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Techno

Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay – bandcamp.com

SCENE REPORT
Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay

By

Henry Ivry

·
Illustration by

Jordan Warren

·
September 19, 2022

Amongst a certain sector of club music fans, the city Montevideo is synonymous with more than its pristine waterfront and art deco architecture. Responsible for some of the most exciting house and techno of the past decade, the Uruguayan capital has been associated with a particular sound: sharp and angular drums filled with haunted, minor-chord melodies. As spooky as that may sound, the music is patient and restrained, almost minimal—just as likely to conjure up some celebratory whoops at peak time as it is bespoke for the after-after-after party.

If you know what you’re looking for, it can be easy to spot records coming out of this corner of South America. As the producer Michelle Vagi says, “[It’s] kind of easy to know when a track is from someone from Uruguay.” Hernan Gonzales, who releases music as Two Phase U, is more precise: “The sound could be described as a very urban, warehouse/basement kind of techno/house with a very electro and acid sound. It is deep and moody, a bit shadowy and introspective, but also very energetic and intense. I would relate this to tango and our idiosyncrasy. The other important aspect of this sound is the prevalence of syncopation in the rhythms, influenced by musical traditions that trace back to Uruguay’s [enslaved] African music.”

This is something you can hear across the records. Whether it is the Big Beat and new wave influence in Latress’s techno, the slight swing to the drums underneath Vagi’s contorted acid lines, the spacey psilocybin head trips of Juan Dairecshion, or the lopsided tech house of Stonem, there is something undeniably funky and, indeed, idiosyncratic, about the Montevideo take on dance music.

The shared aesthetic comes from a close-knit scene. This is in large part thanks to the tutelage of its elders, including Gonzales, Edu Koolt, and Nicolas Lutz, artists Michelle calls “pillars” of the scene and who have done a huge amount of community building. Koolt teaches people to DJ, Lutz’s label My Own Jupiter is dedicated to platforming young talent, and Gonzales runs production classes. “[The] attitude here is very hype-deterrent,” Gonzales explains. “Stardom and fandom never seem to catch momentum. Although there is a big respect for the more experienced [artists], there is no social sense of distance between them and the newest audience within the underground scene. This openness is very fruitful and multiplies the growth of the scene enormously.”

Another integral part of the scene is Phonotheque. Since 2013, the club, which is only open during Montevideo’s summer, has hosted few international guests, instead, it prioritizes long sets—the minimum is three hours—by local DJs that run well into the afternoon on summer Sundays. “It changed everything,” the DJ and producer [email protected] says. “The experience of a club is completely different to the experience of a big event or to the experience of a specific party that happens only once in a while, Clubs are the places that help build the community. If you`re really into it, you go every weekend, and you start meeting people in the same vibe. It also helps educate the new generations.” This emphasis on education has meant that although the scene is small, it’s continually expanding.

“[Phonotheque has] been very important in helping to consolidate a certain style or way to conceive and create a trip through music,” explains producer Santiago Uribe. As Vagi puts it, the club made it, “easier for the newcomers to be connected with the global scene, something that some years ago was impossible.”

Having this central hub has created an alternate world outside the boom-and-bust cycles of dance music trends, fomenting a sense of community that has been vital in making Montevideo a go-to locale for some of the best house and techno in the world. Mention to Gonzales, and he gets a hint of the utopian in his eyes: “There is a total absence of the idea that fun music must be superficial and naive, which may prevail in other places,” he says. “People who go out dancing here always look to have fun, [but they also want] an introspective edifying experience and active participation in reviewing and commenting on the music and artists’s performances. Everyone is a protagonist.”

Below are some of the key releases from those protagonists:

Two Phase U
Technowledge

Early releases from Montevideo are hard to come by, which makes the recent digital reissue of Gonzales’s 1997 straight-to-tape masterpiece a buy-on-site. Gonzales has acted as something of a shepherd for many of the younger generation of Montevideo producers. He runs production tutorials, uses his label Tiredbeat to showcase up-and-comers, and even lives with a couple of young Phonotheque residents. You can hear the Montevideo sound being shaped in real-time across Technowledge: the haunted synth work, the syncopated drum programming, and basslines that you wouldn’t want to meet alone in a dark alley. But Gonzales is a bit more experimental than the newest crop of producers. He darts back and forth across tempos and genres, moving from lightning-fast breaks that border on drum ‘n’ bass to the drug chug of EBM (“Modus Tollens” and “Monadic Transmutation” are highlights), all soldered with clear references to ‘90s Warp and IDM classics. Don’t get it twisted, though; Technoknowledge is more than a historical artifact. Unleash the shapeshifting electro-techno hybrid “Metatron” in any warehouse party and watch the crowd go into full meltdown.

Santiago Uribe
Parque Rodó EP

For Uribe, the community is what keeps him in Montevideo, even as so many of his peers have taken off to Europe. As he tells me, “At certain clubs or parties, there’s an enriching experience coming from the interaction and synergy between the people.” On Parque Rodó, he returns the favor by offering the scene a theme song. Long before it was released on record, “Montevideo Electric Sound” was making its way into grainy Instagram videos by DJ royalty like Binh and Craig Richard. Four years after its release, it remains an earworm. The drums are slow and deliberate as they try to restrain a bassline that feels like it’s made of flubber. It’s the perfect contrast to the claustrophobic mid and high ends, where an anxious lead synth hits with a laser-cut precision while a warped vocal intones, “This is the Montevideo electric sound.” The rest of the EP is just as good, if not quite as anthemic. Uribe is a master of building tension by keeping the BPMs slow and letting the drama build in his warped synth latticework.

Michelle & Muten
Eterna Procrastinacion

Michelle was an early Nicolas Lutz protege—her debut release was a double-pack on his notorious vinyl-only label My Own Jupiter. More than just about anyone else in the Montevideo scene, Michelle’s records are instantly recognizable. This is down to the way that she creates a full symphony of emotions from her 303. Her take on acid techno on this EP for London’s Opia Records offers a panorama of feelings. We start with the fever dream of “Virtual Analog” before fading into the blissed-out soul searching of “Clavia” and then try to outrun the headless horseman of “Anomalia Armonica.” While most of Michelle’s releases remain hidden from the digital world, this split EP with roommate Muten (whose “Vlad” is also a killer percussive workout) is an excellent introduction to the way her acid soundscapes oscillate between day and night, introspective beauty and B-horror movie soundtrack.    

Luis Malon
Sisters of the Night

If Michelle is able to straddle the beautiful and the terrifying, Luis Malon focuses on the campier, brighter side of the Montevideo sound. Sisters of the Night was the second time Malon had ventured onto the influential tastemakers label, Slow Life, following a best-in-show appearance on their compilation, Chromophere. On the follow-up EP, the producer refines his own sound while the label introduces a new side of Montevideo to the world at large. Working with vintage tech house templates—think chunky, rubbery basslines and stuttering breakbeats—Malon adds broken vocal samples and bright melodies that weave in and out of the tracks. While his later releases have gotten bigger and brasher (this one, for example, turns a Wilhelm scream into an absolute monster of a house track), Sisters of the Night walks a fine line between the moody, smoky tracks that nestle themselves deep in the cerebral cortex (“Sisters of the Night”) and songs that approach the downright beautiful like “Nati Nile.”

[email protected]
Visions of Utopia Parts I and II

[email protected] has been responsible for some of the biggest tracks to emerge from the Uruguayan underground, with landmark releases on labels like Traffic and Cabaret Records. And while those records are filled with labyrinthine acid lines and the sort of broken drumming that will have you reaching for a Xanax, Visions of Utopia represent the producer reworking the tropes of Uruguay techno with a slightly softer touch. The focus is on subtle house tracks across the two parts. A track like “Tribute,” for example, wanders almost completely away from the dance floor as the drawn-out chords and plucked bassline pirouette over gravity-free percussion. Even when he turns to his trademark hardware—808s and 303s—he does so with gentleness. The 303 line on “Hidden Acid” is closer to a stoned jazz solo than the bite of his earlier releases, and the drums are dulled underneath the slap bass of “Aged.”

Maximo
Ciudad de Demonios

The newest generation of producers emerging from Montevideo have returned to the scene’s roots, which were forged in the evening’s witching hours (the title of this EP translates to “city of demons”). Rising star Maximo’s Ciudad de Demonios does precisely what it says on the tin – filled with eerie melodies and uneasy rhythms. But there is also a feeling of sparseness that sets the newest generation of producers apart. Uribe has described how, “younger producers […] are a part of a third generation which I personally believe have a bigger influence from a house/minimal sound that may be a tendency in Europe.” This is something Maximo takes seriously. “As a member of this new generation,” he tells me, “I think that maybe it’s a role for everyone to go through the creative process and try to assemble different manifestations of our sound and try to evolve every time.” You can hear this evolution at play on Ciudad de Demonios. His productions are lean and austere where a track like “Formula,” which cycles through four or five different lead melodies, seems to be built around the negative space in the stereo field. From start to finish, the record feels like the lovechild of Perlon and Phonotheque.

