015 - Chancha Via Circuito

In 2010 Todd Burns wrote a review for RA about a record called ‘Rio Arriba’ - even now I distinctly remember seeing the beautiful & striking cover art of Paula Duro and being drawn in by the foreign titles and imagery. I needed to hear this record. However it was only available in Argentina at the time and Burns' challenge to readers to figure out a way to listen only piqued my intrigue.

I worked out a way and within the very first 30 second of that record, the jarring percussion of ‘Cumbion de las Aves', I knew I had found something special. And it is a special record, but more than that, for me this record marked a shift in the way I approached sourcing new listening material from then on, opening up a new musical culture and a desire to cast the net further afield. It truly changed the way I listen to music.

I am therefore honoured and humbled to present our latest contributor, the incredible talent of Pedro Canale, aka Chancha Via Circuito. On his glorious Métron Musik Mixtape he has compiled a collection of tracks that are extremely special to him, showing his influences to extend far beyond the mountains of his native Buenos Airies. There are some surprising selections along the way but it never strays too far from an emotional and sonic core that feels very much aligned to the Argentine producers aesthetics.

‘Amansara’, his latest LP and third full length for the fantastic Argentine label ZZK Records, was one of my favourite records of 2015. The much anticipated follow up to 'Rio Arriba’ develops Chancha’s now signature sound and takes it to new heights. His collaboration with the amazing Lido Pimiento on ‘Jardines’ is one of my all time favourite tracks and an absolute triumph of creativity. I highly recommend exploring the Chancha Via Circuito discography from top to bottom.

I spoke with Pedro about his latest LP and his influence on the burgeoning musical movement he has helped bring to a wider audience.

JH: Hey Pedro, well firstly I should start by mentioning that you’re something of a musical hero of mine, and from talking with some of our other South American contributors, this appears to be true for a lot of people. Being held in such high regard among your peers and having influenced a lot of producers and artists in the area and beyond, I’m curious as to whether you see yourself as an important figure in the evolution and exposure of modern Latin American music?

PC: I know that the music I made has influenced many young producers and I like that. It helped open the door for other artists and increased our opportunities, but I don’t think about it too much. I see the whole puzzle, where I am only a little piece.

JH: The ’scene' seems to be growing all the time, especially the digital cumbia/tropical bass movement, and it has certainly begun to gain a little traction in Europe. How has it changed in the years since you started playing?

PC: Yes, fortunately it has changed a lot. Now we have more opportunities in the musical market, like touring around all over the globe under better conditions and playing bigger and better parties. There’s a greater interest in that sound today.

JH: There’s a fair amount of European music in the mix you created for us, I’m curious as to where your inspiration comes from?

PC: It´s because the inspiration comes from everywhere. I love the music that makes you feel something special, and it can be from any country or region.

JH: You’re latest release 'Amansará' is a beautiful record, I absolutely love it. It looks incredible too. As somebody who designs record sleeves for a living it’s something I really notice, and I love the work of Paula Duró. Can you tell me a little bit about how that relationship came about - it seems like such a perfect match?

PC: Paula invited me to play some music at one of her exhibitions seven years ago. That's where I first saw the "Kilómetro Cero" painting, and I fell in love wit it. Instantly I asked her if I could use it as a cover of my upcoming album "Rio Arriba" and she happily agreed. The same happened with ‘Semillas' EP and ‘Amansará'. I also admire her art so much.

JH: I was curious as to what, if anything, ‘Amansará’ means?

PC: Amansará comes from the verb "amansar" that means to tame or calm down animals. I like the idea of music that has the power to calm our own animal side.

JH: Are you working on new material, is there a follow up to Amansara planned?

PC: I´m slowly starting with a new album, but only a few demos for now.

JH: Finally, can you recommend a few records, new or old, that we might have missed?

PC: Helado Negro - Canta Lechuza
Carlé Costa - Guitarra elemental
El Búho - Y
Kasai All Stars - Beware the fetish
Nicola Cruz - Prender el alma
Tremor - Proa
José Gonzales - Vestiges and claws
EVHA - El viejo hombre de los andes

JH: Thank you so much for agreeing to talk with us and for curating a beautiful musical journey.

PC: Thanks to you my friend.

Frygtloes - Samsara
Andrés Oddone - Moonshake
Long Arm - Sleepsafe
Chancha Via Circuito - Sueño en Paraguay (Psilosamples remix)
History of Colour - History of Colour
Chassol - Dosidomifa
Orquesta - Un minuto (ft. Lido Pimienta)
Barrio Lindo - Yaguareté Abá
Forest Swords - Rattling cage
José Gonzalez - Vissel
Universildo - La noche mágica de Miles

Métron Records 2018. Hampshire, UK.