Global music column – May

Place: Ecuador

While most would name Colombia as the home of South America’s forward-thinking club scene, neighbouring Ecuador has quietly been carving out its own dancefloor identity in recent years. The country has produced breakout talents such as DJ Nicola Cruz and home-grown labels like ZZK and Wonderwheel Recordings, operating under the social restrictions of a largely Catholic state and in the midst of devastating austerity measures. Most of its key players reside in Quito, and bring together a community at the capital’s inclusive nights, including Cruz’s La Sagraria.

Often marked by downtempo, undulating house rhythms and samples of Andean pan flutes and instruments such as the lute-like charango, their output is organic-sounding. Yet Place: Ecuador, a new charity compilation, showcases a grittier and more kinetic side to the scene. It’s the fourth release in New York label Air Texture’s location-specific charity series (previous editions have covered Georgia, Colombia and the Netherlands), benefiting the indigenous Waorani people’s legal battles against the Ecuadorian government’s sale of their land for mineral rights.

Read the review in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 08/05/20]