Hiedrah Flips a Manifesto by Queer Chilean Poet Pedro Lemebel Into a Potent Rave Track

Lead Photo: Courtesy of Hiedrah
Courtesy of Hiedrah
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An operatic warble and guttural Gregorian moan cut through industrial machinery, manipulated siren effects, and distortion. Producer Braian’s latest track for Buenos Aires collective Hiedrah, “Bailo x Mi Diferencia,” is apt for the occupation of a rave’s dark corner around 4 a.m. But there’s more to it than nocturnal beat, says the producer: “With this piece I tried to transfer the potent words of the manifesto “Hablo Por Mi Diferencia” by Pedro Lemebel with hardened sounds that add and combine with each other, generating the same sensation and emotion as reading the text.”

Chilean poet and queer activist Lemebel, who died in 2015, advocated for differences to be honored even among those who fight for social justice — intersectionality, in today’s language. For Lemebel, this took the form of clapping back against radical Chileans who derided the queer and the feminine as bourgeois fetish in a time of class struggle. The original reading of his manifesto “Hablo Por Mi Diferencia” was delivered to a meeting of leftists, Lemebel dressed in high heels, his face made up with a Communist hammer and sickle design.

It’s a lot to fit into a club track, but depth is what we’ve come to rely on from Hiedrah’s producers. The Buenos Aires collective is known for its street parties that take on President Macri’s oppressive administration and their all-night dance floors have grown exponentially over the past few years, a signal that young Argentines are not in a moment to leave their activism at the door of the club.

“This path was possible thanks to everything I have learned (and keep learning) in Hiedrah,” says Braian. “The quest to discomfort the other, to play with those differences to strengthen ourselves, so that my body can be a channel of communication with others through movement.”

Listen to our premiere of “Bailo x Mi Diferencia” above.