PHORO & Jose
6AM

PHORO is another new producer who has taken the best of contemporary European dance music and refashioned it to fit her ideas. Her outstanding split EP with Berliner Otis on Gonzales’s Tiredbeat was filled with low-slung electro, but it’s on this one-off collaboration with Jose that we hear her explore some exciting new territory. Where Maximo mines minimal, PHORO takes inspiration from the current trance revival. Faster than most Montevideo techno, “6AM” is a blistering workout of pounding 303s with darting melodies that touch on the sugar highs and cotton candy shine of late-’90s trance. But there is something still indelibly funky about the track that keeps it from becoming cookie-cutter revivalism—it’s that slight swing in the drums that tips its hat to its lineage in Montevideo’s electric sound.

Source: https://daily.bandcamp.com/scene-report/scene-report-techno-in-montevideo-uruguay

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Techno

Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay – bandcamp.com

SCENE REPORT
Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay

By

Henry Ivry

·
Illustration by

Jordan Warren

·
September 19, 2022

Amongst a certain sector of club music fans, the city Montevideo is synonymous with more than its pristine waterfront and art deco architecture. Responsible for some of the most exciting house and techno of the past decade, the Uruguayan capital has been associated with a particular sound: sharp and angular drums filled with haunted, minor-chord melodies. As spooky as that may sound, the music is patient and restrained, almost minimal—just as likely to conjure up some celebratory whoops at peak time as it is bespoke for the after-after-after party.

If you know what you’re looking for, it can be easy to spot records coming out of this corner of South America. As the producer Michelle Vagi says, “[It’s] kind of easy to know when a track is from someone from Uruguay.” Hernan Gonzales, who releases music as Two Phase U, is more precise: “The sound could be described as a very urban, warehouse/basement kind of techno/house with a very electro and acid sound. It is deep and moody, a bit shadowy and introspective, but also very energetic and intense. I would relate this to tango and our idiosyncrasy. The other important aspect of this sound is the prevalence of syncopation in the rhythms, influenced by musical traditions that trace back to Uruguay’s [enslaved] African music.”

This is something you can hear across the records. Whether it is the Big Beat and new wave influence in Latress’s techno, the slight swing to the drums underneath Vagi’s contorted acid lines, the spacey psilocybin head trips of Juan Dairecshion, or the lopsided tech house of Stonem, there is something undeniably funky and, indeed, idiosyncratic, about the Montevideo take on dance music.

The shared aesthetic comes from a close-knit scene. This is in large part thanks to the tutelage of its elders, including Gonzales, Edu Koolt, and Nicolas Lutz, artists Michelle calls “pillars” of the scene and who have done a huge amount of community building. Koolt teaches people to DJ, Lutz’s label My Own Jupiter is dedicated to platforming young talent, and Gonzales runs production classes. “[The] attitude here is very hype-deterrent,” Gonzales explains. “Stardom and fandom never seem to catch momentum. Although there is a big respect for the more experienced [artists], there is no social sense of distance between them and the newest audience within the underground scene. This openness is very fruitful and multiplies the growth of the scene enormously.”

Another integral part of the scene is Phonotheque. Since 2013, the club, which is only open during Montevideo’s summer, has hosted few international guests, instead, it prioritizes long sets—the minimum is three hours—by local DJs that run well into the afternoon on summer Sundays. “It changed everything,” the DJ and producer [email protected] says. “The experience of a club is completely different to the experience of a big event or to the experience of a specific party that happens only once in a while, Clubs are the places that help build the community. If you`re really into it, you go every weekend, and you start meeting people in the same vibe. It also helps educate the new generations.” This emphasis on education has meant that although the scene is small, it’s continually expanding.

“[Phonotheque has] been very important in helping to consolidate a certain style or way to conceive and create a trip through music,” explains producer Santiago Uribe. As Vagi puts it, the club made it, “easier for the newcomers to be connected with the global scene, something that some years ago was impossible.”

Having this central hub has created an alternate world outside the boom-and-bust cycles of dance music trends, fomenting a sense of community that has been vital in making Montevideo a go-to locale for some of the best house and techno in the world. Mention to Gonzales, and he gets a hint of the utopian in his eyes: “There is a total absence of the idea that fun music must be superficial and naive, which may prevail in other places,” he says. “People who go out dancing here always look to have fun, [but they also want] an introspective edifying experience and active participation in reviewing and commenting on the music and artists’s performances. Everyone is a protagonist.”

Below are some of the key releases from those protagonists:

Two Phase U
Technowledge

Early releases from Montevideo are hard to come by, which makes the recent digital reissue of Gonzales’s 1997 straight-to-tape masterpiece a buy-on-site. Gonzales has acted as something of a shepherd for many of the younger generation of Montevideo producers. He runs production tutorials, uses his label Tiredbeat to showcase up-and-comers, and even lives with a couple of young Phonotheque residents. You can hear the Montevideo sound being shaped in real-time across Technowledge: the haunted synth work, the syncopated drum programming, and basslines that you wouldn’t want to meet alone in a dark alley. But Gonzales is a bit more experimental than the newest crop of producers. He darts back and forth across tempos and genres, moving from lightning-fast breaks that border on drum ‘n’ bass to the drug chug of EBM (“Modus Tollens” and “Monadic Transmutation” are highlights), all soldered with clear references to ‘90s Warp and IDM classics. Don’t get it twisted, though; Technoknowledge is more than a historical artifact. Unleash the shapeshifting electro-techno hybrid “Metatron” in any warehouse party and watch the crowd go into full meltdown.

Santiago Uribe
Parque Rodó EP

For Uribe, the community is what keeps him in Montevideo, even as so many of his peers have taken off to Europe. As he tells me, “At certain clubs or parties, there’s an enriching experience coming from the interaction and synergy between the people.” On Parque Rodó, he returns the favor by offering the scene a theme song. Long before it was released on record, “Montevideo Electric Sound” was making its way into grainy Instagram videos by DJ royalty like Binh and Craig Richard. Four years after its release, it remains an earworm. The drums are slow and deliberate as they try to restrain a bassline that feels like it’s made of flubber. It’s the perfect contrast to the claustrophobic mid and high ends, where an anxious lead synth hits with a laser-cut precision while a warped vocal intones, “This is the Montevideo electric sound.” The rest of the EP is just as good, if not quite as anthemic. Uribe is a master of building tension by keeping the BPMs slow and letting the drama build in his warped synth latticework.

Michelle & Muten
Eterna Procrastinacion

Michelle was an early Nicolas Lutz protege—her debut release was a double-pack on his notorious vinyl-only label My Own Jupiter. More than just about anyone else in the Montevideo scene, Michelle’s records are instantly recognizable. This is down to the way that she creates a full symphony of emotions from her 303. Her take on acid techno on this EP for London’s Opia Records offers a panorama of feelings. We start with the fever dream of “Virtual Analog” before fading into the blissed-out soul searching of “Clavia” and then try to outrun the headless horseman of “Anomalia Armonica.” While most of Michelle’s releases remain hidden from the digital world, this split EP with roommate Muten (whose “Vlad” is also a killer percussive workout) is an excellent introduction to the way her acid soundscapes oscillate between day and night, introspective beauty and B-horror movie soundtrack.    

Luis Malon
Sisters of the Night

If Michelle is able to straddle the beautiful and the terrifying, Luis Malon focuses on the campier, brighter side of the Montevideo sound. Sisters of the Night was the second time Malon had ventured onto the influential tastemakers label, Slow Life, following a best-in-show appearance on their compilation, Chromophere. On the follow-up EP, the producer refines his own sound while the label introduces a new side of Montevideo to the world at large. Working with vintage tech house templates—think chunky, rubbery basslines and stuttering breakbeats—Malon adds broken vocal samples and bright melodies that weave in and out of the tracks. While his later releases have gotten bigger and brasher (this one, for example, turns a Wilhelm scream into an absolute monster of a house track), Sisters of the Night walks a fine line between the moody, smoky tracks that nestle themselves deep in the cerebral cortex (“Sisters of the Night”) and songs that approach the downright beautiful like “Nati Nile.”

[email protected]
Visions of Utopia Parts I and II

[email protected] has been responsible for some of the biggest tracks to emerge from the Uruguayan underground, with landmark releases on labels like Traffic and Cabaret Records. And while those records are filled with labyrinthine acid lines and the sort of broken drumming that will have you reaching for a Xanax, Visions of Utopia represent the producer reworking the tropes of Uruguay techno with a slightly softer touch. The focus is on subtle house tracks across the two parts. A track like “Tribute,” for example, wanders almost completely away from the dance floor as the drawn-out chords and plucked bassline pirouette over gravity-free percussion. Even when he turns to his trademark hardware—808s and 303s—he does so with gentleness. The 303 line on “Hidden Acid” is closer to a stoned jazz solo than the bite of his earlier releases, and the drums are dulled underneath the slap bass of “Aged.”

