For the last couple of years, the Latin American electronic music scene has been dominated by incredible (and some not-so-incredible) fusions between established genres—like techno, house, and bass—and everything tropical. As great as this bonanza is, it’s nice to hear producers who’ve swum against the current and gone back to basics, delving into genres like experimental and glitch, which have been traditionally handled by European artists. This is why the Buenos Aires trio Programa is such a rare and great find.
The group—comprised of Pablo Bursztyn, Moreu Bucello, and Guido Flichman—recently released their second album, Amparo. This is a record full of minimal, shoegaze, experimental, and glitch tracks meant to create an atmosphere where you can do two things: go on an acid trip or contemplate (or both?). The nine-track record is full of dramatic compositions and some very good programming. They know how to fill up empty spaces with distorted guitars and low-frequency synth lines meant to be both hair raising and soothing.
There’s some dissonance between the elements they use in tracks like “Generalizador,” which could’ve benefitted from a vocalist trained to change registers as fast as the song requires. She does a lot better in “Insecto,” one of the best tracks on the record. A good chunk of the songs, like “Sagan” and “No me quiero defender,” are just beautiful compositions, ones that mix in organic elements like the piano and the violin, giving the tracks a more “human touch.”
Amparo is up on bandcamp as a free download, along with their first record, Cáscara, released in 2012. This one, coincidentally, has a couple of songs that mix glitch with cumbia, which is quite an interesting project all on its own.