Tomás Urquieta is a Viña del Mar-born, Mexico City-based Chilean DJ-producer widely known for his work with Infinite Machine, the Montreal label founded by Charlie Jrz in 2011. Urquieta now manages the A&R, recruiting artists like Bungalovv and B.YHZZ among others, after debuting on the label with 2015's Manuscript EP before dropping La Muerte de Todo Lo Nuevo EP (Spanish for "The Death Of All That Is New"), a gloomy release of broken techno akin to a soundtrack to a deserted land. Off the release's back, Urquieta toured Europe, opening the show for M.E.S.H.’s album release via PAN; and in 2016 he opened shows for Moderat and Nicholas Jaar in Chile.
Then, earlier this year, Urquieta made his biggest statement yet: Dueños de Nada, an 11-track album, surfaced via Infinite Machine, a "departure" from his earlier work and one that expresses his accumulated anger at the state of the world through an industrial concoction of punk, techno, and more experimental electronic fanfare. "I thought I would weird out a lot of people because I tried something different, once again," he says. "I needed something new, but it is selfish to ask people to do something that I like, and for that reason I started doing what I wanted to hear." He's since toured Mexico with sets at Festival Nrmal and at Ensamble’s Jam 007, supplementing these appearances with guest mixes for the likes of NTS and Radar Radio, as word spreads of his work.
Urquieta's XLR8R podcast is a one-hour snapshot of what he's been playing recently. Expect gritty, punk-infused electronics, and weird abstract techno. It's intended as an extension to the theme of the album, fueled by his anger at the "abuse" so many people are subjected to today. Included within are his own album tracks, blended with those of his artists friends, including Tzusing, Phase Fatale, and Bruce.
What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been working and rehearsing the A/V show for Dueños de Nada. I’m very happy with the response of the album, I thought I would weird out a lot of people because I tried something different, once again. My debut album is so different to my previous two EPs on Infinite Machine. I always try to my releases one by one with their own concepts, which means all of my releases will be different. Although my album was a lot more of work, I felt the need to spit on the world all this anger that I feel with the abuse we are living in these days. Minorities being fucked, sexism, racism between South Americans, it is aberrant. I cannot comprehend.
I moved to Mexico City a few months ago and I think it was a good decision because I’m more focused on music, and I’m not thinking about all the misery that I lived in Chile. I’m not saying that things in Mexico are more easy, it is just that the rhythm here allows me to do more stuff.
You do the A&R for Infinite Machine. What’s the secret to the label’s success?
All the label’s success goes to Charlie, the founder of the label. I only cooperate and I try to help him out as much as I can, it is his label and I will help him out whenever I can, he is my friend and I love him.
I have discovered some artists that Charlie went on to sign for the label, but these last months I’ve been only focused on my own music. I haven’t really searched for new music, like on Soundcloud, which is my go-to platform to discover new music to show to Charlie for the label.
I think the secret to Charlie's work is consistency, and without him I would not be doing this interview.
You released your debut album last month. When and where was it recorded?
I produced songs in New York, Mexico City, and at some airports, while waiting to board flights, mainly Viña del Mar (my hometown), Valparaíso, and Santiago. I started writing it in 2015 but I didn’t have a clear idea of what it was gonna be, but I knew that it had to be different from what I’ve done with Manuscript and La Muerte de Todo lo Nuevo. To write Dueños de Nada was easy: I was angry and I was able to channel all that in the most beautiful way, like taking some things from techno, EBM, and experimental music, and transforming it into something much more personal. Tracks like “Dueños de Nada” or “Me Rehuso a Pensar” are the reflection of how I see music. I was bored of conventional parties; I needed something new, but it is selfish to ask people to do something that I like, and for that reason I started doing what I wanted to hear.
When and where was this mix recorded?
In Mexico city, with friends.
Is there a particular theme or idea behind it?
To present Dueños de Nada and a couple of unreleased tracks of friends.
How did you choose the tracks that you included?
It's part of what I'm currently playing at gigs.
What’s next on the horizon?
Lots of A/V shows and non-stop making music.
Due to temporary issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.
01. Broken English Club "Channel 83"
02. Tomás Urquieta "Me Rehuso a Pensar"
03. M.E.S.H "Untitled"
04. Nico "Monsoon" (Unreleased)
05. Breaka "Rory's Theme"
06. Tzusing "Digital Properties" (Tomás Urquieta Remix)
07. Kwartz "Simulacrum"
08. Stenny "Westward"
09. Phase Fatale "Mirror"
10. Szare "Translocated"
11. Reaimz "Air Supremacy"
11. Simo Cell "Stop The Killing"
12. Pinch "Water Bomb"
13. Tensal "Atlanticas 1"
14. Bruce "I'm Alright Mate" (Asusu Remix)
15. Hodge & Randomer "If I Could Stop"
16. Tomás Urquieta "The Curtain Fall"