Renato Cohen

Interview by Nicky Trax


Renato Cohen is undoubtedly one of the best known Brazilian Techno DJs and producers on the planet, best known for his incredible ‘Pontapé’ track that was signed to Carl Cox’s Intec label and decribed by the man Cox himself as ‘just too good to ignore’. DMCWORLD gets stuck in…

Renato, you’re coming to play at the Rio LDN on Saturday June 4th playing alongside fellow Brazilians Joyce Muniz, Mau Mau Anderson Noise, Renato Lopes, Mixhell and Flow & Zeo. Looking forward to this little baby?

Hey DMCWORLD! Yes, it’s been a long time since I played in London and most DJs agree that it’s one of the best audiences to spin in front of, so I’m really looking forward to playing at Egg LDN.  Mixhell moved to London a few years ago and I haven’t see Joyce for ages so it will be really nice to check our their sets and catch up.

I hear you’ve played back to back sets with Anderson Noise and Mau Mau in the past? Could we see a return at Egg LDN?

We played together last year at the Rock In Rio Festival and since that time playing back to backs have started to happen more often. It’s good fun and if it’s cool at the party we can definitely do that.

Hailing from Sao Paulo, can you please tell us how your music career started?

I started playing drums and guitar when I was a kid.  I actually got into electronic music because I loved the idea of using machines instead of depending on other people. I then started producing dance music before becoming a DJ.

You first hit the international spotlight in 2002 with the enormous ‘Pontape’ track which was picked up swiftly by Carl Cox’s Intec label, can you tell us a brief history of this wonderful tune…

At that time there there weren’t CDs and the image of Brazil was more like the end of the world than a cool country. I pressed 500 vinyl copies on white label just to send to DJs and to try to find a label. The track was already famous in Brazil when Carl Cox toured here and when he saw the reaction of the people every night, he signed it immediately to his Intec label.


You are somewhat of a hero of electronic music in your country and headline lots of their major festivals. What have been some of your highlights of your career so far…

There have been so many good moments over the last 20 years. I’ve played a few times at Berghain in Berlin but before that they had a club called Ost Gut which was my first gig in Europe. I was a bit scared on my first European tour but when I got there it was the same vibe as a gay club that I was resident DJ at for many years called A Loca in Sao Paulo, so I really felt at home. Another highlight is my residence at Lov.e Club in Sao Paulo, which was really special. I also played at every event that the Skol Beats festival in Brazil has held and every time you could see the scene getting bigger every year. Some events were more than special and such a great buzz!
I’ve also had a few amazing nights playing at Womb in Tokyo, the Love Parade Festival in Berlin and also the Rock in Rio Festival with such a huge and impressive amount of people in front of me, all getting off on my music.

In your opinion, how has the Brazilian music scene changed over the years?

Well, the scene’s got huge so of course it’s also become very commercial, but there is always a smaller good underground scene going on. It’s just where you look.

Are you influenced by traditional Brazilian music and does that come out in your DJ sets and productions? Who are your biggest influences from this music?

For sure there is some influence as I like Brazilian music a lot, especially instrumental Brazilian Jazz and Samba-Rock. My big influences are Airto Moreira, Hermeto Pascoal, Moacir Santos, Dom Romao, Gilberto Gil and Joao Donato to name a few.

With Brazil’s new school of DJ/Producers coming through, who do you rate and why?

There are really a lot of people right now. I’m big fan of Marcio Vermelho, the guys from Selvagem, L_cio, TYV, Lucas Arr…and I’m only talking about artists that I get to hear more often.

You play all over the world now and are there any parties you particularly looking forward to playing at?

I realised over the years that I have much more fun when I don’t expect anything! You never know when that magic between the music and the audience is going to happen…it doesn’t matter if it’s an important club or a small party in the middle of nowhere. I would say I’m always looking forward to my next gig – lol

Can you tell us about any artists that are currently exciting you right now…

I’m very excited about the new techno generation…artists like Chris Baha and Chambray.

Current HOT 5 TRACKS –

1 – Red Rack’em  “Wonky Bassline Disco Banger”
Such a banger disco track that can beat many techno tracks

2 –  Misfit Melodies  “Oh Sh#t!”
If you’re around my age and you thought you were not ready yet for the 90’s revival, you got to hear this!

3 – Fouk – “Gruff” (Snacks Remix)
It has a bit of everything at same time…funky, drama, disco flavor and techno spirit

4 – Jesper Dalhback “Do it Right”
Techno banger that sounds amazing like everything Mr. Dalhback does

5-  Aldo the Band “Liquid Metal” (Renato Cohen Remix)
Sorry about the spam here, but I made a remix for this great Brazilian rock band and it’s going down really well.

6- A Band Called Flash ‎– Mother Confessor
What can you say about that, just amazing…

And lastly before we head out the door to the Rio LDN Party, what should we be listening to?

An energetic and positive mix of Techno, Disco and House!

Renato Cohen headlines the RIO LDN party alongside Joyce Muniz, Mau Mau, Anderson Noise and many more on Saturday June 4th at Egg LDN. For all info go to