Get to know Terr, the producer making moody techno-disco - Features - Mixmag

Get to know Terr, the producer making moody techno-disco

The Brazilian has released on Hotflush, Correspondant and Phantasy Sound

  • Words: Annabel Ross | Photo: Gustavo Marx
  • 9 July 2019

“I always say, to be a DJ or producer in Brazil you have to be very rich or very crazy,” says Daniela Caldellas, better known as Terr. “And I was not very rich.”

Growing up in Belo Horizonte, a city in south-eastern Brazil, Caldellas was into 90s grunge acts such as Nirvana, but was led down a different musical path when big beat acts like The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy came along.

The electroclash craze at the turn of the millennium convinced her to swap her guitars for synths and try to make some of this music herself, helped by her best friend Daniel Watts, who would become her partner in duo Digitaria.

“The first thing that really blew my mind was Tiga’s ‘Sunglasses At Night’ and all those after that, Miss Kittin, Fischerspooner – all the International Deejay Gigolo Records crew,” she says. “I was really proud that we met DJ Hell five years later, and we were releasing on that same label.”

From 2004, Watts and Caldellas enjoyed a growing profile as Digitaria, collaborating with Adana Twins and Clarian and releasing on Hot Creations and Items & Things. Touring demands saw them move to Barcelona in 2013, but a few years in, Caldellas wanted to explore nostalgic sci-fi sounds on her own. “I want to take people to a comfortable place when they listen to me,” she says. “I was inspired by a lot of music from the seventies and eighties.”

Her retro-futuristic work as Terr has found a natural home on labels such as Hotflush, Permanent Vacation and Correspondant. On her latest EP, though, the mood is lightened by Caldellas’ breezy vocals, disco strings and cowbell flourishes. Released on Phantasy Sound, ‘Tale Of Devotion’ reflects her state of mind at the time.

“I was living this healthy life in the sun in Barcelona,” she says. “Everything I was accomplishing I was celebrating so much, I was jumping around the house like a puppy.”

It had been a dream of Caldellas’ to release on Erol Alkan’s label, home to one of her favourite artists, New Zealand indie oddball Connan Mockasin.

“He’s released on Phantasy, and at the same time, so has Daniel Avery,” she says. “It’s a very free label with a very big range of artists.”

Caldellas moved from Barcelona to Berlin in December to be closer to some of her collaborators and label heads (though she’s still in close contact with Watts, with whom she runs the Clash Lion label together with Shall Ocin). She’s been playing regularly with the Innervisions crew, and will play one of Dixon’s Transmoderna parties in Ibiza this summer and at Innervisions’ OFF Sónar party in Barcelona.

In Berlin, the apartment she shares with her cat in Freidrichshain is a stone’s throw from Berghain. “This Sunday, I woke up very early and went to see Jennifer Cardini and Krystal Klear after breakfast and stayed for a couple of hours and went home,” she says. “It’s a good place to be.”

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