La Tremenda

AFRik & The Smiling Orchestra


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A very appropriate release for your aestival enjoyment, the release offers five playful tracks that are typical of AFRik & The Smiling Orchestra’s trademark sound and style.

Fanfarria opens with juicy horns in an impeccable groove that carries the message home. Pomo y Clamato teasingly invite us into a funky, dislocated mid-tempo beat, while Mambu push along to a strong back-beat over our favorite, deep bass punch. The title track La Tremenda sends us into a trance with a round-robin synth line that is constantly kept on its toes by Jose and Pablo’s endless and ingenious, extemporised dabs.

We gently part with the release as the moody Eucaliptus unfolds, complete with the lush sound of swaying of palm trees accompanied by tremolo guitar, vibraphone and slow-moving, sub-sonic synth bass.

Excellent when heard as a whole, but explore it at your own easy pace and you will find a release that has exquisite moments for dreamy mornings-after, vibey moments and unbroken, pleasurable afternoons.

All compositions, recording and production by Jose Miguel Martin Buitrago and Pablo Vargas Avaria

Mastered by Jose Miguel Martin Buitrago and Pablo Vargas Avaria

Artwork by Pablo Vargas Avaria



Do you fancy a musical journey to South America? If so, then today I would like to take you to Chile and Peru! Behind the name AFRik & The Smiling Orchestra hides the two producers from Santiago Jose Miguel Martin Buitrago (DJ Haiti) and Pablo Vargas Avaria (DJ Larva). Fortunately they have managed to break through and they have released a lot and played shows in Europe, where they perform alongside artists like Ricardo Villalobos, Deadbeat, Argenis Brito, Ellen Alien, Matias Aguayo, Dave Aju, Andres Bucci, John Krueger, KidKoala and Dewalt.
Chileans, they have for many years participated in a variety of projects, although it seems that the most interesting and the important things is published under the name A & TSO. And what a great example of this is the album “La Tremenda,” with its five compositions that are teeming with a variety of influences: afrobeat, deep-house, techno, jazz, funk, cumbia and electronica. Buitrago and Avaria deftly combine all these elements into an explosive mixture.”La Tremenda” presents the twisted duo’s truly remarkable sound, and you can watch an interview with one of the members of A & TSO at clang’s youtube channel where he talks about his inspirations.

Blow Up
They are Jose Miguel Martin Buitrago and Pablo Vargas and they make funk-house robotics (Mambu), dyed-in tropical (Fanfarria), rousing Afro-funk alongside mischievous noises (Pomo y Clamato), ultra-minimal trance-beat on a hypnotic synth (La Tremenda) and chill-out (Eucaliptus). I do not know anything about them but this EP is delicious. (7/8) Stefano I. Bianchi

The latest release of Buitrago and Avira, better known as DJ Haiti and DJ Larva is pumped-up from the beginning: A straight bass-line is accompanied by massive horns that stretch through the whole track and evoke associations to South African street carnivals. Strongly influenced by Berlin techno, on their third album the duo fuses tech-house and African rhythms. A unique highlight is Pomo y Clamato: The track has indeed significantly less BPM than the punchy opener, but is just as groovy. What a hook! On the B-side, the duo then demonstrated their sense for experiments and entertain a hypnotic mid-tempo techno with lots of percussion and bongo beats. That is more nerdy than disco. But it is precisely these tropical vibes that gives “La Tremenda” its very own sound atmosphere. What an exciting trip! 7 Kressmann

AFRik & The Smoking Orchestra is the project of Jose Miguel Martin Buitrago together with Pablo Vargas – DJ Haiti and DJ Larva. Inspired by African sounds and rhythms and indulging in abstract surrealism that leaves time, place and musical styles behind, the duo set out to create a combination of psychedelic music and dance. The project’s idea is based on the concept of trance, a feeling that it introduces to dance, music and sound waves and that eventually merges into a unique and liberating experience.

Liquid Sky Berlin
Scheduled for release on September 18th, 2015 via the ever active Clang imprint is “La Tremenda”, the latest five track release by AFRik & The Smiling Orchestra which is – as far as we’ve followed the labels musings throughout the past months – a bit of a surprise as it is more dancefloor and club focused than its predecessors. More organic and possibly even well-suited for Berlin venues such as Salon Zur Wilden Renate, Kater Blau and the likes. Built around a foundation of electronic 4/4 bassdrum club music that might be roughly described as TechHouse, we find loads and loads of organic sample wizzardry coming from South American and African traditions. Aiming to capture syncopated and off-pattern metrics that introduce ethnic funk and other gimmicks, it always stays with the drugged-out dancefloor functionality that works – and works best – in the isolated ecosystem of Berlin’s nightlife and after-after-party circuit. Appreciable as a kind of conceptual work with the reduced, robotic, electroid Phonk of “Mambu” and the hypnotic minimalism of the title track sticking out amongst the tracks, but not necessarily functional or immediately making sense outside of the above mentioned context. Music to be played by DJs like Ricardo Villalobos.

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