Argentinian act Anti Yo is almost an ideal flag-bearer for the current wave of South American body music projects, both in terms of the breadth of sounds explored in their work, and the rough DIY aesthetic that gives their productions grit and muscle. Like late 2021’s La Formula, new mini-album Contrato Basura finds Demián Visgarra drawing from 90s dark electro, adding a smoky and obscure angle to their cagey sound.
“Bienvenido el sol” is perhaps the purest expression of how that dark electro sound is integrated vis-a-vis purer strains of EBM; combining delayed and reverbed vocals a-la-Ivens with clanging percussion and rubbery analogue bass, the track has a fluidity that belies its rock solid rhythm programming. There’s just something slippery and hard to grasp about how the droning pads and hypnotic synth sequences interact, never straying far from their place in the mix but interacting to cover one another’s entrances and exits. It’s a trick that is applied equally well on “Me persigue un psicologo”, whose wormy bassline, and rapidly sequenced lead beeps stay in lockstep without losing their elasticity or shape.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Visgarra exercises some much dryer styles that act as contrasting elements across the five tracks. “LFO al sample” is a straight bit of robotic funk, albeit with component sounds distorted to sand paper dry consistency, scraping their way across a vocoded vocal sample that sounds positively smooth by comparison. “Numero de casos” starts slightly more atmospheric, but soon is soon injected with a synthline that dominates the track with its filtered and flanged noise, running roughshod over the song’s vocal samples and gothic organ touches.
Admittedly, the nuances of Contrato Basura can be hard to pick out on a given listen; its balance of oblique and aggressive construction makes it hard to pick out exactly what Anti Yo is putting down on any given song. As befits a release this raw, there’s a blithe disregard for whether the listener can keep hold, or will be shaken free before its brief 20 minutes are up.