THE AMERICAS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Straddling the line be- tween the exploratory na- ture of club culture and the poetics of sound de- sign, Uruguayan DJ and producer Lechuga Zafi- ro, a.k.a. Pablo de Var- gas, seeks to express the nuances of Latin Ameri- can experience through his music. With a back- ground in experimental music and rhythms from the Southern hemisphere, de Vargas started produ- cing as Lechuga Zafiro in 2012. Influenced by the drums of the Afro-Uru- guayan candombe tradi- tion, Mexican tribal music, and Angolan-Portuguese kuduro rhythms, Zafiro first caught the attention of dancers and listeners with Sapo de Manga, re- leased in 2013 on Matias Aguayo’s Cómeme label.
In 2015, he released Aequs Nyama on Salvia- tek. The debut EP was a bold statement of acous- tic percussion combined with woozy synthetic ex- perimentalism, introdu- cing the world to Zafiro’s sound in its entirety and ensnaring the listener inside of its calculated pacing. This summer, he returned with Testigo, released on Mexican la- bel NAAFI. With a parti- cular emphasis on field recordings and textural elements, Zafiro crea- tes his own environment inside of the club, re- plete with metallic bird calls, rushing water, and rhythms that move through the tracks like a river. Aequs Nyama and Testigo have garnered support from the likes of Resident Advisor, Pitch- fork, The Guardian, FACT Magazine, and Björk. In addition to his pro- duction work as Lechu- ga Zafiro, de Vargas is also part of the group F5, along with the renowned C1080 candombe com- parsa. Creating an ani- mated dialogue between candombe drumming and electronic music, F5 has toured Colombia and performed at Po- land’s Unsound Festival, hosting workshops and performing live concerts in public theaters, the streets, and raves.
de Vargas’ musical expe- rience is hardly limited to production. An acc- laimed DJ with a playful disregard for genre con- sistency, Lechuga Zafiro showcases the intricate and the energetic within his sets, moving from bai- le funk to upbeat bass music to his own produc- tions with dexterity. He’s made mixes for platfor- ms like Mutek, i-D, and Noisey, and has toured as a DJ throughout Euro- pe and North and South America. Collaboration is also a key part of de Var- gas’ M.O. – he’s part of a South American network that includes Argentina’s Hiedrah Club de Baile, Chile’s Imaabs, Mexico’s Club Viral and NAAFI, and Brazil’s Pininga, with the goal of making events, releases, and press pos- sible for artists across the continent.