Drumming up fresh sounds

ramiro the drummer
At Pacha, veteran Argentine DJ Zuker performed a different kind of set to his usual house music: he teamed up with Johnny Foreigner’s favourite percussion band, La bomba de tiempo whose regular home is in Abasto, for a bit of an instrumental mash-up.

Zuker has always been a musician of the experimental variety, and in a similar vein, the organisers of multi-genre club night Hype are trying the combination for size.

Matt Ashley decided to set up his own weekly slot in December 2008 because he was fed up of hearing reggaetón and it simply wasn’t floating his boat. By getting a residence at Kika, it’s given him and his friends the liberty to play electro, rock, hip hop, drum ‘n bass and dubstep or whatever they damn well please, and he invited Argentine percussionist Ramiro Scalzi (photo) along for the ride.

Ashley is understandably looking forward to participating in this new one-off project. He says: “I’ve never had a percussionist play live during my set before. I’m really looking forward to it because it’s always nice to try something new and anything that blurs the line between musicians and DJs is a good thing. I’ve had to think differently about how I construct my set and I’m excited to see how it turns out. I believe it will take the party to a new level. People are going to love it.”

However, Mendoza province-born Scalzi is an old hand at mixing up percussion sounds with someone else’s electronic music
“I’ve been a percussionist for 15 years and lived in Cuba for five,” he says. “I went there to study what you could call a post-grad in music. I used to play latin jazz with all the old guys there, such as the pianist and composer Chucho Valdés. Imagine that!”
Having worked around the world, because as he says, “music and being a percussionist is in my blood!” Scalzi has worked on plenty of similar projects.

“I’ve recorded in Europe and Mexico and when I moved back to Argentina, one of the first mix-ups I did was with a trance DJ although it was a bit tricky making the combination work.”
Having never seen such a show before, it’s hard to visualise drums, cymbals or a triangle synchronising with a DJ.

Scalzi explains what’s in store for tonight: “I improvise and do that on top of the electronic music, thereby bringing people up for a bit. I’ll play for about 15 minutes, there’ll be dancers, and some of my drums will be lit up so the performance literally stands out. It has quite an impact.”


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