Bueno, I’m sitting in my room in Buenos Aires. I’m no longer than two months here, and I’m already starting to feel like this city has everything I ever dreamed about. “European-like” looks of the streets, the architecture, the absolutely mindblowing Argentinian meat dishes or the super-upgraded pizza. All an interesting mixture of Italian, Spanish, and Creole heritage. But for me, the strongest aspects of enjoying the city are the people and the alternative music/arts scene. Every week, there are 2-5 events and even more that I don’t know of. Of course, you have this in Prague as well, but this is the music that I enjoy. All the RKT, reggaeton, dembow, cumbia, guaracha, all of the Argentinian percussive music styles, music that is played on the football stadiums and of course, a lot of baile funk in DJ sets and much more. It’s more colorful and diverse. I avoid techno-house events and while there are alternatives, they pretty much don’t exist in the Czech Republic or Slovakia. (In Buenos Aires there are a lot of literary events too, independent publishers, film festivals, theatre and small contemporary art galleries. This city has 36 cultural centers…).
I had my little research done before coming here. During the last 3-4 years, we have been connecting with a lot of artists, DJs, and music collectives from Latin America via Swine Daily’s articles, SoundCloud premieres, DJ mixes and Spotify playlists. There are many labels that frequently organize events. Sometimes, they rent a small bar, a club, a basement, a totally industrial secret location spot or some flat, it varies. You can check out our premieres with Volquete (Remiseria Temperley), Visceral (Pr1nc3s4 V4mp1r0 feat Kmi Koni and Catriel Nievas), NODO (Cimarrón, Inalco2222), Santa Sede (VENVSDAD), and DJ mixes by Choca, Jaijiu, and others.
Now, one of my favorite music collectives ran by Jaijiu, Nafftero, and Meca, REBOTE DISCOTECA, published their first music compilation. This 18-track project, showcasing less-known and young producers/artists from Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador, is a bold statement of Rebote. It’s an invitation, an opening gate for the new chapter of the local modern club music.
One hour of music and one hour of multiple sonic directions, all glued together very carefully in a mystical dark reconstructed Latin style. We can hear all the different Latin rhythms like cumbia, RKT, reggaeton, cuarteto, merengue, and even Angolan kuduro. These rhythms were the building stones of the compilation. Some artists used acapella from rap songs or old reggaeton classics, which adds an interesting conversation between the old sounds and a new uncharted territory.
This compilation sounds like a new journey into a dark forest of unexplored musical genres and hybrids. It seems like a creation of something new and original. It has a power. These songs can be totally played on the club dancefloors and they can be also played at home, during a chill night session with your friends, or even alone while deep listening. Rebote wanted to push the upcoming artists and help them a little bit, to get them known. This is a new starting point, a new impulse in the Buenos Aires and Argentinian experimental club music scene.
I love how well-articulated was the idea behind this release, and we can totally hear it in the music. It has a clear starting point, the rising action, climax and resolution, or the final boss (which for me is for sure Nafftero’s last track „Trance Clericó“).
I asked Nafftero, who arranged the song structure: “The order of the tracks was thought of as if it were a DJ set. Starting with songs with vocals, and BPMs that call the perreo. In the middle of the album, the intensity rises and becomes denser and darker. And the last tracks close the compilation with high speeds frenetic rhythms. I’m fascinated by how powerful and consistent it was.”
When Jaijiu played the compilation for me in his house, I was getting also a lot of visual ideas, and evocations. Some tracks immediately invoked a landscape of an old dungeon, a dark fantasy aesthetic, perhaps an accelerated version of battles in Mortal Combat. The heavy percussion aspect of the songs and dark synthesizers (Negroso’s analog synths from 4:30 on the „Encrodomenopeideonalomas Crotatromanoideosis“ sounds like from the old Alien movie). When listening to the compilation for the first time, you will definitely be surprised by the creativity and mixture of the many different rhythms and musical styles, but on the other hand, it f***ing slaps, you just want to dance to these songs in a club! It’s juicy, dark and heavy, and there are some of my new favorite tracks for sure.
On SoundCloud, I regularly look for new music, new edits, new club experiments and new directions in the club music. This compilation just hits the nail on the head 100% for me. And if you are a fan of „Latin-core“ as it’s called sometimes, innovative and alternative club music, Latin American music, music that is „hard“ or a music you can dance to, you will be certainly pleased and will enjoy the first compilation by Rebote.
„Also super grateful to the artists who participated by contributing their tracks, accompanying the whole process, and sharing and spreading the album. They are people that we had been following a while ago and that inspired us to put together this compilation, and even though several are in other countries, with this move everything feels closer. Many of them are also friends, so happy to be able to share a project with them. It generates a feeling of a beautiful community, and the truth is that there is nothing better than being close to or connected to the people who inspire and admire you,“ closes Nafftero.
Mantris Nikkita feat DJ Sustancia – „Castigo“ (video by Jaijiu & Nafftero)
I talked to Mantris Nikkita about her song “Castigo” (punishment) with DJ Sustancia. It came from the idea of another song, created one year ago. Mantris changed the lyrics, she didn’t want to sing on it this time, but use rap vocals more. Then she showed the song to her friend DJ Sustancia who immediately loved it and recorded her part at a home studio session with Mantris. They were creating the song with Nafftero and talked about BDSM and how it’s not a usual theme in the male-dominated reggaeton scene. They didn’t like the old machistic reggaeton lyrics and wanted to create a new narrative. Mantris Nikkita started in a synth-pop band, her influence was Depeche Mode, Suicide, Crystal Castles, as well as rap from Chile from 90’s where she grew up. During the pandemic, she created a 7-track project for Hiedrah Club de Baile and started producing in Ableton as well. I have already seen Mantris live and will be looking forward for more of her songs.