Tag Archives: Diamante


Part of a small, but strong, contingent of producers coming out of Chile who prefer to flout their home nation’s house and techno hegemony, Tomás Urquieta has been an Astral Plane favorite for years now, initially entering our radar via a series of Jam City remixes (in collaboration with Imaabs) and continuing on through releases for Diamante and, most recently, Infinite Machine. With reference points in populist noise acts like Sunn O))) and Wolf Eyes, Urquieta’s work is often brutal in its use of metallic sounds, but rarely aimed completely away from the dancefloor. First on the Ignea EP and, in 2015, on the Manuscript EP, Urquieta infused breakbeats, detuned square waves and rough hewn, field recorded percussion. Ignea in particular was inspired by Urquieta’s industrial surroundings in Santiago (where he was living at the time), but it’s actually quite a fun record, trending less towards face-less noise and more towards visceral, banging peak time numbers that sound right at home more dancefloor-centric work from artists in the NAAFI, Janus, Príncipe Discos, etc. world.

With tracks that have been featured in Astral Plane mixes for years it only made sense to bring on Urquieta for one of his own and the result doesn’t disappoint in the least, a canon-driven effort that drives through a few of the major hits of 2015 (“Paleta”, “9th Ritual”, etc.) before settling in a groove around several Manuscript highlights. Rarely sitting in one groove for too long, the mix is full of brooding, kinetic energy found through Urquieta’s past work and with a few detours into ecstatic vocal work. Its cohesion shows a deep aesthetic kinship between Urquieta and the artists he chooses to work and be associated with, meaning an ear for rhythm and an unwillingness to conform to melodic or structural sonic norms. Check out Urquieta’s Astral Plane mix below and grab Manuscript here.

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Over the course of the past twelve months, the trans-continental South/Central American dance scene seemed to grow in both confidence in recognition as producers from Chile to Mexico flexed their various reinterpretations of folks musics and dance forms. Moreso, artists like Lao and Paul Marmota, Tomas Urquieta and Imaabs transgressed the traditional world of house and techno, drafting up wildly creative takes on dance music that subverted the hegemonic, often racially inferred physical and technological spaces in their respective cities of Santiago and Mexico City. We snagged Imaabs to lay out his favorite releases of the year, drawing source material from Chilean, Mexican, American and British producers. Enjoy and excuse the language barrier!

A selection is always a constellation, each track has to be able to open dimensions, generating movement, shouts, expressions, the body into a future, that does not subtract and multiply , but rather becomes intense; several of these tracks are instrumental, very percussive, others have voices that produce some recognition, voice, usually on a track is a face in which we identify.

This selection of the 10 most important tracks for me in 2014 focuses on links that open. For example, Rushmore’s “Bitch Please” has been apex at parties I played in Chile and Mexico; Marmota with “Malianteo” reopens a recognition territory between Chile, the apocalyptic vibes and Latin America ; the masterpiece called “Black Jesus” of Vaskular & Valesushi, two Chilean friends, thrill mixed with a Latin-Dembow dimension with Deep House vibes. Meanwhile, Kid Antoine is very European, but an expert in a post-apocalyptic latin dimension and that reminds me of Marmota´s Nueva EP (out now on NAAFI), resonating in such extreme places as Mexico and Denmark.

With transformations in mind, a song from the last quarter is “How About” of Dinamarca x Zutzut, Kassandra’s soft voice resonates much to the work of Kelela, but achieves a density and quite distinct flavor. Tomás Urquieta, my fellow battles, built one of the most consistent Eps I’ve managed to hear in this last year, beyond thinking about the Club, this EP is out of it, or at its limit; Somebody called it a kind of Post-club. Future Brown, opens a window and a way of doing pop, thinking of the club, and this track, Wanna Party, is but a manifesto of those osmosis. Another track that impressed me was the 2014, is the remix by Cyphr to “Moments XTC” of Zutzut and Lao (Extasis/Her), and the original track had struck me, but when he left the remix… I Said: amazing.

Inevitably you can not do a review of 2014 without mentioning Neana; means most of the old continent as USA, considered him as someone to must be listened to; the consistency is not enough, and successes are needed hits to the expected visibility and consolidation; the remix he makes to SPF666 is required in any dj set. Finally another great Latin American producer going to have to talk this 2015, what impresses me greatly is the expertise that takes into percussions, I think unusual and very unlike anything that has been done regarding club music.

imaabsLast week, we brought you Imaabs and Tomas Urquieta’s Jam City Reworks project, a two track effort that sees the two Chilean producers take on signature tracks from the Night Slugs representative. The tracks fall somewhere in the nether region where ballroom, Jersey club and grime meet, distinguished by their raw sonics and non-linear rhythmic patterns. These characteristics put Imaabs and Urquieta in the same realm as the Her Records folk and Gang Fatale crew, despite living thousands of miles from the sound’s epicenter on America’s East Coast and London. It’s easy to get caught up in the fantastical idea that producers from outside of the Anglo/Euro world belong in an entirely different category than those who reside within Europe/America/Australia, but this stratification is rarely useful and often results in a regressive, bifurcated classification system. The fact that Imaabs and Urquieta are from Chile should be noted, but it shouldn’t define the artists involved.

That being said, artists who reside outside of dance music’s core can and do offer a different perspective on both production and consumption methods. After hearing Imaabs ingest and rearrange ballroom on his Baroque EP and various one-offs, we asked him to contribute to our guest mix series and he came up with the brilliant idea of highlighting the work of South American and Mexican producers. The following hour and ten minute mix both draws parallels and points out the contrasts between the work of Santiago’s Alpha Stronggah, Urquieta and others along with Astral Plane favorites Rushmore, Neana and Piri Piri. It’s both seamless and discombobulated; an impossibly smooth production that still manages to knock this listener off his feet with every subsequent listen. There are hints of kuduro, zouk and other Caribbean/West African styles, but the majority of the mix falls into the aforementioned ballroom/club/grime amalgam. Moving past geography, Imaabs points out a number of wildly talented producers (Paul Marmota, Inti Kunza) and previews a few special new collaborations. Track list after the jump.


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Last year, Chilean producer Imaabs released the Baroque EP on Diamante Records, replete with a remix package that included ballroom kingpin MikeQ and Atlanta bass specialist Distal. It was the eighth release on Diamante, but easily garnered the most attention from American and European dance music fans alike (the label has also released music from Daniel Klauser, Hood Dreams and others). The label filters sounds from America’s East Coast, namely club and ballroom, and the UK into unruly, ill-tempered dancefloor bombs that rarely conform to the strictures of traditional dance music. While Tomas Urquieta does not have an official release on Diamante yet, he is a key member of the Chilean scene and has made a name for himself through an impressive array of remixes that touch on grime as much as they do the breakbeat crunch of Bmore.

Jam City remixes aren’t a new phenomenon by any means, but it’s still rare to come across reworks that disorganize and subsequently re-orient the original. Imaabs and Urquieta have done just that in their fresh-off-the-press Jam City Reworks EP, a two track affair that sees the former take on Club Constructions Vol. 6 track “500 Years” and the latter give his hand to Classical Curves standout “How We Relate To The Body”. The Chilean duo were kind enough to allow us to host the reworks and, to be honest with you, it’s an honor to work alongside such talented and earnest musicians. Download both reworks individually below or grab both in a zip file here.