Diamin – Groove Podcast 364

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Photo: Press (Diamin)

As an environmental scientist, Diamin knows a thing or two about how the world works. As a DJ, she seems to be present in almost all of its corners, too: Having grown up in Chile, she cut her teeth in Buenos Aires and has recently relocated to Berlin while also being active in Spain and, at least on the airwaves, Georgia. As if that wasn’t enough already, she is the co-founder of the label Tecnologías Elementales along with fellow Family Affair collective member F.A.N.G.O., aiming to provide a platform for producers from Latin America. Her mix for our Groove podcast serves, in her words, as a warm-up set for a night that is about to get sweaty.

You’ve made your first steps as a raver at trance parties in your native Chile. What drew you to that, was it more about the music or the social experience?

At that point it was mostly about the social experience, I think. Psytrance raves were held outside the city, in nature, in unsupervised and unmonitored contexts, and lasted several days, which provided an ideal setting for experimenting with alkaloids. Although it was that search for collective experience that most appealed to me in that scene in particular, I still have an affection for some old school trance or psydub and digidub labels.

After relocating to Buenos Aires in 2011, you picked up DJing after becoming a record store clerk, having convinced the store owner with your in-depth knowledge of synth pop music. How exactly did it come about that you started playing and became involved in the local scene?

While working at the record store I went from collecting LPs to focusing on 12″ maxi singles, mostly classic stuff: Chicago house, acid, Detroit techno, new beat, hardcore techno, etc. I learnt beatmatching there and as my collection began to grow, opportunities to play at parties emerged. That was around 2013. At that time, the scene wasn’t so much focused on physical formats, there weren’t many people playing records or mixing different styles. Crews operated separately, focusing mostly on one or two genres. Both factors, playing vinyl and my versatility, helped me integrate into the local scene. In 2014, I co-founded Family Affair collective, that was equally about conscious listening, musical research and DJing—primarily with vinyl—which feels like quite an important step along the way.

You still have strong ties to Argentina’s scene and are still a member of the Family Affair collective as well as Lacura in La Plata. Has your recent move to Berlin made it harder to stay in touch with these communities?

By being geographically apart we have had to sharpen up our communication skills. Although now I’m contributing to their work in more of a passive way, we still share a similar vision of musical and social ideals when it comes to parties or night events. Staying in touch with members of both collectives allows us to mutually support and nurture each other. It makes me very happy to see how they grow. Even though they were developing around the same time and not far from each other, they operated independently, in their own beautifully specific way. Another project I am currently working on is Tecnologías Elementales, a label that aims to maintain the connection with the local scene in a direct way. Tecnologías Elementales is primarily a platform for Latin artists and is meant to function as a springboard for other regions not as vehemently attended by the traditional circuits of cultural, economic and artistic production.

You’ve launched it together with F.A.N.G.O. in May 2022, with split release of Qik and Kamila Govorčin. Its title, Mutualismos 01, already underscores the fact that it marks the beginning of a series. What concept do you follow with the label?

It’s all about having a platform to publish artists whose work helps us express and understand our relationship with music better. The very name of the label refers to the idea that music can be a technology in itself, that sounds are equally ancient and futuristic tools, giving ground for experimentation and changing our perspectives. The first record also kicks off Mutualismos series which is meant to show interaction between individuals of different species, where both benefit from the exchange. Every entry in the series will be a split release juxtaposing artists from different parts of the world.

Both the name of the label as well as the series are somewhat related to your academic background in environmental studies and general interest in biology. How does all of this influence your work reality as a DJ and label owner?

