If you’ve been following our Heterotopia and Heterotopia Remixes series, you’ll have known that we planned on releasing a third volume of remixes featuring a host of our favorite artists, both from the original release and from other spheres. For various reasons, that volume didn’t come together in a timely fashion, but several tracks were made and several others might appear in the future. Imaabs’ clubby take on Arkitect’s “Foucault’s Dream” was one of the tracks that did come into fruition and after a little mastering work, it’s more than ready for public consumption. On top of that, Imaabs just embarked on a huge world tour, hitting dates across South America, North America and Europe. As one of the original Heterotopia artists and a long time friend and ally of the site, it’s a real pleasure to see this tour come together and for his name to spread across the world. Enjoy this free download of Imaabs’ club opus of a remix and be sure to catch him in your city over these next few months.
Last week, The FADER premiered Imaabs‘ “Voy”, the opening cut from Chilean producer Imaabs’ Distancia EP, out April 27 via NAAFI. Having played NAAFI’s inaugural New Years party/mini festival and been generally ingratiated into the Mexico City-based crew, Distancia comes as no surprise and comes off as a perfect fit for both parties. Today we’ve got “Densidad Cero”, another standout from Distancia that continues Imaabs’ reign as king of the paranoiac club. Unsettling in nature, Imaabs’ music is as mesmerizing as it is jarring and “Densidad Cero” epitomizes that approach flawlessly as a sleepy melody underscores driving, snare-filled percussion that really never ceases. It’s an aesthetic that we’ve come to recognize and love and while it has become more popular among the Soundcloud set, Imaabs’ work is unmatched in its singular vision, again making him a perfect fit for the trailblazing NAAFI squad. Distancia is out next Tuesday (4/27) and can pre-ordered here via iTunes.
After teasing out remixes for the past two weeks, it’s our pleasure to announce that Heterotopia Remixes Vol. 1 is now available for free download (or pay what you want) at The Astral Plane Bandcamp. Remixes from Druid Cloak, Iglooghost, Sharp Veins, Patrick Brian, Fraxinus, She’s Drunk and Chants feature and we couldn’t be happier with the imaginative way each respective artist flipped a track from the original Heterotopia. Check out Druid Cloak and Patrick Brian’s reworks, the only two that have not been revealed to date, after the jump.
Luckily, this is only the first volume of remixes we have for you and Vol. 2, slated for an early March release, will feature a tantalizing array of our favorite producers! A lot of words have been spilt by us on these remixes so far and now that release date has come we can’t wait to let the sounds percolate through to all of you.
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.
Trax Couture has emerged as one of the finest curators of club material over the past year and its latest endeavor, the outward-focused World Series, has only solidified that status. Over the next 11 months (World Series Vol. 1 came from Trax Couture resident/label head Rushmore himself and was released earlier this month), 11 artists from all over the world will be featured in the World Series, their music released on a 3D printed, hand painted USB, as well as a limited edition, three part vinyl series. In a fitting progression, World Series Vol. 2 comes from another Astral Plane fave, tireless Chilean producer Imaabs (both have tracks on our own Heterotopia compilation!), and features a rash of brazen, analogue-sounding club material. The EP doesn’t re-write the handbook Imaabs has been refining since the release of the Baroque EP (out on Diamante) last November, but it does represent a rare diligence that manifests itself in his ability to match disparate elements, the bare kick drum triplets and the raunchy staccato hook are both part of important, organic traditions on both sides of the Atlantic, in a manner that is at once natural and progressive. On Vol. 2 highlight “Grafito”, Imaabs marries dark, warehouse-driven UK techno with Jersey club, with a verve not all that dissimilar to way in which Pearson Sound, Objekt, Peverelist and others mutated dubstep in the mid-2000s. Gaunt and percussive in nature, the track is as close to straightforward techno as the Santiago-based producer has come, but I wouldn’t expect the mans to crossover into the world of purists any time soon. World Series Vol. 2 is out November 28 (this Friday) exclusively at the Trax Couture store.
Release day is always a bit bittersweet, because, despite all the dithering and busy work that goes into releasing music, it means that the process is almost over. That being said, Heterotopia has been a passion project of ours for quite some time now and it’s with great, treacly pleasure that we finally get to unleash it on all of you. Heterotopia is inspired by Michel Foucault’s essay of the same, but not to the extent that the compilation is imprisoned within the French philosopher’s admittedly problematic framework. The tape is positioned to guide the listener into an alternate reality, not in the science fiction sense, but in the liminal, distinctly body-oriented manner of the club-verse. It was our intention to gather a group of transcendent, progressive musicians and the artists who participated in the project took the conceptual framework to heart and drafted 12 polyglot heat rocks that have continued to defy our expectations on nearly every listen. This sort of language is hyperbolic, but for those of us who take pleasure in the expectation, aftermath and release of the club context, this topic truly is important. Heterotopia is a free release, but if you do happen to have a few spare dollars to spend on otherworldly club constructions in your monthly budget, it would always be appreciated. And while this is release day, Heterotopia will continue as a project of ours in the coming weeks and months. Expect more soon on that front and enjoy.
There are also, probably in every culture, in every civilization, real places–places that do exist and that are formed in the very founding of society–which are something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted.
– Michel Foucault
You’ve already heard two songs from Heterotopia and with the tape set to hit the web tomorrow, it’s time to give a little love to the full experience. Watch this space and this space tomorrow and enjoy. Huge shout to Arkitect, Kid Antoine, Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf, Air Max ’97, Victoria Kim, Imaabs, Rushmore, Divoli S’vere, Mike G, Celestial Trax, Riley Lake and Iglooghost for turning in exceptionally creative tracks. And Jesse Treece for fashioning the poignant visual side of Heterotopia. Made this process far easier than it should have been.
Last 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.
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.
Last November, Santiago, Chile-based producer Imaabs released the Baroque EP on Diamante Records, a dusty, stomping affair that ended up as one of the most striking club music releases of the year. One of the southernmost pioneers of ballroom, Jersey club and ghetto house, Imaabs (born Cristo Gavras) has released several unremitting releases to date, simmering the previously mentioned regional sounds into their most bare-bone incarnations. He’s also managed to draw in some formidable remixers/support with MikeQ and Distal both contributing reworks to Baroque. “Analogic Idyll” exemplifies Gavras’ less-is-more attitude, focusing almost entirely on an obliterating kick and the always affecting “whoop” sample so common in ballroom. Utilizing such a small sound palette, it’s Imaabs’ proficiency with classic drum machine sounds that makes him such an effective producer.