PREMIERE + Q&A: Terr
Terr is the project of Daniela Caldellas, a Barcelona-based DJ-producer who grew up in Brazil’s Belo Horizonte. Having started producing electronic music in 2006 Caldellas first came onto the scene through her Digitaria alias along with Daniel Albinati. Terr was born in 2016 as Caldellas’ first solo project. Her sound blends techno, electro, and house with electro-futuristic textures and analog sounds. The debut release, a three-track EP titled 'Burn the Past', landed on Scuba’s Hotflush Recordings, followed in early 2017 with 'Misantropicalia' — which “extended Terr's musical horizons”, Caldellas explains. More recently, she returned to the label with 'Midnight', a two-tracker featuring a remix by Tuff City Kids and now she is releasing a four-track package on Permanent Vacation. Ahead of the release, we are premiering the final track on the EP, 'Twenty Thousand Leagues' and we caught up with TERR to learn more about the Brazilian.
Since 2016 you have been releasing records under your alias TERR. Can you start by telling us why you shifted from purely working on your Digitaria project and how you juggle your time between the two aliases?
With Digitaria we had too many ideas, too many styles, too many unfinished tracks. So there became a time when it felt natural for us to shake things about a little and let Digitaria take a hiatus, so we can try a new direction and showcase our own ideas. From that point, that's when I started to really concentrate more on my own ideas, and it was really fun. Daniel also started his own solo projects Daniel Watts, and we also founded our own label Clash Lion with Shall Ocin. It’s really good to play as TERR and Digitaria, as it enables me to experiment with different genres and vibes, so it never gets boring.
Scuba's label Hotflush have released all three of your EP's so far, how did this close association come about?
I have always been a big fan of Hotflush, and it was the first label I wanted to send my new TERR creations. I was so happy when they came back and said they wanted it for the label, and also then to solidify 3 EP’s with them. They are very focused on the artistic side of the release, which is the most important thing for me.
This release is your debut on Munich based Permanent Vacation – how did the collaboration come together?
It was more or less the same. When I finished the EP I thought about where to send it, and Permanent Vacation came to mind, as a label I have loved for some time. As I mentioned before, I like to work with labels that are not too concerned about hype and focus more on the ideas and artistic side of things, breaking boundaries and trying to create new sounds or vibes.
What was your creative process with this EP? Are those your vocals in ‘Have You Ever’?
The EP has three original tracks, and one Dub Version of the title track ‘Have You Ever’. Each track has its own story and emotion. ‘Memoir’ is more dancefloor style with a bit of 90’s house and Giorgio Moroder influences. ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues’ is more an old school Kraftwerk (if they wrote about submarines instead of trains and autobahns), and ‘Have You Ever’ is an electropop track. I started jamming around in the studio and at the end of the session I had this technopop riff with the vocal idea, but it took a lot of time until the final mix was complete. The vocals are actually mine, I have been singing with Digitaria since 2004 and its always fun to explore this again on my own tracks.
You have been producing since 2006, how has your style changed over the years?
Well that all depends on a lot of different elements; technology, new ideas, the state of the world, who I am at that moment in time and what is going on in my life. When I began it was the electroclash years and I was hypnotized by that Liquid Sky punk energy and aesthetics. A lot came after that, lots of different movements, new ideas, people come and go, and new equipment and technological advances. For me, music is a living organism, it’s always changing, always evolving.
Last year you set up your label Clash Lion with Shall Ocin and Daniel Watts. What is the history between you three and what made you set up the label?
We have had a history of working together on all sorts of projects, and we have similar ways of thinking when it comes to music. We received a lot of good music from friends, which was all unreleased, and always found ourselves saying ‘I’d sign this if I had a label'. One day, we did just that and thought ‘Why not?'. We started with the concept, from the name to the music and cover art with a focus to always release music which is made with love and passion, which we personally would play. We have had releases from established artists as well as someone who is making their first ever release, so it’s very varied. We are really proud of everything we have released so far, and we have some really nice surprises ahead!
The Clash Lion ethos is ‘innovation and experimentation with no boundaries’ – what current artists would you say also follow a similar ideology?
There are a lot of good artists and musical movements around at the moment. I have been listening to a lot of new electro and experimental music, along with new disco and LoFi house. Artist like Mall Grab, Risa Tanagushi, Aera, Tzusing and Daniel Watts are some I can recommend.
You are hosting a stage at a festival. What five artists would you want to have playing with you and what/where would be your ideal setting?
A couple of DJ’s I really like are Jennifer Cardini and Mall Grab, so let’s get them on the line up, along with an amazing live show from Jon Hopkins, and the Chemical Brothers closing it out – that would blow everyone’s mind. With this powerful team, I would be opening the stage with a big smile on my face!
What have you got lined up for the rest of the year?
Well, it's a never-ending cycle, as its always been. Making music, releasing music, playing live and then back to making more music. That's my plan for the rest of the year, and many more years ahead.
Pre-order the EP.
Words: Ben C