Maximo
Ciudad de Demonios

The newest generation of producers emerging from Montevideo have returned to the scene’s roots, which were forged in the evening’s witching hours (the title of this EP translates to “city of demons”). Rising star Maximo’s Ciudad de Demonios does precisely what it says on the tin – filled with eerie melodies and uneasy rhythms. But there is also a feeling of sparseness that sets the newest generation of producers apart. Uribe has described how, “younger producers […] are a part of a third generation which I personally believe have a bigger influence from a house/minimal sound that may be a tendency in Europe.” This is something Maximo takes seriously. “As a member of this new generation,” he tells me, “I think that maybe it’s a role for everyone to go through the creative process and try to assemble different manifestations of our sound and try to evolve every time.” You can hear this evolution at play on Ciudad de Demonios. His productions are lean and austere where a track like “Formula,” which cycles through four or five different lead melodies, seems to be built around the negative space in the stereo field. From start to finish, the record feels like the lovechild of Perlon and Phonotheque.

PHORO & Jose
6AM

PHORO is another new producer who has taken the best of contemporary European dance music and refashioned it to fit her ideas. Her outstanding split EP with Berliner Otis on Gonzales’s Tiredbeat was filled with low-slung electro, but it’s on this one-off collaboration with Jose that we hear her explore some exciting new territory. Where Maximo mines minimal, PHORO takes inspiration from the current trance revival. Faster than most Montevideo techno, “6AM” is a blistering workout of pounding 303s with darting melodies that touch on the sugar highs and cotton candy shine of late-’90s trance. But there is something still indelibly funky about the track that keeps it from becoming cookie-cutter revivalism—it’s that slight swing in the drums that tips its hat to its lineage in Montevideo’s electric sound.

Source: https://daily.bandcamp.com/scene-report/scene-report-techno-in-montevideo-uruguay

npressfetimg-954.png
Techno

Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay – bandcamp.com

SCENE REPORT
Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay

By

Henry Ivry

·
Illustration by

Jordan Warren

·
September 19, 2022

Amongst a certain sector of club music fans, the city Montevideo is synonymous with more than its pristine waterfront and art deco architecture. Responsible for some of the most exciting house and techno of the past decade, the Uruguayan capital has been associated with a particular sound: sharp and angular drums filled with haunted, minor-chord melodies. As spooky as that may sound, the music is patient and restrained, almost minimal—just as likely to conjure up some celebratory whoops at peak time as it is bespoke for the after-after-after party.

If you know what you’re looking for, it can be easy to spot records coming out of this corner of South America. As the producer Michelle Vagi says, “[It’s] kind of easy to know when a track is from someone from Uruguay.” Hernan Gonzales, who releases music as Two Phase U, is more precise: “The sound could be described as a very urban, warehouse/basement kind of techno/house with a very electro and acid sound. It is deep and moody, a bit shadowy and introspective, but also very energetic and intense. I would relate this to tango and our idiosyncrasy. The other important aspect of this sound is the prevalence of syncopation in the rhythms, influenced by musical traditions that trace back to Uruguay’s [enslaved] African music.”

This is something you can hear across the records. Whether it is the Big Beat and new wave influence in Latress’s techno, the slight swing to the drums underneath Vagi’s contorted acid lines, the spacey psilocybin head trips of Juan Dairecshion, or the lopsided tech house of Stonem, there is something undeniably funky and, indeed, idiosyncratic, about the Montevideo take on dance music.

The shared aesthetic comes from a close-knit scene. This is in large part thanks to the tutelage of its elders, including Gonzales, Edu Koolt, and Nicolas Lutz, artists Michelle calls “pillars” of the scene and who have done a huge amount of community building. Koolt teaches people to DJ, Lutz’s label My Own Jupiter is dedicated to platforming young talent, and Gonzales runs production classes. “[The] attitude here is very hype-deterrent,” Gonzales explains. “Stardom and fandom never seem to catch momentum. Although there is a big respect for the more experienced [artists], there is no social sense of distance between them and the newest audience within the underground scene. This openness is very fruitful and multiplies the growth of the scene enormously.”

Another integral part of the scene is Phonotheque. Since 2013, the club, which is only open during Montevideo’s summer, has hosted few international guests, instead, it prioritizes long sets—the minimum is three hours—by local DJs that run well into the afternoon on summer Sundays. “It changed everything,” the DJ and producer [email protected] says. “The experience of a club is completely different to the experience of a big event or to the experience of a specific party that happens only once in a while, Clubs are the places that help build the community. If you`re really into it, you go every weekend, and you start meeting people in the same vibe. It also helps educate the new generations.” This emphasis on education has meant that although the scene is small, it’s continually expanding.

“[Phonotheque has] been very important in helping to consolidate a certain style or way to conceive and create a trip through music,” explains producer Santiago Uribe. As Vagi puts it, the club made it, “easier for the newcomers to be connected with the global scene, something that some years ago was impossible.”

Having this central hub has created an alternate world outside the boom-and-bust cycles of dance music trends, fomenting a sense of community that has been vital in making Montevideo a go-to locale for some of the best house and techno in the world. Mention to Gonzales, and he gets a hint of the utopian in his eyes: “There is a total absence of the idea that fun music must be superficial and naive, which may prevail in other places,” he says. “People who go out dancing here always look to have fun, [but they also want] an introspective edifying experience and active participation in reviewing and commenting on the music and artists’s performances. Everyone is a protagonist.”

Below are some of the key releases from those protagonists:

Two Phase U
Technowledge

Early releases from Montevideo are hard to come by, which makes the recent digital reissue of Gonzales’s 1997 straight-to-tape masterpiece a buy-on-site. Gonzales has acted as something of a shepherd for many of the younger generation of Montevideo producers. He runs production tutorials, uses his label Tiredbeat to showcase up-and-comers, and even lives with a couple of young Phonotheque residents. You can hear the Montevideo sound being shaped in real-time across Technowledge: the haunted synth work, the syncopated drum programming, and basslines that you wouldn’t want to meet alone in a dark alley. But Gonzales is a bit more experimental than the newest crop of producers. He darts back and forth across tempos and genres, moving from lightning-fast breaks that border on drum ‘n’ bass to the drug chug of EBM (“Modus Tollens” and “Monadic Transmutation” are highlights), all soldered with clear references to ‘90s Warp and IDM classics. Don’t get it twisted, though; Technoknowledge is more than a historical artifact. Unleash the shapeshifting electro-techno hybrid “Metatron” in any warehouse party and watch the crowd go into full meltdown.

Santiago Uribe
Parque Rodó EP

For Uribe, the community is what keeps him in Montevideo, even as so many of his peers have taken off to Europe. As he tells me, “At certain clubs or parties, there’s an enriching experience coming from the interaction and synergy between the people.” On Parque Rodó, he returns the favor by offering the scene a theme song. Long before it was released on record, “Montevideo Electric Sound” was making its way into grainy Instagram videos by DJ royalty like Binh and Craig Richard. Four years after its release, it remains an earworm. The drums are slow and deliberate as they try to restrain a bassline that feels like it’s made of flubber. It’s the perfect contrast to the claustrophobic mid and high ends, where an anxious lead synth hits with a laser-cut precision while a warped vocal intones, “This is the Montevideo electric sound.” The rest of the EP is just as good, if not quite as anthemic. Uribe is a master of building tension by keeping the BPMs slow and letting the drama build in his warped synth latticework.

Michelle & Muten
Eterna Procrastinacion

Michelle was an early Nicolas Lutz protege—her debut release was a double-pack on his notorious vinyl-only label My Own Jupiter. More than just about anyone else in the Montevideo scene, Michelle’s records are instantly recognizable. This is down to the way that she creates a full symphony of emotions from her 303. Her take on acid techno on this EP for London’s Opia Records offers a panorama of feelings. We start with the fever dream of “Virtual Analog” before fading into the blissed-out soul searching of “Clavia” and then try to outrun the headless horseman of “Anomalia Armonica.” While most of Michelle’s releases remain hidden from the digital world, this split EP with roommate Muten (whose “Vlad” is also a killer percussive workout) is an excellent introduction to the way her acid soundscapes oscillate between day and night, introspective beauty and B-horror movie soundtrack.    

Luis Malon
Sisters of the Night

If Michelle is able to straddle the beautiful and the terrifying, Luis Malon focuses on the campier, brighter side of the Montevideo sound. Sisters of the Night was the second time Malon had ventured onto the influential tastemakers label, Slow Life, following a best-in-show appearance on their compilation, Chromophere. On the follow-up EP, the producer refines his own sound while the label introduces a new side of Montevideo to the world at large. Working with vintage tech house templates—think chunky, rubbery basslines and stuttering breakbeats—Malon adds broken vocal samples and bright melodies that weave in and out of the tracks. While his later releases have gotten bigger and brasher (this one, for example, turns a Wilhelm scream into an absolute monster of a house track), Sisters of the Night walks a fine line between the moody, smoky tracks that nestle themselves deep in the cerebral cortex (“Sisters of the Night”) and songs that approach the downright beautiful like “Nati Nile.”

