Common Ground

audiovisual group

The audiovisual group A+ performs at the Centro Cultural de España.

Though I tend to dislike genre titles, the two worlds of experimental music and dance music seem distant here in Santiago—either tucked away in the abstractions of sound design, noise music, and multimedia journeys, or revelled in the unrelenting pulse of nightlife on crowded dance floors and in early morning after-hours parties. I’ve taken some time in the last few weeks to speak with several artists who are actively bridging the accessibility and immediacy of dance music with the progressiveness and inventiveness of experimental.


White Sample demonstrating his modular synth setup. 

I’ve gotten to know White Sample, who records and performs with a custom modular synth setup, and 49 hrtz, who produces hazy electronica and bristly techno jams with a tinge of classic Detroit acid. I also met with Pablo Salas of No Problema Tapes, to chat about his independent record label releasing limited editions of electronica on cassette.

No Problema Tapes

The lineup of No Problema Tapes’ catalog of cassettes.

A common thread amongst these artists and others is that while they realistically accept Santiago’s limitations (audience sizes, price and availability of musical equipment, lack of venues and performance space), they remain committed to contributing to the spirit of the city’s electronic music culture and the stability of the country’s musical identity.

This past month, the Discobres website officially launched, with articles including our talks with producer Pier Bucci and non-profit producer Emilie McGlone. Recent publications include a conversation with composer and label owner Lars Graugaard, a review of the new ambient album and accompanying live performance by Frank Benkho, a review of a compilation of Latin American women working in electronic music, and a brief survey of Santiago’s reviving vinyl culture with insights from Needle Vinilos’ Francisco Martínez.

No Problema Tapes

A selection of national record labels at Needle Vinilos in Santiago Centro.

Graugaard (aka Lars from Mars) also contributed a track exclusive to Discobres, created entirely in a music programming environment called Max/MSP:

I’m currently scheduling the first series of mixes and more exclusive tracks for Discobres, which will be online in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading!

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