Argentina’s Fértil Discos imprint is becoming one of the most vital electronic labels in the Latin American underground, thanks to their work with artists who unite current production techniques and instruments with ancestral and folk sounds. Far from being an exercise in modernizing ancient sounds, the label is defining the way identity is formed in the age of the internet.
Their new double compilation Electrónica Orgánica exemplifies this mission well. Following the line of previous compilations and releases from artists on their label, such as Pol Nada and San Ignacio, it features electronic producers traversing Central and South America’s vast treasure trove of sounds and instruments. Electrónica Orgánica is divided into two parts, labeled “día” and “noche” for premium mood selection – but we encourage you to press play and let both records run for the full, immersive experience.
Día is gentle in its presentation, built for the ultimate chill – a sunrise or sunset soundtrack as heat rises or disperses, light suspended as time trickles down. Dream Unit opens the proceedings with “La Hierba,” a verdant, narrated ditty that marries the ancient with the current in a shroud of minimalism. Elsewhere, Jin Yerei’s “Tejido” features synths, woodwind instruments, and electric guitars, while the new-agey “Manos” by Mente Orgánica centers strumming and melodic vocals. Glitchy minimalism reigns on Paisandoom’s “Periferia,” while flutes flutter over a four-on-the-floor rhythm in El Remolón’s “Epiko.”
The second disc may be titled Noche, but it is far from moody or scary; instead, it evokes a warm and calm sort of night, where discerning specters from visions in the darkness offer peculiar comfort. The rhythms evolve with density, as heard on El Remolón and Pol Nada’s joint track “Animal Estrella,” grounded by earthy and tenebrous vocals. “Fireflies” by Helu Cze is busy and percussive, full of chirps and high-pitched, plucked melodies. Dub-like ambiences abound on Barda’s “Orobón,” as insistent rhythms built throughout the cut set the mood for most of the later tracks.
Ultimately, what unites these artists is their desire to take folkloric sounds and recontextualize them – without disrespecting their roots. As internet-fueled globalization continues to blur borders and reignite our connection with ancestral music traditions, recognizing historical context and origin stories remains more important than ever. This generation of Latin American musicians is incorporating different elements from the past and present not just to pioneer new sounds, but to reflect themselves in this century. As the two-disc Electrónica Orgánica compilation proves, these identities will continue to defy location, offering us new, comprehensive ways of representing ourselves and telling our stories.