[email protected]
Visions of Utopia Parts I and II

[email protected] has been responsible for some of the biggest tracks to emerge from the Uruguayan underground, with landmark releases on labels like Traffic and Cabaret Records. And while those records are filled with labyrinthine acid lines and the sort of broken drumming that will have you reaching for a Xanax, Visions of Utopia represent the producer reworking the tropes of Uruguay techno with a slightly softer touch. The focus is on subtle house tracks across the two parts. A track like “Tribute,” for example, wanders almost completely away from the dance floor as the drawn-out chords and plucked bassline pirouette over gravity-free percussion. Even when he turns to his trademark hardware—808s and 303s—he does so with gentleness. The 303 line on “Hidden Acid” is closer to a stoned jazz solo than the bite of his earlier releases, and the drums are dulled underneath the slap bass of “Aged.”

Maximo
Ciudad de Demonios

The newest generation of producers emerging from Montevideo have returned to the scene’s roots, which were forged in the evening’s witching hours (the title of this EP translates to “city of demons”). Rising star Maximo’s Ciudad de Demonios does precisely what it says on the tin – filled with eerie melodies and uneasy rhythms. But there is also a feeling of sparseness that sets the newest generation of producers apart. Uribe has described how, “younger producers […] are a part of a third generation which I personally believe have a bigger influence from a house/minimal sound that may be a tendency in Europe.” This is something Maximo takes seriously. “As a member of this new generation,” he tells me, “I think that maybe it’s a role for everyone to go through the creative process and try to assemble different manifestations of our sound and try to evolve every time.” You can hear this evolution at play on Ciudad de Demonios. His productions are lean and austere where a track like “Formula,” which cycles through four or five different lead melodies, seems to be built around the negative space in the stereo field. From start to finish, the record feels like the lovechild of Perlon and Phonotheque.

PHORO & Jose
6AM

PHORO is another new producer who has taken the best of contemporary European dance music and refashioned it to fit her ideas. Her outstanding split EP with Berliner Otis on Gonzales’s Tiredbeat was filled with low-slung electro, but it’s on this one-off collaboration with Jose that we hear her explore some exciting new territory. Where Maximo mines minimal, PHORO takes inspiration from the current trance revival. Faster than most Montevideo techno, “6AM” is a blistering workout of pounding 303s with darting melodies that touch on the sugar highs and cotton candy shine of late-’90s trance. But there is something still indelibly funky about the track that keeps it from becoming cookie-cutter revivalism—it’s that slight swing in the drums that tips its hat to its lineage in Montevideo’s electric sound.

Source: https://daily.bandcamp.com/scene-report/scene-report-techno-in-montevideo-uruguay

npressfetimg-878.png
Techno

Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay – bandcamp.com

SCENE REPORT
Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay

By

Henry Ivry

·
Illustration by

Jordan Warren

·
September 19, 2022

Amongst a certain sector of club music fans, the city Montevideo is synonymous with more than its pristine waterfront and art deco architecture. Responsible for some of the most exciting house and techno of the past decade, the Uruguayan capital has been associated with a particular sound: sharp and angular drums filled with haunted, minor-chord melodies. As spooky as that may sound, the music is patient and restrained, almost minimal—just as likely to conjure up some celebratory whoops at peak time as it is bespoke for the after-after-after party.

If you know what you’re looking for, it can be easy to spot records coming out of this corner of South America. As the producer Michelle Vagi says, “[It’s] kind of easy to know when a track is from someone from Uruguay.” Hernan Gonzales, who releases music as Two Phase U, is more precise: “The sound could be described as a very urban, warehouse/basement kind of techno/house with a very electro and acid sound. It is deep and moody, a bit shadowy and introspective, but also very energetic and intense. I would relate this to tango and our idiosyncrasy. The other important aspect of this sound is the prevalence of syncopation in the rhythms, influenced by musical traditions that trace back to Uruguay’s [enslaved] African music.”

This is something you can hear across the records. Whether it is the Big Beat and new wave influence in Latress’s techno, the slight swing to the drums underneath Vagi’s contorted acid lines, the spacey psilocybin head trips of Juan Dairecshion, or the lopsided tech house of Stonem, there is something undeniably funky and, indeed, idiosyncratic, about the Montevideo take on dance music.

The shared aesthetic comes from a close-knit scene. This is in large part thanks to the tutelage of its elders, including Gonzales, Edu Koolt, and Nicolas Lutz, artists Michelle calls “pillars” of the scene and who have done a huge amount of community building. Koolt teaches people to DJ, Lutz’s label My Own Jupiter is dedicated to platforming young talent, and Gonzales runs production classes. “[The] attitude here is very hype-deterrent,” Gonzales explains. “Stardom and fandom never seem to catch momentum. Although there is a big respect for the more experienced [artists], there is no social sense of distance between them and the newest audience within the underground scene. This openness is very fruitful and multiplies the growth of the scene enormously.”

Another integral part of the scene is Phonotheque. Since 2013, the club, which is only open during Montevideo’s summer, has hosted few international guests, instead, it prioritizes long sets—the minimum is three hours—by local DJs that run well into the afternoon on summer Sundays. “It changed everything,” the DJ and producer [email protected] says. “The experience of a club is completely different to the experience of a big event or to the experience of a specific party that happens only once in a while, Clubs are the places that help build the community. If you`re really into it, you go every weekend, and you start meeting people in the same vibe. It also helps educate the new generations.” This emphasis on education has meant that although the scene is small, it’s continually expanding.

“[Phonotheque has] been very important in helping to consolidate a certain style or way to conceive and create a trip through music,” explains producer Santiago Uribe. As Vagi puts it, the club made it, “easier for the newcomers to be connected with the global scene, something that some years ago was impossible.”

Having this central hub has created an alternate world outside the boom-and-bust cycles of dance music trends, fomenting a sense of community that has been vital in making Montevideo a go-to locale for some of the best house and techno in the world. Mention to Gonzales, and he gets a hint of the utopian in his eyes: “There is a total absence of the idea that fun music must be superficial and naive, which may prevail in other places,” he says. “People who go out dancing here always look to have fun, [but they also want] an introspective edifying experience and active participation in reviewing and commenting on the music and artists’s performances. Everyone is a protagonist.”

Below are some of the key releases from those protagonists:

Two Phase U
Technowledge

Early releases from Montevideo are hard to come by, which makes the recent digital reissue of Gonzales’s 1997 straight-to-tape masterpiece a buy-on-site. Gonzales has acted as something of a shepherd for many of the younger generation of Montevideo producers. He runs production tutorials, uses his label Tiredbeat to showcase up-and-comers, and even lives with a couple of young Phonotheque residents. You can hear the Montevideo sound being shaped in real-time across Technowledge: the haunted synth work, the syncopated drum programming, and basslines that you wouldn’t want to meet alone in a dark alley. But Gonzales is a bit more experimental than the newest crop of producers. He darts back and forth across tempos and genres, moving from lightning-fast breaks that border on drum ‘n’ bass to the drug chug of EBM (“Modus Tollens” and “Monadic Transmutation” are highlights), all soldered with clear references to ‘90s Warp and IDM classics. Don’t get it twisted, though; Technoknowledge is more than a historical artifact. Unleash the shapeshifting electro-techno hybrid “Metatron” in any warehouse party and watch the crowd go into full meltdown.

Santiago Uribe
Parque Rodó EP

For Uribe, the community is what keeps him in Montevideo, even as so many of his peers have taken off to Europe. As he tells me, “At certain clubs or parties, there’s an enriching experience coming from the interaction and synergy between the people.” On Parque Rodó, he returns the favor by offering the scene a theme song. Long before it was released on record, “Montevideo Electric Sound” was making its way into grainy Instagram videos by DJ royalty like Binh and Craig Richard. Four years after its release, it remains an earworm. The drums are slow and deliberate as they try to restrain a bassline that feels like it’s made of flubber. It’s the perfect contrast to the claustrophobic mid and high ends, where an anxious lead synth hits with a laser-cut precision while a warped vocal intones, “This is the Montevideo electric sound.” The rest of the EP is just as good, if not quite as anthemic. Uribe is a master of building tension by keeping the BPMs slow and letting the drama build in his warped synth latticework.

Michelle & Muten
Eterna Procrastinacion

Michelle was an early Nicolas Lutz protege—her debut release was a double-pack on his notorious vinyl-only label My Own Jupiter. More than just about anyone else in the Montevideo scene, Michelle’s records are instantly recognizable. This is down to the way that she creates a full symphony of emotions from her 303. Her take on acid techno on this EP for London’s Opia Records offers a panorama of feelings. We start with the fever dream of “Virtual Analog” before fading into the blissed-out soul searching of “Clavia” and then try to outrun the headless horseman of “Anomalia Armonica.” While most of Michelle’s releases remain hidden from the digital world, this split EP with roommate Muten (whose “Vlad” is also a killer percussive workout) is an excellent introduction to the way her acid soundscapes oscillate between day and night, introspective beauty and B-horror movie soundtrack.    

