Tecnobrega - the Religion of Soundmachines

Light idols, lasers, fireworks, and DJs worshiped like international popstars. The machines they drive make tens of thousands of young Amazonians from the Brazilian state of Pará dance.

For decades, families of stallholders/fairground entertainers from Belem's suburbs have had their "aparelhagens" (equipments) built; these itinerant theme nightclubs are transported by truck from one side of the suburbs to the other, or by boat to other river cities East of the Amazonia, making couples of all ages to dance. All kinds of Brazilian and Caribbean rhythms are played, but it's the Brega that rules. This music, romantic to perfection, enhanced with electric guitar and electronic keyboard solos is often condemned by the local elites, who perceives it as a musical under-style: in Portuguese, "brega" means tacky.

The "aparelhagens" - robotized totemic animals or spaceships, occupy a special room in the minds and territory of the urban and rural peripheries of the Amazonian megalopolis.

A Cosmogony of creatures inherited for some of the mythology of the first inhabitants of the region, reviewed by the influence of films like "Transformers" and science fiction movies. Intercessors of a musical catharsis and bodies in motion, the Soundmachines deserve the cult that the youth, generation after generation, devote to them, in the state of Pará.

Photographed between 2008-2018 - Work in Progress.

 

Recent exhibits of the “Tecnobrega - the Religions of Soundmachines” series. Galeria Teste (Rio de Janeiro) - Espace Michel Simon (Noisy le Grand) - Vitra Design Museum (Weil-am-Rhein) :

Mini-documentaries for ARTE TV

A quick dive into the Tecnobrega / soundmachines scene with these episodes I've helped produce for a serie dedicated to the soundsystem diaspora.

 

Publications :