Chile’s Baltazar Solar has shown he has a restless creative mind. Under the Alpha Stronggah moniker, he has released music spanning the most abstract and dense compositions, bright and club-ready tracks, and even folkloric pieces like his Serendipia EP, released as Zambo 1492. So, we’re always surprised by whatever new approach he takes.
For his latest EP, titled 2650 Club and released by Discos Pegaos, he shortened his alias to Alpha S and took yet another turn in sound and rhythm. This time around, he decided to experiment with Afro-Latino music from Santiago de Chile’s Recoleta, where immigrants from Colombia, Peru, Haiti, and more meet – and where he created the entire EP. Traces of regional genres like dembow and merengue can be found here, but never in their pure forms. Solar washes the EP in his signature unsettling moods, even at the most hard-hitting moments.
The elements here are scarce and often reverberate, giving the collection space to breathe. Opener “Velah” – a title linked to his Nuestroh EP – is a flavorful but somber clash between techno and Caribbean sounds. The sticky “Recoleta Sunshine” stretches until reaching kuduro and trap territories, and “Beijo” samples Brazilian batucada. “Matalpaco” is perhaps the one track that displays a direct dembow influence, sounding like a stripped-down NAAFI hit – in the best way possible.
Alpha S’ party is always a disconcerting one, and we’re lucky to be a part of it.