Luis Malon
Sisters of the Night

If Michelle is able to straddle the beautiful and the terrifying, Luis Malon focuses on the campier, brighter side of the Montevideo sound. Sisters of the Night was the second time Malon had ventured onto the influential tastemakers label, Slow Life, following a best-in-show appearance on their compilation, Chromophere. On the follow-up EP, the producer refines his own sound while the label introduces a new side of Montevideo to the world at large. Working with vintage tech house templates—think chunky, rubbery basslines and stuttering breakbeats—Malon adds broken vocal samples and bright melodies that weave in and out of the tracks. While his later releases have gotten bigger and brasher (this one, for example, turns a Wilhelm scream into an absolute monster of a house track), Sisters of the Night walks a fine line between the moody, smoky tracks that nestle themselves deep in the cerebral cortex (“Sisters of the Night”) and songs that approach the downright beautiful like “Nati Nile.”

[email protected]
Visions of Utopia Parts I and II

[email protected] has been responsible for some of the biggest tracks to emerge from the Uruguayan underground, with landmark releases on labels like Traffic and Cabaret Records. And while those records are filled with labyrinthine acid lines and the sort of broken drumming that will have you reaching for a Xanax, Visions of Utopia represent the producer reworking the tropes of Uruguay techno with a slightly softer touch. The focus is on subtle house tracks across the two parts. A track like “Tribute,” for example, wanders almost completely away from the dance floor as the drawn-out chords and plucked bassline pirouette over gravity-free percussion. Even when he turns to his trademark hardware—808s and 303s—he does so with gentleness. The 303 line on “Hidden Acid” is closer to a stoned jazz solo than the bite of his earlier releases, and the drums are dulled underneath the slap bass of “Aged.”

Maximo
Ciudad de Demonios

The newest generation of producers emerging from Montevideo have returned to the scene’s roots, which were forged in the evening’s witching hours (the title of this EP translates to “city of demons”). Rising star Maximo’s Ciudad de Demonios does precisely what it says on the tin – filled with eerie melodies and uneasy rhythms. But there is also a feeling of sparseness that sets the newest generation of producers apart. Uribe has described how, “younger producers […] are a part of a third generation which I personally believe have a bigger influence from a house/minimal sound that may be a tendency in Europe.” This is something Maximo takes seriously. “As a member of this new generation,” he tells me, “I think that maybe it’s a role for everyone to go through the creative process and try to assemble different manifestations of our sound and try to evolve every time.” You can hear this evolution at play on Ciudad de Demonios. His productions are lean and austere where a track like “Formula,” which cycles through four or five different lead melodies, seems to be built around the negative space in the stereo field. From start to finish, the record feels like the lovechild of Perlon and Phonotheque.

PHORO & Jose
6AM

PHORO is another new producer who has taken the best of contemporary European dance music and refashioned it to fit her ideas. Her outstanding split EP with Berliner Otis on Gonzales’s Tiredbeat was filled with low-slung electro, but it’s on this one-off collaboration with Jose that we hear her explore some exciting new territory. Where Maximo mines minimal, PHORO takes inspiration from the current trance revival. Faster than most Montevideo techno, “6AM” is a blistering workout of pounding 303s with darting melodies that touch on the sugar highs and cotton candy shine of late-’90s trance. But there is something still indelibly funky about the track that keeps it from becoming cookie-cutter revivalism—it’s that slight swing in the drums that tips its hat to its lineage in Montevideo’s electric sound.

Source: https://daily.bandcamp.com/scene-report/scene-report-techno-in-montevideo-uruguay

npressfetimg-802.png
Techno

Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay – bandcamp.com

SCENE REPORT
Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay

By

Henry Ivry

·
Illustration by

Jordan Warren

·
September 19, 2022

Amongst a certain sector of club music fans, the city Montevideo is synonymous with more than its pristine waterfront and art deco architecture. Responsible for some of the most exciting house and techno of the past decade, the Uruguayan capital has been associated with a particular sound: sharp and angular drums filled with haunted, minor-chord melodies. As spooky as that may sound, the music is patient and restrained, almost minimal—just as likely to conjure up some celebratory whoops at peak time as it is bespoke for the after-after-after party.

If you know what you’re looking for, it can be easy to spot records coming out of this corner of South America. As the producer Michelle Vagi says, “[It’s] kind of easy to know when a track is from someone from Uruguay.” Hernan Gonzales, who releases music as Two Phase U, is more precise: “The sound could be described as a very urban, warehouse/basement kind of techno/house with a very electro and acid sound. It is deep and moody, a bit shadowy and introspective, but also very energetic and intense. I would relate this to tango and our idiosyncrasy. The other important aspect of this sound is the prevalence of syncopation in the rhythms, influenced by musical traditions that trace back to Uruguay’s [enslaved] African music.”

This is something you can hear across the records. Whether it is the Big Beat and new wave influence in Latress’s techno, the slight swing to the drums underneath Vagi’s contorted acid lines, the spacey psilocybin head trips of Juan Dairecshion, or the lopsided tech house of Stonem, there is something undeniably funky and, indeed, idiosyncratic, about the Montevideo take on dance music.

The shared aesthetic comes from a close-knit scene. This is in large part thanks to the tutelage of its elders, including Gonzales, Edu Koolt, and Nicolas Lutz, artists Michelle calls “pillars” of the scene and who have done a huge amount of community building. Koolt teaches people to DJ, Lutz’s label My Own Jupiter is dedicated to platforming young talent, and Gonzales runs production classes. “[The] attitude here is very hype-deterrent,” Gonzales explains. “Stardom and fandom never seem to catch momentum. Although there is a big respect for the more experienced [artists], there is no social sense of distance between them and the newest audience within the underground scene. This openness is very fruitful and multiplies the growth of the scene enormously.”

Another integral part of the scene is Phonotheque. Since 2013, the club, which is only open during Montevideo’s summer, has hosted few international guests, instead, it prioritizes long sets—the minimum is three hours—by local DJs that run well into the afternoon on summer Sundays. “It changed everything,” the DJ and producer [email protected] says. “The experience of a club is completely different to the experience of a big event or to the experience of a specific party that happens only once in a while, Clubs are the places that help build the community. If you`re really into it, you go every weekend, and you start meeting people in the same vibe. It also helps educate the new generations.” This emphasis on education has meant that although the scene is small, it’s continually expanding.

“[Phonotheque has] been very important in helping to consolidate a certain style or way to conceive and create a trip through music,” explains producer Santiago Uribe. As Vagi puts it, the club made it, “easier for the newcomers to be connected with the global scene, something that some years ago was impossible.”

Having this central hub has created an alternate world outside the boom-and-bust cycles of dance music trends, fomenting a sense of community that has been vital in making Montevideo a go-to locale for some of the best house and techno in the world. Mention to Gonzales, and he gets a hint of the utopian in his eyes: “There is a total absence of the idea that fun music must be superficial and naive, which may prevail in other places,” he says. “People who go out dancing here always look to have fun, [but they also want] an introspective edifying experience and active participation in reviewing and commenting on the music and artists’s performances. Everyone is a protagonist.”

Below are some of the key releases from those protagonists:

Two Phase U
Technowledge

Early releases from Montevideo are hard to come by, which makes the recent digital reissue of Gonzales’s 1997 straight-to-tape masterpiece a buy-on-site. Gonzales has acted as something of a shepherd for many of the younger generation of Montevideo producers. He runs production tutorials, uses his label Tiredbeat to showcase up-and-comers, and even lives with a couple of young Phonotheque residents. You can hear the Montevideo sound being shaped in real-time across Technowledge: the haunted synth work, the syncopated drum programming, and basslines that you wouldn’t want to meet alone in a dark alley. But Gonzales is a bit more experimental than the newest crop of producers. He darts back and forth across tempos and genres, moving from lightning-fast breaks that border on drum ‘n’ bass to the drug chug of EBM (“Modus Tollens” and “Monadic Transmutation” are highlights), all soldered with clear references to ‘90s Warp and IDM classics. Don’t get it twisted, though; Technoknowledge is more than a historical artifact. Unleash the shapeshifting electro-techno hybrid “Metatron” in any warehouse party and watch the crowd go into full meltdown.

