BY ADRIAN MATA ANAYA
Genre-consuming breakcore albums often appear rife with disorganization. The increasing accessibility of musical production software often recruits new amateur artists that lack proper compositional skills. It is also possible that digital artists are more susceptible to the electronically-induced disorder Continuous Partial Attention (the degenerating capacity to multi-task on the computer over time). Rest assured, Armoniacida’s debut EP on Tropic-All, Amor, Palmeras, y Glitch (APyG), steers clear of digital life’s pitfalls to create an ehanced DJ set. Overall, APyG is a poignant statement on the re-consignment of vintage elements in the blogosphere’s saturated global music market.
Working with a modest-sized pool of strictly Latin American experimental electronic music to serve as reference points, APyG projects itself as Pepepe’s tropical sherbet nightmare. In actuality, the EP is a scientific experiment on how the digital reincarnation of Mexican tenor Pedro Vargas might endure tropical music patterns over time. While the first two tracks give the context on the artist’s sensibilities and present tropical influences surrounding the artist, "Amor Caribe" illustrates an artist voicing a sincere appreciation for Pedro Vargas, an icon from the first wave of tropical music in Mexico and an actor during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.
Once Vargas is introduced as a traditional aesthetic rather than as an artist, he is left vulnerable to an onslaught of recognizable genre elements (hip hop, African house, grime, tropical bass). As these cultural objects diversify and multiply, Vargas’s voice fades from a structural foundation in “Amor Carribe” to an undecipherable sample flossed between beats. APyG figuratively folds over its first half to stamp its own corrupted mirror image. The second and penultimate tracks feature the reverberating steel drums. While the former illuminates itself as an El Guincho remix, the latter is haunted by phantasmic witch house forces. Armoniacida hands Vargas to superfluous Internet cultures, resulting in threatening conclusions.
Armoniacida has produced a persuasive argument against the current process of modernizing music through tropicalism. While the artist openly welcomes a new period of global music, he does not make reference to alternative solutions; think minimalist compliment (Lucky Dragons' Norteñas EP) or transgressive companions (Los Macuanos' El Fin). As abrasive as this album might sound, Armoniacida constantly rewards listeners with timely build-ups, true mixing sensibilities, a deep knowledge of current ethno-musics, and mesmerizing, kaleidoscopic looping.