlin, but sometimes you can get sick of it too… we prefer to be a bit there and a bit in São Paulo," Pedro tells us.
Further tentative probing about the effects of geography provoke sparse responses, but you get the impression that Click Box wouldn’t sound like any one of their peers, regardless of where they were based. "We always knew the music we like. We are not part of any Brazilian culture. We live in São Paulo, a huge city where you can have sushi at 5am if you want. That’s what we like."
And of that culture, the local scene, and where Click Box fit in there? "We are planning a big fight to make it bigger and fight against the evil music." This sense of detachment lies at the heart of what they embody in underground minimalist electronica. Hypnotising, off-kilter melodies, coupled with the deepest of basses and abstract synth modulations hook the listener in ways that few producers in alternative techno can. Their growing collection of productions give a sense of timelessness, but questions about their approach to production, live performance or other aspects of their setup, are responded to with an almost infuriating level of nonchalance and modesty. "We just sit and try to make music. The interesting thing here is, when you're a duo you can leave the room and come back later if you're bored."
The duo’s influences could be perceived as either resolutely apparent or deeply obtuse, depending on how far you want to look into it. But when it comes to music, which is so distinctly fresh and atypical, one wonders where it all began, and if something specific caused the musical penny to drop? "I remember the day I heard the Michael Jackson album Thriller," Pedro says. "I was born in the same year the album was released but my father was a DJ and one day when I was about ten years old I heard a tape inside my father's car. After this I got in love with music, not because the lyrics or the vocals, but because of the instrumental part! Two years later I started DJing. Maybe because of this we have the funk side of Click Box, not from Michael but from Quincy Jones, the producer of this album!" For Marco, it’s something entirely different, and it requires no background story. "That one would be Depeche Mode, Violator." says Marco.