Hiedrah’s New Club Pack Reimagines Tego Calderon and Tommy Lee Tracks Into Potent Afro Bass

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Buenos Aires club collective Hiedrah continues to rev its engine in anticipation of its first compilation, to be released in the group’s third year of existence. Today they’re teasing us with a pack of two tracks from one of their resident DJs Desdel Barro (aka Nahuel Veksler), a Patagonian transplant to the Argentine capital. The tracks highlight the crew’s fixation on the body’s relationship with rhythm.

“En Lo Oscuro” spins a complex Afro bass club structure off of Tego Calderon and Plan B’s “Pegadito a la Pared.” “I always felt like [Calderon’s] track had it, but it was also missing something,” says Veksler. “Sticking my hand in it was about evolving it towards Afro bass, making it more vertiginosa and potent, or at least trying to.”

On “Mecánico,” Desdel Barro accelerates the grind on Tommy Lee’s staccato 2012 track “Pussy Mechanic.” “In that case, I tried to [situate] or visualize myself in a more intimate kind of celebration,” the producer says. “Sensual and sweaty, with undulating, winding movements.”

Count that ecstatic flow as characteristic of Hiedrah’s clubland. The group is building a reputation for itself through key alliances with collectives across Latin America, but also through local nightlife activism under conservative President Macri, uniting with other groups to protest regressive governmental policies towards venues and bars.

The explicit ways in which the group crosses culture with politics leads its adherents to describe its events in philosophical terms. “Hiedrah is more like an experience or a celebration than a party,” opines Desdel Barro. “It works with other logic. Before I was a DJ, I attended the parties as a fan and I always felt a particular dynamic and vibe of liberty and empathy. People go to dance, with everything that signifies.”