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Edition #3
Rio de Janeiro, 2000

Electronic music

with oriental influences

Head on the shoulders!

A place where millions of animals live and die as if they were in a concentration camp

Accept our God

or suffer the consequences!

It's a German name, but Johann Heyss is Brazilian. His electronic music takes us to the east on a fascinating journey.

A request?

No, a right.

TAGS: interview, music, electronic music, underground, videos

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"My interest in Orientalism began with Yoko Ono," says Heyss, "whose kabuki* greatly influenced me." Heyss became interested in magic, esotericism, and mythology because of his desire to understand what she was talking about when she used mythological and magical terms in her music. "So I decided to research Oriental folk music and started to consume and sample Egyptian, Bulgarian, Japanese, etc. music," he reveals.

Johann Heyss has already released several demo tapes, and in '98 came his debut album, 'Look Carefully.' Heyss has played in various places in Rio, such as Electric Head, Projeto Bandas and Casa da Matriz. He also played in the United States. "I played at S.ob's in New York," he says, "which is a house of ethnic music and jazz, and it was great in terms of the quality of the venue and professionalism, besides the fun: I brought about twenty friends to devour the typical Brazilian food that was served in the dressing room, a small feast. Before me, two axé music bands played (yes!) and it was surreal. I also played at Baby Jupiter, a small bar in the Lower East Side, but with a more suitable audience and atmosphere for my show and it was super cool."

Heyss is also a writer and has just released the book "Tarot de Thoth," a study on tarot and the philosophy of the English magician Aleister Crowley. In 1996, the book "Iniciação à Numerologia" (Initiation to Numerology) was also released, a study on the symbolism of numbers; both were published by the Nova Era imprint of Record (

Regarding the electronic scene in Rio de Janeiro, Heyss doesn't have fantasies. "Rio doesn't have the vibe of electronic music," he opines. "In fact, any place that focuses on beach and sun tends to weaken the culture." But he concludes by reminding that, with or without the beach, it's difficult for cultural expressions in any city in Brazil to survive, beyond those of easy consumption. "In the end, Brazil is complicated in terms of the underground scene," he adds.

Johann Heyss plans to release the album 'Al Aha' soon and has two books coming out by Samuel Weiser (an American publisher) in 2001.

*Kabuki: A form of Japanese theater known for the stylization of drama and the elaborate makeup worn by its actors.

“DKANDLE weaves swirling multi-colored vibrant unearthly soundscapes, blending fuzzy and reverberating Shoegaze textures, mesmerizing Dream Pop meditations, sludgy Grungey tones and moody Post-punk strains, heightened with soul-stirring lyricism and pensive emotive vocalizations”

So, did you already know Johann Heyss' work? Leave a comment below


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