Tecnologías Elementales is where our different interests meet. That includes our different, non-music-related backgrounds. Music is a medium that’s effective in terms of expressing different concepts—and that’s something we have always strived for as DJs, too. You’re right, lots of the ideas that we are putting into Tecnologías Elementales came from my interest in biology. It’s always interesting to take something from one field or discipline—in this case natural science—and see how it works when implanted in a different context. That’s particularly interesting when a concept normally viewed as something very technical, is taking part in an aesthetic process. On that note, F.A.N.G.O. is trained in sociology and is running a cult publishing house from Argentina, named Caja Negra, where he has also been addressing issues related to the relationship between human and non-human intelligence, among others. The label is meant to be defined by our respective backgrounds and to reinterpret them in a new, dynamic way.

As a DJ and radio show host, you hold different residencies like at Barcelona’s Maricas event series and with a regular show called Circadian Rhythm at Tbilisi’s Mutant Radio. How do you approach your work as a resident when preparing for a set at Maricas or putting together music for a Circadian Rhythm episode?

Having a chance to participate in such different projects is enjoyable, as they pose different challenges. When preparing a mix for Maricas, or another night-related event, I focus on enhancing the physical and playful aspect of the music. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is easy listening, since it requires some twisting and trickery to create an atmosphere that stimulates bodies and provokes minds to converge. Preparing each episode of Circadian Rhythm on the other hand gives me the possibility to decrease the BPM, and try other mixing dynamics, ones that are less linear. In general, radio context puts me on a path that’s much more experimental. By following a general concept and some self-imposed constraints, I’m aiming to build a coherent musical narrative. It is a rather controlled journey, as if synthesized in a laboratory. That said, in party spaces, where the bodies step into the picture, the environment can hardly be controlled. There, I achieve better results by choosing and leading my path in real time.

What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?

I wanted to do more of a club mix … but it always seems a bit strange to play very intense music in a mix. It’s a little difficult for me to recreate the essence of the club alone at home. Anyway, this time I tried to put something together imagining a dancefloor, which is slowly coming together. Maybe a warm-up for a night that is about to get sweaty?

Last but not least: what are your plans for the future?

I will focus on DJing as much as I can. A little over a year ago I moved to Berlin and already many opportunities have arisen. I’m keen to know more artists, scenes, venues, and cities around here. As far as Tecnologías Elementales is concerned, we are preparing our second record: a compilation of unreleased material from a 1980s Argentinian proto-industrial duo. They haven’t released anything for a while and it’s all very mysterious and hard to find, but it turns out they’ve been recording fabulous music in the meantime. It’s time to help all that come to light.

Stream: Diamin – Groove Podcast 364

01. Hexagon – Oscillate [Furthur Electronix]
02. Johannes Heil – Future Primitive [Kanzleramt]
03. Jodey Kendrick – Ashridge Forest Tatsumaki Tree [Djak-Up-Bitch (DUB)]
04. Tony Price – Tempest [L.I.E.S. Records]
05. Konstruktivist – Tic Tac Toe 2 [World Serpent]
06. Sunrise Society – Tahití [Pacific Records]
07. Vibert / Simmonds – Path T’Zoar [Rephlex]
08. Sylvie Marks – Row Of Houses [Tanjobi Records]
09. Ausgang – Echoe Park [Synewave]
10. Bolz Bolz – Music [Ersatz Audio]
11. Beroshima – Shame World [Tanjobi Records]
12. Most Significant Beat – Dose II: Microvoltage
13. Lumukanda – Triad 3 [Psy-Harmonics]
14. Steffi – Primary Chaos [Candy Mountain]
15. T-Bone Castro – Hilltop Hustler (I’m The 1 & Only) [Dance Ecstasy 2001]
16. Autocreation – Bone [Inter-Modo]
17. Zie3i – Coffeinnum [Brutaż]
18. RAFF – They Don’t Wanna See Us [Nous’klaer Audio]
19. RAFF – Freeze [Nous’klaer Audio]
20. Scott Edward – Integrated Injection [Out Of Orbit]
21. The Rising Sons – Afghan Acid (Biodreams Faster Than Light Mix) [EXperimental]

22. Slowdive – In Mind (Out Mind) [Creation Records]

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