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.