“Things were really exciting back then and everything was really fresh. In São Paulo we’re talking early 2000s, so this whole techno and house scene was really coming together and the first international artists were coming to Brazil, especially at Lov.e Club.”
Eli Iwasa is reminiscing about the early clubbing days of her home city; a scene that she has played an integral part in for the last 20 years. Once a booker for the intimate 500-capacity venue Lov.e Club, she brought names like Villalobos, Laurent Garnier and Luciano for their first time in the capital. “I’m very happy to have booked people like Garnier. Last time he played there he did an eight-hour set on a Monday night. We realised it was like 9am on a Tuesday morning… everyone was skipping work as nobody wanted to leave,” she laughs.
When she moved to the countryside of Campinas 12 years ago it was to partake in two new club ventures; Kraft and Club 88. “It’s over a decade of hard work, and it’s not easy because running a club you have to deal with not getting any official support, paying a lot of taxes. People have a prejudice against electronic music… having a club in Brazil is almost like a political act.”
It’s something she’s put her heart into, and although the projects have only been up and running six months, upcoming bookings include Speedy J, Nastia, and Dixon for his debut in the region.
“People have a prejudice against electronic music… having a club in Brazil is almost like a political act”
As well as pushing the boundaries for the clubbing scene in South America, Eli has also carved a path for her own DJing career. From her first gig at Club Absinto 17 years ago to becoming a resident at Warung Beach Club shows testament to her hard work. “Warung has played a very important part in promoting good electronic quality music for 15 years now. The first time I played there was three years ago, but very quickly I felt at home. Every gig at the club is very special, the venue is amazing, there is something really magical when the sun rises, and the main floor gets invaded with sunlight,” she tells DJ Mag.
Aside from her vinyl-centric techno sets she found a common ground in music production with Marco A.S, forming the ‘80s-sounding synth-pop duo Bleeping Sauce. It’s a project that stems from their love of bands like Depeche Mode and Yazoo and one that surprised her fans. “Nowadays some people only listen to one type of music and I really hope that I can tell people through my work to listen and keep your minds open, keep your ears open,” she says. Their latest EP was a first-of-a-kind signing for Warung Records, and proof that Eli won’t stop making bold moves.