THE AMERICAS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Straddling the line between the exploratory nature of club culture and the poetics of sound design, Uruguayan DJ and producer Lechuga Zafiro, a.k.a. Pablo de Vargas, seeks to express the nuances of Latin American experience through his music. With a background in experimental music and rhythms from the Southern hemisphere, de Vargas started producing as Lechuga Zafiro in 2012. Influenced by the drums of the Afro-Uruguayan candombe tradition, Mexican tribal music, and Angolan-Portuguese kuduro rhythms, Zafiro first caught the attention of dancers and listeners with Sapo de Manga, released in 2013 on Matias Aguayo’s Cómeme label.
In 2015, he released Aequs Nyama on Salviatek. The debut EP was a bold statement of acoustic percussion combined with woozy synthetic experimentalism, introducing 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 label NAAFI. With a particular emphasis on field recordings and textural elements, Zafiro creates his own environment inside of the club, replete 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, Pitchfork, The Guardian, FACT Magazine, and Björk. In addition to his production work as Lechuga Zafiro, de Vargas is also part of the group F5, along with the renowned C1080 candombe comparsa. Creating an animated dialogue between candombe drumming and electronic music, F5 has toured Colombia and performed at Poland’s Unsound Festival, hosting workshops and performing live concerts in public theaters, the streets, and raves.
de Vargas’ musical experience is hardly limited to production. An acclaimed DJ with a playful disregard for genre consistency, Lechuga Zafiro showcases the intricate and the energetic within his sets, moving from baile funk to upbeat bass music to his own productions with dexterity. He’s made mixes for platforms like MUTEK, i-D, and Noisey, and has toured as a DJ throughout Europe and North and South America. Collaboration is also a key part of de Vargas’ 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 possible for artists across the continent.