The fifth installment of the DUBLAB “Future Roots” mix CDs has been mixed and compiled by Alejandro Cohen, a dublab DJ, and musician based in Los Angeles. His many projects outside dublab include the bands Pharaohs, Psychic Powers, and Languis. He also works as a composer for documentaries and commercials, and does studio work for several other artists.
Post Coup / New Coup represents an Argentine musical era sparked by the fall of the military dictatorship in 1983, and the dawning of a democratic government. The music scene in Buenos Aires and neighboring cities was greatly affected by the political climate and sudden wave of influences from Europe and the US, that flooded the country almost overnight with the arrival of democracy. The artists included here, range from mainstream bands with top 10 hits, to obscure acts who only released their music on small cassette labels. The songs chosen for this mix don’t necessarily reflect the most popular tracks of the time but creativity and the common thread of an extraordinary era unites them.
This mix was compiled with a revision of Argentina’s musical history in mind. Although many of the main figures in the mid-to-late 80s were making great music, the conditions of the music industry in the country left many others behind. The few players who dominated the charts and radio airplay eclipsed the many other voices and style that existed during that era. With this mix, I try to undo the hierarchies established over the years in Argentina and level the playing field. At the time this music was released I was 8-14 years old (1983 to 1989). After years of military repression, even someone my age could feel the excitement in the air when democracy arrived. With that democracy came not only Punk, New Wave, Techno and Dance music, but also hard drugs and a freedom that many times ended up in violence even in the music scene, like when The Cure had to literally escape from the venue at a concert they played in 1987. Still, those years can be fondly remembered as a time of discovery and innovation. There were big rivalries among bands, and figures like Luca Prodan, of the band Sumo, would often criticize many of his contemporaries during interviews; in fact, Luca’s European origins, great talent, and involvement with the Factory Records scene in England made him a very respected, influential, and ahead-of-his-time figure, at least in Argentina.
This musical era ended abruptly as the country collapsed economically in 1989 and the heavy death toll from substance abuse and AIDS grew, ravaging the artistic community of Buenos Aires. After 1989, many record labels shut down, and those that remained in operation limited their output to safe commercial bets. Most artists featured in this mix continued making music with many degrees of success, but in my opinion the best of their work was produced during the 1980’s.