Sonidos extracts a substantial sample bank from “home recordings of birds, crickets, rivers…and Amazonic sounds,” but perhaps most essentially draws from icaros, hymns sung during ayahuasca and plant medicine ceremonies. Each track on Sonidos attempts to merge with natural elements that existed far before humans or Ableton, something that’s especially evident in the way the tracks approximate natural rhythms and sounds.
Medellín’s BeatFunk plays out original bird recordings before working in their electronically-simulated counterpoints on “Pajaros,” while Rosario’s DJ Karen delivers the most uptempo selection of the bunch with “Hortela y Abacaxi,” which teeters on minimal house. Róo Magdalena-traveling producer Cero 39’s “Suamox” is a pacifying, jazz selvática track, while label boss El Remolón makes it easy to imagine oneself led into medicine ceremony on “Hoasca,” surrounded by chakapa-led rhythms.
With 16 tracks selected from more than 40 submissions, the compilation sometimes meanders, but perhaps that’s the intention. Sonidos represents a side of the LatAm electronic music vanguard with little regard for the club, a reminder of the close connection (and sometimes clash) between the urban and rural, the industrial and natural, and the indigenous and diasporic experiences that so much of Latin America embodies.