Santiago Uribe
Parque Rodó EP

For Uribe, the community is what keeps him in Montevideo, even as so many of his peers have taken off to Europe. As he tells me, “At certain clubs or parties, there’s an enriching experience coming from the interaction and synergy between the people.” On Parque Rodó, he returns the favor by offering the scene a theme song. Long before it was released on record, “Montevideo Electric Sound” was making its way into grainy Instagram videos by DJ royalty like Binh and Craig Richard. Four years after its release, it remains an earworm. The drums are slow and deliberate as they try to restrain a bassline that feels like it’s made of flubber. It’s the perfect contrast to the claustrophobic mid and high ends, where an anxious lead synth hits with a laser-cut precision while a warped vocal intones, “This is the Montevideo electric sound.” The rest of the EP is just as good, if not quite as anthemic. Uribe is a master of building tension by keeping the BPMs slow and letting the drama build in his warped synth latticework.

Michelle & Muten
Eterna Procrastinacion

Michelle was an early Nicolas Lutz protege—her debut release was a double-pack on his notorious vinyl-only label My Own Jupiter. More than just about anyone else in the Montevideo scene, Michelle’s records are instantly recognizable. This is down to the way that she creates a full symphony of emotions from her 303. Her take on acid techno on this EP for London’s Opia Records offers a panorama of feelings. We start with the fever dream of “Virtual Analog” before fading into the blissed-out soul searching of “Clavia” and then try to outrun the headless horseman of “Anomalia Armonica.” While most of Michelle’s releases remain hidden from the digital world, this split EP with roommate Muten (whose “Vlad” is also a killer percussive workout) is an excellent introduction to the way her acid soundscapes oscillate between day and night, introspective beauty and B-horror movie soundtrack.    

Luis Malon
Sisters of the Night

If Michelle is able to straddle the beautiful and the terrifying, Luis Malon focuses on the campier, brighter side of the Montevideo sound. Sisters of the Night was the second time Malon had ventured onto the influential tastemakers label, Slow Life, following a best-in-show appearance on their compilation, Chromophere. On the follow-up EP, the producer refines his own sound while the label introduces a new side of Montevideo to the world at large. Working with vintage tech house templates—think chunky, rubbery basslines and stuttering breakbeats—Malon adds broken vocal samples and bright melodies that weave in and out of the tracks. While his later releases have gotten bigger and brasher (this one, for example, turns a Wilhelm scream into an absolute monster of a house track), Sisters of the Night walks a fine line between the moody, smoky tracks that nestle themselves deep in the cerebral cortex (“Sisters of the Night”) and songs that approach the downright beautiful like “Nati Nile.”

[email protected]
Visions of Utopia Parts I and II

[email protected] has been responsible for some of the biggest tracks to emerge from the Uruguayan underground, with landmark releases on labels like Traffic and Cabaret Records. And while those records are filled with labyrinthine acid lines and the sort of broken drumming that will have you reaching for a Xanax, Visions of Utopia represent the producer reworking the tropes of Uruguay techno with a slightly softer touch. The focus is on subtle house tracks across the two parts. A track like “Tribute,” for example, wanders almost completely away from the dance floor as the drawn-out chords and plucked bassline pirouette over gravity-free percussion. Even when he turns to his trademark hardware—808s and 303s—he does so with gentleness. The 303 line on “Hidden Acid” is closer to a stoned jazz solo than the bite of his earlier releases, and the drums are dulled underneath the slap bass of “Aged.”

Maximo
Ciudad de Demonios

The newest generation of producers emerging from Montevideo have returned to the scene’s roots, which were forged in the evening’s witching hours (the title of this EP translates to “city of demons”). Rising star Maximo’s Ciudad de Demonios does precisely what it says on the tin – filled with eerie melodies and uneasy rhythms. But there is also a feeling of sparseness that sets the newest generation of producers apart. Uribe has described how, “younger producers […] are a part of a third generation which I personally believe have a bigger influence from a house/minimal sound that may be a tendency in Europe.” This is something Maximo takes seriously. “As a member of this new generation,” he tells me, “I think that maybe it’s a role for everyone to go through the creative process and try to assemble different manifestations of our sound and try to evolve every time.” You can hear this evolution at play on Ciudad de Demonios. His productions are lean and austere where a track like “Formula,” which cycles through four or five different lead melodies, seems to be built around the negative space in the stereo field. From start to finish, the record feels like the lovechild of Perlon and Phonotheque.

PHORO & Jose
6AM

PHORO is another new producer who has taken the best of contemporary European dance music and refashioned it to fit her ideas. Her outstanding split EP with Berliner Otis on Gonzales’s Tiredbeat was filled with low-slung electro, but it’s on this one-off collaboration with Jose that we hear her explore some exciting new territory. Where Maximo mines minimal, PHORO takes inspiration from the current trance revival. Faster than most Montevideo techno, “6AM” is a blistering workout of pounding 303s with darting melodies that touch on the sugar highs and cotton candy shine of late-’90s trance. But there is something still indelibly funky about the track that keeps it from becoming cookie-cutter revivalism—it’s that slight swing in the drums that tips its hat to its lineage in Montevideo’s electric sound.

Source: https://daily.bandcamp.com/scene-report/scene-report-techno-in-montevideo-uruguay

npressfetimg-727.png
Techno

Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay – bandcamp.com

SCENE REPORT
Scene Report: Techno in Montevideo, Uruguay

By

Henry Ivry

·
Illustration by

Jordan Warren

·
September 19, 2022

Amongst a certain sector of club music fans, the city Montevideo is synonymous with more than its pristine waterfront and art deco architecture. Responsible for some of the most exciting house and techno of the past decade, the Uruguayan capital has been associated with a particular sound: sharp and angular drums filled with haunted, minor-chord melodies. As spooky as that may sound, the music is patient and restrained, almost minimal—just as likely to conjure up some celebratory whoops at peak time as it is bespoke for the after-after-after party.

If you know what you’re looking for, it can be easy to spot records coming out of this corner of South America. As the producer Michelle Vagi says, “[It’s] kind of easy to know when a track is from someone from Uruguay.” Hernan Gonzales, who releases music as Two Phase U, is more precise: “The sound could be described as a very urban, warehouse/basement kind of techno/house with a very electro and acid sound. It is deep and moody, a bit shadowy and introspective, but also very energetic and intense. I would relate this to tango and our idiosyncrasy. The other important aspect of this sound is the prevalence of syncopation in the rhythms, influenced by musical traditions that trace back to Uruguay’s [enslaved] African music.”

This is something you can hear across the records. Whether it is the Big Beat and new wave influence in Latress’s techno, the slight swing to the drums underneath Vagi’s contorted acid lines, the spacey psilocybin head trips of Juan Dairecshion, or the lopsided tech house of Stonem, there is something undeniably funky and, indeed, idiosyncratic, about the Montevideo take on dance music.

The shared aesthetic comes from a close-knit scene. This is in large part thanks to the tutelage of its elders, including Gonzales, Edu Koolt, and Nicolas Lutz, artists Michelle calls “pillars” of the scene and who have done a huge amount of community building. Koolt teaches people to DJ, Lutz’s label My Own Jupiter is dedicated to platforming young talent, and Gonzales runs production classes. “[The] attitude here is very hype-deterrent,” Gonzales explains. “Stardom and fandom never seem to catch momentum. Although there is a big respect for the more experienced [artists], there is no social sense of distance between them and the newest audience within the underground scene. This openness is very fruitful and multiplies the growth of the scene enormously.”

Another integral part of the scene is Phonotheque. Since 2013, the club, which is only open during Montevideo’s summer, has hosted few international guests, instead, it prioritizes long sets—the minimum is three hours—by local DJs that run well into the afternoon on summer Sundays. “It changed everything,” the DJ and producer [email protected] says. “The experience of a club is completely different to the experience of a big event or to the experience of a specific party that happens only once in a while, Clubs are the places that help build the community. If you`re really into it, you go every weekend, and you start meeting people in the same vibe. It also helps educate the new generations.” This emphasis on education has meant that although the scene is small, it’s continually expanding.

“[Phonotheque has] been very important in helping to consolidate a certain style or way to conceive and create a trip through music,” explains producer Santiago Uribe. As Vagi puts it, the club made it, “easier for the newcomers to be connected with the global scene, something that some years ago was impossible.”

Having this central hub has created an alternate world outside the boom-and-bust cycles of dance music trends, fomenting a sense of community that has been vital in making Montevideo a go-to locale for some of the best house and techno in the world. Mention to Gonzales, and he gets a hint of the utopian in his eyes: “There is a total absence of the idea that fun music must be superficial and naive, which may prevail in other places,” he says. “People who go out dancing here always look to have fun, [but they also want] an introspective edifying experience and active participation in reviewing and commenting on the music and artists’s performances. Everyone is a protagonist.”

