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Renato Ratier and his Black Belt



I believe you are about to release an album on your own D-Edge imprint. When did you decide you wanted to produce an album?

Of course, it’s 17 tracks. It will be released in October around ADE. I started to work on it and it occured to me that I wanted a Japanese influence to it/ Why? because I started to look and bought some clothes with Japanese influences and when I started martial arts it just all came to me. We have a big Japanese population in Brazil, the second biggest in the world I think. In my town, I have a lot of Japanese people working for my family too. So that really inspired me around 8 months ago. This is why the name of the full length is Black Belt.

And Black Belt is also a touring concept too, right?

Yeah, that’s right. I think it’s good to tour. We have invited all the D.Edge guys to come along as well. We have been in Ibiza, we will do ADE in Amsterdam and so on. We will also do a remix album later in the year which we have started on. This will come after the studio and restaurant. I’m a busy guy!

You tend to favour working with others too. What is it about the collaborative process that’s of such interest to you?

Yeah I had a lot a guy who came to work with me every week and stayed with me. It was an exciting time, and we locked ourselves in that room for around 14 to 16 hours at a time! (laughs) Basically, we stayed in there for around 3 or 4 months and got it ready for release. I love a fresh mind and working with others – I feel two heads are always better than one in that regard. And I always like getting another opinion too. 

So like I previously mentioned, it has a Japanese theme but a lot of different styles, from techno to house. It’s very different. You know the PillowTalk track (”Homeboyz”, the debut release from the album) is doing really well and I love working with those guys. They ended up staying with me for 4 or 5 days so we could get it right. 

Is it made for the floor? For the home?

I actually think you can listen to this album in the car, from the start to the end. It’s pretty diverse in that sense. The first two or three tracks are quite mellow and then it drifts into more dance floor music from track four onwards. Because it’s an album I wanted to give the listener an all round album experience you know?

For sure. Have you got to playing many of the tracks out at D-Edge or Warung yet? Was that a nervous moment if so?

No not at all, I don’t get nervous really when I’m DJing. They went down really well, especially over here in Ibiza too which was great to see. I’m really proud of the album because it gives me confidence when I see them get a nice reaction. Maybe I was a little nervous about the timing because I wanted it ready for the summer. I felt I had to have a timeline to get it ready and the clock was ticking, but apart from that I’m very confident in it.I think sometimes you have to set yourself a deadline when you’re working on these things though. Musicians are perfectionists by nature and I’d probably never have finished it otherwise. 

With Brazil gearing up for the World Cup and The Olympics, do you see this as an important stage in your country’s modern history?

I think it’s going to be for sure. The spotlight will be on us. We have the right time to show something to the world, especially with music. There is a lot to shout about in Brazil right now with a lot of great clubs and artists. It will be good to show people what it is that we’re about. 

Album and touring aside, how else do you keep busy?

I have so many clubs to take care of aside from just my own musical stuff. So I have to be involved constantly. I’ve found time to relax in Ibiza but probably not as much as I should have. I am trying to involved more people in the project (the album). I will try and get some remixes sorted and maybe do a VA compilation also.

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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