by Miles Raymer
Over the past decade dance music has indulged in a wild spree of stylistic miscegenation, fueled in large part by the Internet--which has put the spotlight on regional styles that were rarely exported in the predigital days. While this movement has had the pleasant side effect of demolishing the clannish factionalism that typified the 90s, it's also spawned a lot of acts whose music isn't good for much more than a bit of genre trainspotting.
The music coming out of the Buenos Aires-based producers and DJs known collectively as the Zizek Urban Beats Club is delightfully difficult to parse--it's like trainspotting on a stretch of eight parallel tracks running simultaneous high-speed bullet trains during a fireworks display. There's a lot of cumbia--South America's answer to dancehall and reggaeton--but also generous helpings of techno, hip-hop, chiptune, baile funk, dub, grime, and dozens of other distinct styles. The group's devotion to experimentation tends to mean they're all floating in a dense mass of sound that's hard to peg as any extant genre, but if you absolutely must pigeonhole ZZK, I guess "lazer bass" would do--though even that catchall category can't quite contain them.
It's obviously much easier to grasp ZZK if you hear them, so here's an XLR8R podcast by Villa Diamante and some free tracks by Faun and Douster, all of which are head-spinning works of insane, funky genius.
Wednesday night Douster, Fauna, and El G will be bringing the Zizek experience to Sonotheque, and I can pretty much guarantee it to be a show people will be talking about months from now. I won't be one of them, as I'll be in Madison. Such is life.