Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on October 2010
The worldwide appeal of dance music is such that, these days, we think nothing of a DJ coming from the opposite end of the earth to spin in Tokyo. Parties 4 Peace’s environmentally themed Patagonica contest, for example, flies the Japanese winner to Chile and the Chilean winner to Japan. It’s a long way to go, when you think about it, to spin records for a few hours.
This year’s champion, Rodrigo Laffertt, comes not from the capital Santiago but from the cold southern city of Concepcion, where he’s been lighting a fire under the feet of clubbers for over a decade. “We developed the first DJ scene with the most promising artists in Concepcion,” he writes by email. “For years, we were considered to be the second biggest scene in Chile after Santiago.”
Laffertt describes the Chilean dance music scene as being in a state of flux. “One of the most positive things taking place in Chile at the moment is the exponential increase in musicians and producers—I think the future is loaded with a lot of excellent artists,” he says. “On the other hand, unfortunately, we are a country that does not maintain massive public trust, [which would] allow us to hold the parties that could be held. And because of that, clubs and good parties are scarce.”
A listen to Laffertt’s latest Soundcloud upload reveals a floor-oriented house approach, with percussion and vocal samples hinting at his South American identity. “A hypnotic groove, charismatic rhythms and messages that fill listeners with emotion are three essential elements that make up each one of my tracks,” he writes, emphasizing that he uses only natural sounds in his compositions. “This was born from the need to integrate our own identity and Chilean folklore to renew the sound of house music. All of my tracks are stories, and they contain messages about the environment and preservation of our culture, roots, nature and love.”
In a string of Tokyo dates, Laffertt promises to deliver something new even for jaded Tokyo clubbers, like a fresh track, “Tropico de Cancer,” that features loops pulled from traditional Chilean songs of the ’70s. “Since I found out I won the Patagonica DJ contest, I haven’t been able to contain the excitement about going to Japan!” he writes. “I am planning to make a new show for Tokyo that will be done later in Chile, hoping to surprise everyone who joins us.”
Starting with a Halloween cruise around Tokyo Bay, Laffertt’s tour runs through Shibuya’s Microcosmos to a forest party in Minakami, Gunma. He then acts as a judge and closing artist for the Patagonica DJ Contest at Favela in Aoyama to select a Japanese winner to go to Chile, closing with an after-hours set at JAM in Omotesando.
Boat Halloween Cruise. House, techno: DJs Rodrigo Laffertt, Leon & Skinnipants, etc. Oct 30, 5:30pm departure, ¥6,000 (including after-party at Microcosmos). From Palette Town, Odaiba. www.parties4peace.com
Microcosmos Weekend Warriorz & Sexon Super Peace Presents: Bunny Hop Halloween Special.
House, tech house: DJs Rodrigo Laffertt, etc. Oct 30, from midnight, ¥2,500 w/1d. Shibuya. Tel: 03-5784-5496. www.microcosmos-tokyo.com
Patagonica DJ Contest After Party. DJs Rodrigo Laffertt, Patagonica DJ Contest winner, etc. Nov 7, 5-10am, free. Omotesando. Tel: 03-3486-3510. www.jam-renaissance.com