- Experimental club tracks infused with touching melody.
- Though it's three years old, Pablo De Vargas' Aequs Nyama EP still feels astonishing. The Uruguayan producer took a local style of drumming called candombe as a starting point and made writhing club music from ensemble performances and homemade instruments. Three years later with his debut on NAAFI, de Vargas's sound is more streamlined but still hits in unusual patterns. Testigo offers a sharper palette that elevates timbre and texture over rhythm, underpinned by emotional melodies.
"Pájacámara" and the musique concréte-style opener, "Ita," are feasts for ears. There's a vacuum-sealed feel to "Pájacámara," heard in its discrete drums and clipped gasps, as if de Vargas sucked all the oxygen out of the room. Every sound on the EP feels sharp, from close-mic'd drums to the watery sounds of "Agua y Puerta" to the tremor-inducing kick drums on "Sopo Diablo."
Water also features prominently, particularly on "Agua y Puerta" and "Corazón Negro del Río de la Plata," the latter named for the river that Uruguay's capital, Montevideo, sits on. The Río de la Plata has a sad history with the slave trade, but it's also the lifeblood of a large region that also includes Buenos Aires. Fellow experimental club producer MORO used the duality of the Río de la Plata as inspiration for another EP, San Benito, which reckoned with the river's violent history. Zafiro's take is more hopeful, particularly with the stirring melodies of "Corazón Negro," a lengthy track suffused with feeling and rich melody.
03. Agua Y Puerta
04. Sapo Diablo
05. Corazón Negro Del Río De La Plata