Discos Pato Carlos is a Santiago-based electronic music label founded by three national DJs of the local underground scene: Andrea Paz, Alejandro Paz and Diegors. More than just a platform for the promotion of their own music, the label serves the purpose of bringing up relatively unknown but nevertheless talented acts. Some of the previously groomed artists include Fredi Michel, Vicente Palma, and Guarjol. Each had an EP released by the label.
The most recent release is a 4-song EP that comes from The Chica, a cross-Andean transplant from Mendoza, Argentina. She is known in Santiago to play at the “Porno Party” nights along with another local DJ ROUS. In 2016 she had her first release, a 5-track EP, titled “Soy Fan” but with the label DDR. Her EP with Discos Pata Carlos is called “Paradancers” and was produced by Alejandro Paz and Diegors. It is 30 minutes of thumping late-night, dark dance music.
The first track is called Deseo (Desire) and is a slow driving, seductive, trance inducing jam. It’s the kind of song you hear in a dark discoteque, towards the end of the night. You can imagine everyone sweaty and swaying side to side. The beat simulates slow love making and it’s what I imagine the soundtrack to 80s gay porn might be like. I cannot be too off base given her association with the “Porno Nights” parties.
Next comes Venconmigo (Comewithme), which is faster and full of reverberating voices. I hear Yoshi jumping sounds, drawing out childhood memories of playing Super Mario World on Super Nintendo. As the song advances, a siren warns of something coming. Then we are hit with a hard and emphatic kick and snare combination. She whispers to us, in a hushed voice. Things go minimal for a moment until those Yoshi sounds come back and get warped and driven higher into a high pitched whistle. We are then greeted by an abrasive, steel bass: repetitive, building the tension. I feel a bit like I am walking through a haunted house while a detuned wobbly piano tells me ghosts are nearby.
Track 3 is Poesia del Flash (Flash Poetry) and it sounds like the EP’s s anthem. This probably explains why it was the song chosen for a music video. It features a strong house beat accompanied by what seems to the sounds of a spaceship starting up, like when the Millennium Falcon has trouble entering light speed in Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back. Then the toms of an 80s drum kit brings in the beat. In the music video we see The CHICA dancing in front of the camera intercut with images of a pink flower. At around four minutes, about the half-way mark, she is joined by others who dance in the dark between a cross and an armless roman statue.
La contraseña (The Password) closes out the EP and the lyrics relate the story of a fit of desperation for the password to something. Could it be to the Facebook account of a lover which The Chica demands in a fit of jealousy? Or maybe she just really wants to get on the Wifi at a friends house. Either way, she begs, repeatedly, for the password “so that she can know”. Know what exactly? We are not sure. Her refrain of Dame (give it to me) gives off an obsessive and seductive feeling.
Overall the EP is both hypnotic and disorienting, but in just the way you want dark electronic music to be. The minimal instrumentation — at many times just bass, kick, snare and voice — slowly draw us in, down the rabbit hole. We arrive to a swirling, twisted, haunted, industrial reality. At certain points you can feel the production of Alejandro Paz, for those familiar with the feel of his sets. At an average length of 8 minutes, these tracks are ready to be mixed into a DJ set. On a night out in Santiago and elsewhere, you may be hearing The Chica soon.