Below are some of the key releases from those protagonists:

Two Phase U
Technowledge

Early releases from Montevideo are hard to come by, which makes the recent digital reissue of Gonzales’s 1997 straight-to-tape masterpiece a buy-on-site. Gonzales has acted as something of a shepherd for many of the younger generation of Montevideo producers. He runs production tutorials, uses his label Tiredbeat to showcase up-and-comers, and even lives with a couple of young Phonotheque residents. You can hear the Montevideo sound being shaped in real-time across Technowledge: the haunted synth work, the syncopated drum programming, and basslines that you wouldn’t want to meet alone in a dark alley. But Gonzales is a bit more experimental than the newest crop of producers. He darts back and forth across tempos and genres, moving from lightning-fast breaks that border on drum ‘n’ bass to the drug chug of EBM (“Modus Tollens” and “Monadic Transmutation” are highlights), all soldered with clear references to ‘90s Warp and IDM classics. Don’t get it twisted, though; Technoknowledge is more than a historical artifact. Unleash the shapeshifting electro-techno hybrid “Metatron” in any warehouse party and watch the crowd go into full meltdown.

Santiago Uribe
Parque Rodó EP

For Uribe, the community is what keeps him in Montevideo, even as so many of his peers have taken off to Europe. As he tells me, “At certain clubs or parties, there’s an enriching experience coming from the interaction and synergy between the people.” On Parque Rodó, he returns the favor by offering the scene a theme song. Long before it was released on record, “Montevideo Electric Sound” was making its way into grainy Instagram videos by DJ royalty like Binh and Craig Richard. Four years after its release, it remains an earworm. The drums are slow and deliberate as they try to restrain a bassline that feels like it’s made of flubber. It’s the perfect contrast to the claustrophobic mid and high ends, where an anxious lead synth hits with a laser-cut precision while a warped vocal intones, “This is the Montevideo electric sound.” The rest of the EP is just as good, if not quite as anthemic. Uribe is a master of building tension by keeping the BPMs slow and letting the drama build in his warped synth latticework.

Michelle & Muten
Eterna Procrastinacion

Michelle was an early Nicolas Lutz protege—her debut release was a double-pack on his notorious vinyl-only label My Own Jupiter. More than just about anyone else in the Montevideo scene, Michelle’s records are instantly recognizable. This is down to the way that she creates a full symphony of emotions from her 303. Her take on acid techno on this EP for London’s Opia Records offers a panorama of feelings. We start with the fever dream of “Virtual Analog” before fading into the blissed-out soul searching of “Clavia” and then try to outrun the headless horseman of “Anomalia Armonica.” While most of Michelle’s releases remain hidden from the digital world, this split EP with roommate Muten (whose “Vlad” is also a killer percussive workout) is an excellent introduction to the way her acid soundscapes oscillate between day and night, introspective beauty and B-horror movie soundtrack.    

Luis Malon
Sisters of the Night

If Michelle is able to straddle the beautiful and the terrifying, Luis Malon focuses on the campier, brighter side of the Montevideo sound. Sisters of the Night was the second time Malon had ventured onto the influential tastemakers label, Slow Life, following a best-in-show appearance on their compilation, Chromophere. On the follow-up EP, the producer refines his own sound while the label introduces a new side of Montevideo to the world at large. Working with vintage tech house templates—think chunky, rubbery basslines and stuttering breakbeats—Malon adds broken vocal samples and bright melodies that weave in and out of the tracks. While his later releases have gotten bigger and brasher (this one, for example, turns a Wilhelm scream into an absolute monster of a house track), Sisters of the Night walks a fine line between the moody, smoky tracks that nestle themselves deep in the cerebral cortex (“Sisters of the Night”) and songs that approach the downright beautiful like “Nati Nile.”

[email protected]
Visions of Utopia Parts I and II

[email protected] has been responsible for some of the biggest tracks to emerge from the Uruguayan underground, with landmark releases on labels like Traffic and Cabaret Records. And while those records are filled with labyrinthine acid lines and the sort of broken drumming that will have you reaching for a Xanax, Visions of Utopia represent the producer reworking the tropes of Uruguay techno with a slightly softer touch. The focus is on subtle house tracks across the two parts. A track like “Tribute,” for example, wanders almost completely away from the dance floor as the drawn-out chords and plucked bassline pirouette over gravity-free percussion. Even when he turns to his trademark hardware—808s and 303s—he does so with gentleness. The 303 line on “Hidden Acid” is closer to a stoned jazz solo than the bite of his earlier releases, and the drums are dulled underneath the slap bass of “Aged.”

Maximo
Ciudad de Demonios

The newest generation of producers emerging from Montevideo have returned to the scene’s roots, which were forged in the evening’s witching hours (the title of this EP translates to “city of demons”). Rising star Maximo’s Ciudad de Demonios does precisely what it says on the tin – filled with eerie melodies and uneasy rhythms. But there is also a feeling of sparseness that sets the newest generation of producers apart. Uribe has described how, “younger producers […] are a part of a third generation which I personally believe have a bigger influence from a house/minimal sound that may be a tendency in Europe.” This is something Maximo takes seriously. “As a member of this new generation,” he tells me, “I think that maybe it’s a role for everyone to go through the creative process and try to assemble different manifestations of our sound and try to evolve every time.” You can hear this evolution at play on Ciudad de Demonios. His productions are lean and austere where a track like “Formula,” which cycles through four or five different lead melodies, seems to be built around the negative space in the stereo field. From start to finish, the record feels like the lovechild of Perlon and Phonotheque.

PHORO & Jose
6AM

PHORO is another new producer who has taken the best of contemporary European dance music and refashioned it to fit her ideas. Her outstanding split EP with Berliner Otis on Gonzales’s Tiredbeat was filled with low-slung electro, but it’s on this one-off collaboration with Jose that we hear her explore some exciting new territory. Where Maximo mines minimal, PHORO takes inspiration from the current trance revival. Faster than most Montevideo techno, “6AM” is a blistering workout of pounding 303s with darting melodies that touch on the sugar highs and cotton candy shine of late-’90s trance. But there is something still indelibly funky about the track that keeps it from becoming cookie-cutter revivalism—it’s that slight swing in the drums that tips its hat to its lineage in Montevideo’s electric sound.

Source: https://daily.bandcamp.com/scene-report/scene-report-techno-in-montevideo-uruguay

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Techno

HI-LO Returns to Drumcode With Anthemic Techno Track, “WANNA GO BANG” – EDM.com

HI-LO is back with “WANNA GO BANG,” a thumping techno track out now on Drumcode Records.

Oliver Heldens turned to his longtime nom de plume when returning to Andrew Beyer’s flagship label, which released HI-LO’s Drumcode debut, “Hypnos,” almost a year ago. The new song, which samples DJ Deeon’s “2 B Free,” is part of a two-track EP slated for release on October 7th.

Between its layered kicks, driving basslines and acid-inspired leads, “WANNA GO BANG” has all the hallmarks of a signature, peak-time HI-LO record. Heldens mutates Deeon’s classic vocoded vocals and uses them as the track’s centerpiece, lending to a menacing techno banger befit for Drumcode’s illustrious discography.

Take a listen to “WANNA GO BANG” below.

Scroll to Continue

Heldens says his approach to Deeon’s 2015 track engendered a “dark vibe” due to his move to manipulate its vocals.

“‘WANNA GO BANG’ is my take on Chicago legend DJ Deeon’s classic vocoder vocal sample (from his 1992 song “2 B Free”) but it’s pitched down five semitones now which gives it such a dark vibe,” Heldens said in a statement. “I’ve always wanted to make my own DJ weapon version of it since I heard Bjarki’s trippy version in 2015, and I’m really happy with how it turned out, it’s such a monster!”

You can stream “WANNA GO BANG” here.

FOLLOW HI-LO:

Facebook: facebook.com/officialhilo
Twitter: twitter.com/official_hilo
Instagram: instagram.com/officialhilo
Spotify: spoti.fi/2ZFW1Oa

Source: https://edm.com/music-releases/hi-lo-wanna-go-bang-drumcode

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Techno

Techno revolution: DNA works to take the underground scene public in KSA – Arab News

JEDDAH: The gaming and electronic sports industry is growing rapidly in Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC, with major investments announced to support domestic game developers and world-class competitions taking place in the region. 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently announced the Kingdom’s ambition to see 30 competitive games developed by firms in the Kingdom by 2030 as part of the country’s national gaming and esports strategy. 

Last week, Savvy Games Group, a firm owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, unveiled investments worth SR142 billion ($37.8 billion) to transform the Kingdom into a global gaming hub with world-class gaming companies.

The investments will include SR70 billion to take several minority stakes in companies that support Savvy’s game development agenda and SR50 billion to acquire a leading game publisher to become a strategic development partner.

Another SR20 billion will be invested in industry partners, and SR2 billion will target industry disruptors to grow early-stage games and esports companies.

“Savvy Games Group is one part of our ambitious strategy aiming to make Saudi Arabia the ultimate global hub for the games and esports sector by 2030,” the crown prince said last week, according to the Saudi Press Agency.  

Speaking at the Next World Forum earlier in September, Prince Faisal bin Bandar, president of the Saudi Esports Federation, noted the boom in the sporting sector in the past five years, adding: “One of my favorite things about gaming is that you first introduce yourself to someone using your gaming skills, and not history, religion, color of skin, background or gender.”

