In search of the perfect beat, Tuto Ferraz (Zarref) releases electronic album

“I’m a multimedia artist long before this term existed,” he says. Tuto Ferraz in an interview with Music Non Stop. The musician, who also photographs, draws (the album cover is his authorship), produces and, mainly, walks on all stages where a good beat is necessary, is part of that select group of artists that does not recognize a single format as border to present his vision of art, and he doesn’t even bother to show his face wherever he recognizes a way of expressing himself. “An artist is only an artist when he exposes himself”, he rambles straight from his studio in São Paulo.

Capa de Sundaes Bloody Sundaes - Zarref

Capa de Sundaes Bloody Sundaes

Tuto Ferraz shows the world, this Friday (10), his electronic side, experimenting in the studio for years, for the first time, under the codename Zarref (an anagram of your last name). Fan of significant, he named his album Sundaes Bloody Sundaes not just as a pun on the band’s classic music U2, but an allusion to the Sundays he spent improvising and experimenting on his own in his studio.

“The sessions were always on Sundays. I had already played in all the gigs over the weekend and had that time there, alone, to freak out about new things”, says Zarref.

The result is a very interesting overview of the vision of a great drummer, an acoustic beat maker, for electronic music. Tuto, from his early teens, is a fan of funk and disco music, from Earth, Wind & Fire a Gap Band. In 1988, he created the band Funkacid & The Sundance Kids, to explore the possibilities of the style. He always guided his career towards the dancing side of music, to the point where he gained great prominence with the band Grooveria, which celebrates 20 years of “good service” to dancefloor music.

A seasoned drummer, trained in the United States, he has always been a fan of improvisation. “I was at Ibirapuera once when the Your George. He recognized me and called me to cover a drummer who didn’t show up for the show that was going to happen in a few hours. I went on stage without knowing the songs and held the presentation, receiving the touches of the band’s bassist”, he says. This is just one of the times he had to perform at the last minute to make the dance of the countless musicians and singers he played with, like Max de Castro, Fernanda Abreu, Black Rio, Simoninha and so many others. Zarref also played drums in Sect, the first successful project of Gui Boratto, then dedicated to dance music pop. Let it be said: we are quoting just a few of the countless works in which Tuto Ferraz was part.

The ingredients of the Sundae that Zarref presents are tasty: an artist dedicated to dance music, with a school in funk and disco music, ability to improvise, passion for technology and, finally, free Sundays! The result is an album that walks through strands of electronic music, ranging from trip hop to acid jazz, passing through to house. The icing on the cake are the beautiful and traveling vocal works, worthy of an artist who is not afraid of, as Zarref says, “exposing himself”.

Tuto Ferraz aka Zarref in the studio

Zarref in the midst of his passions: instruments, electronic equipment and surfing

Experiments ranged from electroacoustic recordings to electronic programming and samples. “in All Alone, for example, I looped the recording of a pharmacy cash register”. The frenzy works with bed and rhythm, alongside piano, synthesizer and bass, for almost dreamlike voice lines.

Sundae Bloody Sundaes has seven tracks. At times, we are taken to the aura of English electronic music, recalling projects such as Underworld e Massive Attack. In others, with a more jazzy personality, the Frenchman’s work comes to mind (always eager for comparisons) Ludovic Navarro it’s yours Saint Germain.

“My concern was never adapting to this or that niche. I even tried to avoid that, actually,” says Zarref. The goal was well achieved, making the tour delightful. And since we cite the seminal references from the 90s, this is also a characteristic of the great albums we listened to at the beginning of the electronic wave that took over the world when nothing was quite defined. Nice rescue.

Zarref is very fond of a sentence he wrote for his release. In addition to designing the cover, recording and producing everything, he risked the role of autobiographer! It represents a lot of your vision of what it is to make and live in music:

“Under the Zarref umbrella, which is an anagram of Ferraz, anything goes! Electronic Music, Electroacoustic, Rock, Pop, Indie and whatever else is out at the moment. This work is the result of a period of ephemeral relationships and many lonely Sundays, where the artist entered the studio to experiment with no strings attached”

Listen to the new album and discover the breadth of Zarref’s umbrella!

Jota Wagner

Jota Wagner has been writing, disco, and partying in Brazil and Europe since the early 90s. He is currently editor in chief of Music Non Stop and cultural producer at Agência 55. He has contributed, using his ears, feet or hands, to the dawn of Brazilian electronic music.