Mendoza, Argentina is a city known more for its vineyards than for its club culture, but the city is steadily sprouting a new scene of its own. From its musical terroir near the Andes, a handful of enterprising artists from Mendoza are offering a gritty contrast to the dazzling sheen of Buenos Aires’ massive nightclubs and the country’s growing festival circuit.
Argentinian musician and producer The Chica is a prime example of an artist working along this stylistic periphery. Her debut release Soy Fan on Dengue Dancing Records forgoes pristine refinements in exchange for radiated drum machine grooves and echoing, mantric vocals. Tracks like the floor-ready “Eso Que Tenes” and foggy “Precioso” lean lo-fi techno, while “Mas Quiero” and “Invasion” lie between synthpop and new wave, with chilly synth stabs glazing formidable kick drums.
A self-taught producer, The Chica says that for her next album she’s developed a sharper sense for musical particulars, employing more analog instrumentation. “Something nostalgic about the first album is that everything came out so raw and simple. After some time, the ear begins to seek details, and that’s when the perfectionism comes in.”
In regards to Latin American identity, The Chica says that the cultural influence is more essential than obvious. “It’s difficult to describe and perceive, really I can’t explain what it is. It’s like an identification, something that you know is yours, and of your place, of your people, your records. It’s like a personality behind the music that speaks to everyone and that we all feel when we’re dancing.”
For Discobres Mix 004, The Chica dives into a selection of crunchy techno, tripping electro, and cosmic house that could equally energize and contort any adventurous dance floor.