Prince Faisal bin Bandar, president of the Saudi Esports Federation. (Supplied)

He said: “This young community and population are really striving to take their place on the global stage. The ultimate goal is to have Saudi Arabia move on a natural path on the global pathway for games and esports.” 

Through this initiative, the government hopes to create 39,000 jobs, establish 250 game developers, and promote a thriving in-house talent pool for esports that will raise the sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s economy to SR50 billion by 2030.

Scores of domestic startups, as well as more established multinational developers, stand to benefit immensely from the flurry of new investment. 

Abdulrahman Al-Sulaimani, an artificial intelligence engineer and games designer who spent nine years working in Japan before returning to the Kingdom in 2020, is among them.

Over the course of his career, Al-Sulaimani has witnessed the astonishing growth of Japan’s world-renowned gaming community. Seeing the same room for potential in his home country, he returned to establish his own studio.

Earlier this year, Al-Sulaimani launched AlBuraq Wings, a games studio that adopts young gamers eager to turn their hand to design and programming. 

“I wanted to help gather them under one roof and created the studio with a vision to create games that are not only made by Saudis for Saudis but to also educate the world somehow about how extremely talented our developers are,” Al-Sulaimani told Arab News.

From designers, to developers, artists, voiceover artists and more, game development is not a one-man show. It is a community of talents that come together to try out new technology tools to come up with innovative game ideas. 

AlBuraq Wings recently won third place in the Gamers8 XR Gameathon, an accelerated innovation time-bound event, where game enthusiasts come together to develop a game prototype from scratch in one week.

“These tournaments are what push many Saudis to come out and put their skills into the spotlight. I dare say it, the skills of many Saudis surpass those of the Japanese,” said Al-Sulaimani. 

“Gaming events not only attract gamers, they also attract three unique and important segments of the gaming community: programmers, designers and artists. If you get all three, you have a game. They all come full circle.”

Saudi Arabia is already fast emerging as a major gaming hub, with local competitors achieving world-class results in global esports tournaments. 

In 2018, Mosaad Al-Dossary, known online as “Msdossary,” became the first Saudi national to win the FIFA eWorld Cup — an event in which more than 20 million gamers attempted to qualify. 

Mosaad Al-Dossary, the first Saudi national to win the FIFA eWorld Cup. (Supplied)

A year later, Saudi gamers were thrilled when the Kingdom was chosen to host the region’s biggest gaming tournament to date, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile Star. 

The global esports market size was valued at $1.22 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach the valuation of $1.44 billion in 2022. Fortune Business Insights predicts the market will reach $5.48 billion by 2029.

According to a report published by Boston Consulting Group earlier this year, there are now 23.5 million gamers in Saudi Arabia, making up around 67 percent of the Kingdom’s overwhelmingly young population. 

About 90 percent of these gamers take part in esports on an amateur or semi-pro basis, while around 100 Saudi gamers are pursuing e-sports as a full-time career, the report said.

“When it comes to the Arab countries, Saudi Arabia is the number one hotspot of gaming,” one female Saudi gamer and content creator, who goes by the online name “PikaLoli,” told Arab News. 

She, like many Saudis, has been playing games from a young age, and recently decided to pursue gaming as a career. She discovered a platform where a growing community of gamers and developers can share ideas and reviews.

“I play all sorts of games and give my feedback on my social media pages,” said PikaLoli. “The interaction and commitment you find by even young ones is outstanding.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment for a while now and the community made up of thousands has been helping each other grow for years. We have a shared platform to communicate with, share ideas, edit videos, play games for developers and give feedback, and so much more.”

Recent graduate Waleed Abu Alkhayr, a game designer, found his footing soon after completing university and enrolling in the Game Development Hima bootcamp, which concentrates on game development by mastering skills and later interning for an international gaming company before landing a job at another. 

He told Arab News that IT training programs and learning courses in esport and gaming development appealed to him most, cementing the idea of becoming a game developer.

“I started playing games on Sony Playstation 1 and I haven’t stopped since. The love for games is what led me to want to select this profession, but I didn’t see enough support until very recently when the sector developed at an unprecedented rate; I knew then that this is what I wanted to do.”

Abu Alkhayr, also a member of the AlBuraq Wings, said that the boom in esports and gaming development is not simple hype, but has been brewing for years.

“Initiatives and programs launched by entities that teach game programming and development are numerous and the resources even more so, which provide opportunities and build technical competitiveness in the community. The more the participation of talent, the bigger the community will grow and help build the vision that is set for us,” he said.

For Al-Sulaimani, harnessing this energy, enthusiasm and raw talent is precisely what is needed to put Saudi Arabia on the world map of gaming.

“The Kingdom is nurturing homegrown talent; it is ripe for creating a vibrant environment for esports has long been laid out by the youth with their love and passion for gaming,” he said. 

“As game developers have found our platforms, we share our games and receive support, but the recent announcement will give more chances for the younger generation who want to delve into this fun world.” 

 

Source: https://www.arabnews.com/node/2173331/saudi-arabia

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Techno

HI-LO Returns to Drumcode With Anthemic Techno Track, “WANNA GO BANG” – EDM.com

HI-LO is back with “WANNA GO BANG,” a thumping techno track out now on Drumcode Records.

Oliver Heldens turned to his longtime nom de plume when returning to Andrew Beyer’s flagship label, which released HI-LO’s Drumcode debut, “Hypnos,” almost a year ago. The new song, which samples DJ Deeon’s “2 B Free,” is part of a two-track EP slated for release on October 7th.

Between its layered kicks, driving basslines and acid-inspired leads, “WANNA GO BANG” has all the hallmarks of a signature, peak-time HI-LO record. Heldens mutates Deeon’s classic vocoded vocals and uses them as the track’s centerpiece, lending to a menacing techno banger befit for Drumcode’s illustrious discography.

Take a listen to “WANNA GO BANG” below.

Scroll to Continue

Heldens says his approach to Deeon’s 2015 track engendered a “dark vibe” due to his move to manipulate its vocals.

“‘WANNA GO BANG’ is my take on Chicago legend DJ Deeon’s classic vocoder vocal sample (from his 1992 song “2 B Free”) but it’s pitched down five semitones now which gives it such a dark vibe,” Heldens said in a statement. “I’ve always wanted to make my own DJ weapon version of it since I heard Bjarki’s trippy version in 2015, and I’m really happy with how it turned out, it’s such a monster!”

You can stream “WANNA GO BANG” here.

FOLLOW HI-LO:

Facebook: facebook.com/officialhilo
Twitter: twitter.com/official_hilo
Instagram: instagram.com/officialhilo
Spotify: spoti.fi/2ZFW1Oa

Source: https://edm.com/music-releases/hi-lo-wanna-go-bang-drumcode

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Techno

HI-LO drops explosive techno banger ‘WANNA GO BANG’ – We Rave You

HI-LO returns to Drumcode with explosive banger ‘WANNA GO BANG’: Listen

‘WANNA GO BANG‘ is a collaboration with DJ Deeon and a glorious return of HI-LO to Drumcode.

Since its inception, HI-LO – the techno alias of Oliver Heldens – has only played high cards. Always armed with unshakable strength and power, HI-LO is one of the strongest players in techno today, showing his expertise in his DJ sets and the studio. Apart from appearing on the billboards of the biggest festivals in the world, he adorns the release charts of bangers of nuclear proportions, as is the case of this latest one. Lately, his productions have danced between Reinier Zonneveld‘s Filth on Acid and Adam Beyer‘s Drumcode, and ‘WANNA GO BANG’ has found its home in the latter. HI-LO made his Drumcode debut about a year ago with the powerful two-tracker ‘Hypnos‘, having since contributed with a rendition of ‘Restore My Soul‘ by Adam Beyer and DJ Rush. Now, the talented producer returns with the explosive ‘WANNA GO BANG’, which will arrive as an EP on October 7th, including ‘LOKOMOTIF‘, another techno banger.

This new single results from HI-LO’s mastery and counts an extra talent, DJ Deeon. Considered by many the creator of ghetto house, DJ Deeon, aka Debo G, has a very strong background and shares a raw club culture, making him a precious addition in the production of a track as solid as this new single.

The beat is strong and assertive, causing an echo that lingers in the room and your ears. The vocals don’t take long to mesmerise you, like a confession that says, ‘Sometimes I feel like I wanna go bang‘. The truth is, the voice and all the layers that encapsulate it are compelling to the point where you really want to go bang. Despite decking out the industrial and raw, metallic sounds characteristic of techno, ‘WANNA GO BANG’ offers a few moments of slightly more organic percussion. While you get distracted by the top-notch sounds, the intertwining melodies continue to contort themselves in the background, offering an immersive, complete and engaging experience.

Having heard this gem in HI-LO’s sets, it’s time to have it around, always and whenever you feel like going bang. Listen to it below:

Image Credit: Romy Treebusch / Provided by Listen-Up PR

Source: https://weraveyou.com/2022/09/hi-lo-drops-wanna-go-bang/