Written by Kristyn Gelfand
Teto Preto is a five piece electronic band out of Sao Paulo, Brazil who masterfully merge the fun and spontaneity of dance and club culture with boundary pushing performance, dark multi-media expression, and a passionate declaration of revolt.
To set the scene…
Teto Preto released their first acclaimed EP ‘Gasolina’, in 2016, in the shadow of one Brazil’s most tumultuous political moments of the decade, the impeachment, popularly called a coup, that displaced democratically elected president, former political prisoner, and darling of the progressive-left, Dilma Roussef. Since then, Brazil has seen the rise of fiercely homophobic, anti-black, anti-poor politicians, the jailing of Dilma’s mentor and fellow PT member, the wildly popular former president Lula, and an economic and environmental crisis that only worsens by the day.
In this dystopian nightmare, Teto Preto has risen to give voice to the frustrations, fears, and anger of an entire generation in possibly the most Brazilian way possible: through music, art, expression, and a really good party.
Formed by multi-media artist Angela Carneosso (aka Laura Diaz), with producers L_cio and Zopelar, multi-instrumentist Bica, and french performance artist Loic Koutana, Teto Preto grew out of MambaRec and Mamba Negra, a record label and SP-based party scene that dates back to 2013.
Writing for Brasil Wire, Daniel Hunt characterizes the Mamba Negra events viscerally and beautifully: “Always subversive, to the visitor these parties can feel like a physical manifestation of the city’s dark soul – 30-40% occult poison, 60-70% unconditional love”.
(I highly recommend that you click the link and read Daniel’s detailed and well-written article!).
The scene surrounding these Mamba Negra parties can be described as simultaneously underground, raucous, principled, and fun. Front woman Laura Diaz made the video below which gives a great background on Mamba Negra and exactly what the scene meant for this cohort of party-goers. What becomes clear is that this group of artists and allies are willing to fight for their right to party, quite literally, and they hold themselves and their fans to the morals of anti-corporate free expression that they espouse.
What else becomes instantly clear is that Teto Preto has an incredibly catchy and infectious techno-driven sound, that, like many other popular sounds Brazil, despite transmitting dark and often disparaging themes, has a bouncy and fun sound that is impossible to sit still through. Add to that the group’s penchant for outrageous costume and performance and you have the ultimate recipe for an unforgettable live performance.
Which finally brings me around to…
Teto Preto’s debut performance in Toronto, this Sunday September 29th, as part of the annual Small World Music Festival!!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the city that I call home. But something that is often said about, (and experienced in!), Toronto, is that we lack both the edgy, contemporary taste, and the ability to ‘let loose’, that our less populous but more ‘cultured’ eastern neighbours in Montreal are known for. When you add our general lack of ease with any music that isn’t sung in English, and you have the potential to end up with a sparse and uptight audience.
Pockets of unabashed, artful, enjoyment exist in this city, especially when it comes to electronic music, and Brazilian artists who push both political and artistic frontiers have had successful shows here in recent years.
So consider this a call to action.
If Teto Preto’s music is a rallying cry.. are you ready to heed? If Teto Preto exists partly to challenge your sense of dignity and taste..will you rise to that challenge? If Teto Preto is ready to party through the apocalypse… will you join them?