If I were to describe my musical taste in a few words, be them elements or qualities that create and constitute my favourite kind of sound, I’d have to say: drums; rhythm; percussion (as much of it as possible); latin-ness; and bass. And so, it comes as no surprise that my streaming of El Plvybxy’s Abya Yala on Bandcamp is all run out, and there’s a good chance that a percentage of the thousands of plays of each of the EP’s tracks on Soundcloud are mine. Really.

Abya Yala is a documentation of El Plvybxy’s time traveling around Brazil’s Região dos Lagos and meditating on the natural paradises he witnessed. Upon returning to Buenos Aires, he honed in on studying his roots, bringing him to the pre-Colombian concept of the Earth, also known as the album’s namesake Abya Yala from Argentina’s Diaguita community.
*Text from the artist.

Gregorio Da Silva’s Argentinian and Brazilian roots really shine through in this 5-track EP, not only through the vast array of sounds and samples, consisting heavily of field recordings by the producer in Rio de Janeiro, but especially so in the percussive rhythms reminiscent of dembow and baile funk, with roots that run deeper.

Abya Yala opens with Febre, a track that really sets the tone for what can come to be expected from the release: layered percussive elements, bongo rhythms and a set of (appreciatively) heavy kicks. Although this may be the most ambientally-inclined track of the EP, the strings, pads and ethereal voices that come in to play introduce the transcendental tribal sound that is carried throughout the release – whether that’s (much) more, or (slightly) less, aggressively.

The following track (my personal favourite) Lazos is the epitome of everything I enjoy all mashed into one.

Only a second and the first tribal chant in to the track and you know something good is coming. It pretty much continues to feel that way for the entire track, which to summarise is a mad rhythmic-filled subidón (build-up) always at its height; though which weirdly feels like something even madder (if possible) is on its way; having you on a climatic edge (of your seat, feet, or whatever else you find yourself on) throughout. When Lazos finally does manage to come to a breakdown amongst the sirens, snares and sword slashes, the cuíca takes centre-stage and leads the track out in a bass-heavy cuíca-infused frenzy. Wonderful.

The final track Paraíso Entre Rocas is an amalgamation of everything heard in its predecessors, though, unlike them, it’s the only track on the EP to feature a vocalist. Among the introduction of short vocal samples you’d be used to hearing in some baile funk track by MC [insert diminutive or terrorist name here], the closing track features the voice of Buenos Aires-based Morita Vargas. Although somewhat incomprehensible (I can’t seem to make out a word of it, despite speaking Spanish and Portuguese), the vocal ties in with the very many other elements in the track, creating a feeling familiar to that of the tribal chants heard in Lazos, before weaving out and into a celestial synth.

The combination and diversity in the production of rhythms, synths and sounds make for a transcendental EP with a futurist tribal club sound that takes you on a journey, bringing you in with what feels like an ancestral rocket-launch (if that can be a thing) and sending you off into the sky with an airy synth at the end of Paraiso Entre Rocas. More importantly however, Abya Yala is a real testament to the magic of the re-appropriation of cultural sounds and what this can mean for club music.