Interview: Carisma, Synth-Heavy Bedlam [ARG]

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More than just another record label, Cómeme has made a name for itself as a hub that unites talent from around Latin America’s burgeoning electronic music scene. With acts like Argentina’s DJs Pareja and Chile’s Ana Helder, the Berlin-based imprint has consistently demonstrated that the most auspicious names in global dance music are not being brewed in the old continent, but rather, in the Americas.

Latest in the round-up is Buenos Aires-based duo Carisma. The boy-girl couple, comprised of Carolina Stegmayer and Ismael Pinkler, recently unveiled their Directamente EP, a six track collection that translates the infectious fervor of their native city’s underground club culture into 20+ minutes of synth-heavy, floor-banging bedlam. In a recent sit down with the Argentine duo, we got a chance to discuss their history, Buenos Aires’ nightlife, and their singular creative approach.

How did you guys end up playing together?

It happened about three years ago, when we started living together. Before that, Carolina Stegmayer played under the alias DJ Cheta and Ismael Pinkler made music on his own and in collaboration with other artists in Buenos Aires.

First we made music together, and then we started DJing, mixing the tracks that we were producing, while adding edits and classic tracks that we both liked, and also playing music by our friends.

And how did you meet the people at Cómeme?

We’ve known them for a while now, since before the label even existed! Before putting out our tracks on Cómeme, Ismael had mixed the album Super Vato by Rebolledo and Diegors’ Sacandose Uno.

How’s the electronic music scene in Buenos Aires?

Excellent, we like it better now than we did five years ago. Actually, there’s a lot of small scenes that intermesh and there’s lots of new people making parties.

We usually play at the Dengue Dancing, Fun Fun, and Pool Fiction parties, which are organized by various friends, and we believe they have the best DJs– and it’s also where people dance the most! There’s also all those DJs who organize their own parties, so there’s a great diversity of styles.

Where did you get the inspiration for your latest record?

Mostly from the music we listen to, things we see or think together, and from the desire to create our own climate on the dance-floor.

What does your recording studio look like? What sort of gear do you guys use?

We have different instruments that we record on the computer and then we modify and produce them. We have a setup that allows us to record improvisations with various instruments simultaneously, and then work on each sound individually. The instruments that we use the most are the Electribe MX1 from Korg, a very sharp Yamaha RX5, and a micromodular from Nord. All those instruments have a very raw sound, which you can do plenty with at the moment of recording. We also have a portastudio Tascan 424, a Bolsa Bass, an MFB-522, some pedals, a guitar, and the occasional borrowed instrument 🙂

What tracks are you currently spinning?

“Morboso” by Rous and “”Gasoline” by Ana Helder; both are on the mix.

And lastly, why Carisma?

Caro + Isma = Carisma <3

You can get a taste of their latest sonic experiments through this extended mixed rendition of their EP, available directly on Cómeme’s Soundcloud page: