On His Debut Album ‘I Bleed for Me and Mine,’ A-rp Gives Techno a Fresh Face

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Mexico’s electronic scene is home a growing crop of talented producers, and a recent shift in the development of national talent is allowing some of the less commercial acts to break through. A-rp’s new album I Bleed For Me and Mine is the perfect example of the previously untapped potential brewing in CDMX’s complex and prolific electronic community. The LP was released on Ensamble, a hybrid netlabel and production company whose main focus is working with local talent and cultivate their careers sustainably. In I Bleed for Me and Mine, A-rp offers us a solid industrial techno album that exemplifies the evolution of the Mexican DIY ethos. The album is packed with eight powerful original tracks and six remixes from heavyhitters like Detroit techno legend DJ Stingray, Michna, Lavender, and Siete Catorce.

A-rp is Daniel Quintero (one-half of Convex Mirror). His style is stark and doesn’t conform to the traditional techno canon, but it has found its way to the fringe of that genre, grabbing influences from pop, darkwave, and noise. During the past year, Quintero has steadily gigged across Latin America and shared the stage with icons like DJ Stingray and NYC techno pioneer Adam-X (!). These performances have helped Quintero fine-tune his style and go bold on this album.

Opener “Yar” showcases A-rp’s penchant for percussive tension and short, dissonant melodic lines that meander through the course of each song. The title track captures the album’s most industrial, hard-hitting moments, and perfectly illustrates the musical direction he’s chosen to follow. “Perso” and “Lingua,” on the other hand, expand A-rp’s arsenal by showcasing his ability to create ambient compositions on an largely industrial album. Quintero’s strength is his use of hardware as both performative and songwriting tools. Through this practice, he has tapped into a well of unconventional sounds and timbres. It’s no coincidence that this album has come out so powerfully, and we hope that many will consider it one of the year’s strongest releases.

I Bleed for Me and Mine also features remixes from a group of both seasoned and new artists, reinterpretations that speak to the original material’s vitality and dynamism. The album title hints at Quintero’s loyalty and commitment, and his ability to marry songwriting with bleak dissonance is a much-needed intervention in the techno tradition.

I Bleed for Me and Mine is out now on Ensamble.