Editor’s Note: This is the first post in a new series by Nick Bowman, a DJ and Radio Host from England.
You could be forgiven for thinking that nightlife in Medellín consists of bar hopping in Parque Lleras from reggaeton to salsa, salsa to vallenato, vallenato to bachata, bachata to cumbia etc, etc., blah blah blah.
Not that I have anything against the aforementioned genres, I like a lot of old salsa and appreciate elements of the others, but if we’re talking about going out and partying, they just don’t cut the mustard for me. Thankfully, those are not the only options.
Medellín has a thriving underground techno and house scene. It has been dubbed the techno capital of South America, and given the amount of events and international DJs playing in Medellín, it would be hard to argue with that.
In this first post, I will be looking at a recent event I attended, and following it up tomorrow with an interview with the promoter and DJ.
In future posts, I intend to talk about the clubs, bars, promoters, DJs and producers who makeup this vibrant movement.
I don’t intend to look at commercial electronic music, music from the likes of Steve Aoki, Avicii and David Guetta.
There is a commercial scene here as well, but it really isn’t my cup of tea, so I will leave that for someone else to look at.
I recently attended an event put on by Intelligent Division, the longest running techno collective in the city.
The invited DJs were techno heavyweights Drumcell and Audio Injection from Los Angeles. Two DJs with stellar reputations for delivering powerful performances and both with a huge back catalogue of releases under their belts.
When they play together, they play as Cell Injection.
The location was Capital Club (ID Club for Intelligent Division nights) at km 5 on Las Palmas. The club has a large dance floor with some tables and chairs skirting it.
Juli Monslave, one of the best-known techno female Colombian DJs, was kicking the night off nicely with some driving but groovy techno.
The dance floor and the club as a whole were filling up nicely with clubbers full of anticipation for a techno fueled dance fest.
Next up was Deraout, the founder of Intelligent Division. He picked up from where Juli left off, in what was a truly inspired set full of heavy hitting numbers, industrial, but also full of funk that built the crowd up to a frenzy.
Deraout left to the cheers and applause of the appreciative party people as he handed over the DJ booth to Cell Injection.
Cell Injection continued in Deraout’s vein, but now it was later and peak time so they could really go full on, hell for leather.
And that’s what they did, from start to finish their set kept the whole place rockin’ and lost in the music until sunrise, with moody, dark and aggressive infused techno which gave the crowd no respite and left them gasping for air but itching for more.
Luckily in Medellin if you want more, there often is more.
After parties are plentiful, they may not always be advertised but ask around at the club for “El remate” (The after party) and there is a good chance you will be pointed in the right direction.
I was feeling energetic and decided to continue.
The after party was at a finca on Las Palmas with beautiful views over Medallo.
When I arrived, Andres Gil was playing. Andres is a DJ and prolific techno music producer from Medellin.
I have been supporting his tracks for a number of years, and he never fails to impress.
The sun was up, and the music suited the hour, taking on a less relentless nosebleed techno to a more stripped back and groovy techno and tech house.
Camilo Serna followed Andres Gil for a set full of funky, groove based techno for which he is well-known. Camilo is a very well-known techno DJ from the city.
We first met in England, where we played together. We have also since played at several events together here in Colombia.
Camilo had the after party in full swing as the sun started to warm the city and as I began to feel like a vampire.
It was around 8:30am when my bed began calling me, I hailed a taxi and was quickly whisked back home where I collapsed into my bed, still with the pulsating but satisfying four to the floor beats ringing in my ears.
I don’t know what time the after party finished, maybe until midday, maybe all day or maybe it’s still going…..
For your weekly techno fix, visit Mansion Club where Intelligent Division has its residency and where a whole array of quality techno and house events go down every Friday and Saturday.
Intelligent Division members – Deraout, Juli Monslave, Richie, Theo and Camilo Serna.
I will be playing at Mansion Club (Carrera 36 #10-37, Poblado) this Saturday September 13th alongside Puresque from Berlin.
Puresque regularly play at the legendary Tresor in Berlin and also release music on its label.