Undermerge and Medellín’s Underground Electronic Music Scene

People packed the room to see Julien Bracht at Casa Prado.
People packed the room to see Julien Bracht at Casa Prado.
People packed the room to see Julien Bracht at Casa Prado.

This neighborhood once belonged to the fancy people, the folks in the mansions, just like the yellow one on the corner where this great event took place.

It’s still pretty in Prado Centro, just not the same as it was, the way it was, until Pablo chased all the wealthy people to Poblado. Now that I think about it, maybe it’s better.

It can be the setting for one of the city’s best event organizers to have a fun party, a big one. More than 400 people were there throughout a recent Saturday night.

Undermerge, led by Juan Garcia, with collaboration from Juan Rodriguez and Revolution Artists, brought these people together, people who enjoy electronic music and are looking for something different from the typical scene in Medellín, the salsa and merengue, even reggaeton, and in some cases, vallenato.

I had heard of these parties. I planned to go to one a while back but I got sidetracked and never made it.

The idea came up again on another occasion, and once again, I failed to get there.

I was determined this time, and it had nothing to do with the waiving of the 30,000-pesos ($15) cover charge (although that didn’t hurt).

My friend Alejandra just got married and is moving to Madrid in a couple of months so she was using that night as one of two (or several) going away parties she plans to have.

Before I went, I stopped by The Wandering Paisa hostel, to talk to my friend Martin, and the next thing I know, there’s a group of 20 of us, piling into taxis, speeding to Prado Centro.

We didn’t arrive until after midnight, but it didn’t matter. Juan told me the party probably wouldn’t end until dawn.

Even foreigners are finding out about parties by Undermerge at Casa Prado.
Even foreigners are finding out about parties by Undermerge at Casa Prado

There were people everywhere — on the front patio, in the front room where there was a bar, on a back patio, and, of course, in the main room where artists and DJs were spinning electronic music.

There were seven DJs, including the headliner, Julien Bracht, a German-born, Spain-raised artist who we ran into at the end of the night. He was cool.

Before that our group split up, reconvened, split up, and ran into each other again, and this was repeated throughout the night.

I didn’t know most of the people who were with us, a mix from the states, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Germany, Holland, Canada, England and France.

I still don’t feel like I know them very well, not with the music firing the whole time and everyone bouncing from room to room, enjoying the atmosphere.

At one point I was pretty tired and could have easily fallen asleep but I plowed ahead, knowing I had to last the night to get a proper feel for the Undermerge and its party so I could describe it here for everyone else.

I’ve since learned that Juan doesn’t just do events here. From Oct. 10 to 13, he’s organizing a group of 80 people, including eight electronic DJs, who will be going to Coveñas, on the Caribbean coast. The event is called Summer 2014.

The cost for everything — food, transportation, lodging, and the parties: only 300,000 pesos ($148).

I thought about going but I can’t. Other obligations. I’ll just wait for the next event in Medellín.

I hope it’s in Prado Centro again. What Juan is doing is pretty impressive. Twenty years ago people were fleeing the neighborhood and now Juan has them coming back.

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