As any long-time Club Fonograma reader has figured out by now, one of the quickest ways into our heart is by throwing in some disco strings into any given song (and if you’re in need of more proof, I would recommend going back through our Top Songs of 2010 playlist). So imagine the happy surprise of hearing some disco string action kicking off the debut album from Latin American techno’s latest wunderkind, Ernesto Ferrerya. This Argentina-born DJ cut his chops by working virtually every major scarcely-lit club in Mexico, before drawing greater attention, and a record deal, thriving in Montreal’s ultra-competitive electronic scene. And indeed, El Paraíso de las Tortugas filters the wide range of electronic sounds across the American continent: Cuban rhythms, French Canadien rave signifiers, Mexican proto-ruidoson, Detroit house; all coming together in a wonderful set of upbeat minimal techno.
If album opener, “Mil Y Una Noches” (aka the one with the disco strings), lets a little sun into the typically dusk world of minimal, follower "Los Domingos Vuelo A Casa" throws some sand and aged rum into the mix. It’s a pungent one-two punch, and shows the array of sounds that Ferrerya is keen to experiment with. There are noticeable other peaks throughout the album, from the frothy “Lost,” with its liquid bass line, skittery percussion, and rave aesthetic, to the delectable “Letting Go” (which is pretty much what María y José would sound like if Antonio Jimenez ever had a budget). It’s also satisfying to report that Ferrerya saves the greatest fireworks for the final track, “El Comienzo De Todo Los Demas,” a disco burner stacked with overwhelming synths and lightly-frosted drumming which could have only been made by someone who’s absorbed as much latitude as he has.
Granted, there are still some slip-ups, a few tracks eventually dissolve into “Techno 201” bits of pointless monotony, but on the whole there’s much to admire and take in. If this debut album is any indication, Ferrerya’s career is definitely something to keep an eye on. Hey, as long as he keeps those disco strings coming, we’ll definitely be listening.