Podcast 662: Debit
Exhilarating Latin American club cuts.
Podcast 662: Debit
Exhilarating Latin American club cuts.
In a rich Latin American club scene, Delia Beatriz, or Debit, stands out as a name to keep an eye on. An integral member of the N.A.A.F.I collective, where she released Animus, her debut album in 2018, she broadly works in two genres of music: electronic dance, which is to say reggaeton, baile funk, and tribal; and experimental ambient and noise. These are her two poles, she says. She enrols at New York University.
Beatriz’ adventures in music began in 2008, when she concluded that the only way she could make a difference was through music. After returning to Mexico in 2012, following stints in South America, she started circuit-bending duo HDXD with her ex-boyfriend, which led into Debit. In 2016, she started to DJ and began producing as a solo artist, and that’s been her focus since.
While pursuing a master’s degree in Music Technology, as Debit, Beatriz has performed all across New York, purveying bass-heavy club rhythms through a Latin American lens. Since 2018, she’s been releasing her own productions, and her first major ambient work, the sold-out tape Love Discipline, came out in 2018. Outside of this, she co-hosts a radio show called “Oraculo” with Discwoman’s Riobamba. She features on the recent Dengue Dengue Dengue label compilation, available now.
Beatriz recorded her XLR8R podcast on September 15 in New York, after a tough day on a personal front. It’s heavy on the Latin American tracks, evoking contemplation and exhilaration through IDM, techno, and deconstructed club. It’s more wide-reaching than what you’d hear her play in a club, changing course more frequently, making it the best mix she’s ever recorded, she says. Buckle up!
01. What have you been up to recently?
I’m having a focused rebirth. Falling in love with life, which consists of rollerblading around town and in parallel to the east river, going to my studio in Brooklyn or at NYU, linking with friends and colleagues, and going to virtual classes for my last semester of graduate school.
02. How have you been spending the lockdown period?
My quarantine was a second adolescence of sorts, in both good and bad ways. I was in Texas at my parents’ house. Basically, I just attended online classes, walked my dogs every day, played “Guitar Hero” every night with my brother, and worked out. Creatively, it was absolutely the least productive period of my career.
03. What’s going on in New York at the moment?
I think the shock and damage of the pandemic has made bullshit less tolerable, which polarized the scenes in ways that made space for change. The city also literally emptied out, which removed a lot of the fluff in the social. This has yielded new energy, which is more authentic and emotionally accessible. I think this will start to manifest culturally soon, and we will begin to see and experience traces of some sort of renaissance. New York is a resilient, incredible place, and I’m excited to see how we will put it all back together.
04. Looking back, how did you learn to mix records?
Mixing first felt like an extension of production, probably because my first times were done in Ableton, and the software frames sonic construction in a specific way. The big shift happened when I learned to mix on Pioneer gear, namely the CDJs. My friends taught me how to navigate the interface and to approach the mix practically through BPM organization. In time, I gathered technical tips from lurking or through conversations with colleagues. However, my strongest paradigm shifts regarding conceptual framing came from seriously analyzing DJs at shows, or similarly from sitting down and listening attentively to people’s mixes. I think at this point I have internalized the technical, conceptual, and aesthetic ideas into an intuitive, unique way of mixing. I don’t think I fully understood music until DJing.
05. Where are you digging for music—and what do you think ties together the music you play?
I’m digging through the internet and the reality around me. Everything is fair game as a source. I try to keep up with who is releasing what and label catalogs and geographies of interests. I also always include older stuff because I don’t believe music is relevant simply because of the release date. What I preselect really depends on whether I’m doing a thematic, rhythmic, or harmonic mix. How those are mixed depends on the actual moment and action of recording.
What ties my references together is my aesthetic disposition: I’m fundamentally chasing a feeling. Beyond the aesthetic, geopolitical ties, implications of genres, and their history and meaning, it comes down to my intuition manifesting in this search of a feeling. Which feeling depends on where I am in that moment in relation to the outer and inner world.
06. There’s a lot been said about the South American music scene of recent. What do you think is driving it?
There is an inherent sense of edgy rebellion and romantic fragility that I feel from my South American colleagues, and that tension is why the work is so rich and important in the music that is being made. They also have to execute a very different game to rise and survive in the global panorama of music, since the points of entry to the market and forms of generating capital are less direct. I think this informs their political consciousness, thus making their experience even more unique.
There is also a general ideological rejection of the USA, while their historical ties are closer to the EU, making those references more present. I find this to be a significant difference between South and Central / North America. The history of and indigenous realities of South America are also varied, so the vibes are fused with extremely distinctive materials.
07. Where and when did you record this mix?
I recorded this mix on September 15 in my apartment, with the XDJ gear borrowed from my friend Burner Account. It was a shit day because my dad went to the hospital and I had to get myself out of some boy drama, but funnily enough, I think this may be the best mix I’ve ever done, although I have some reservations about the engineering; some parts are muddy!
08. What can the listener expect?
Emotionally: drama, action, contemplation, exhilaration, and resolution.
Musically: extraordinary percussive freedom and diversity, experimental, IDM, baile funk, techno, high and low brow tribal, triplets, regular and deconstructed club, and a few beatless piano-driven accents here and there to give us space to process.
09. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you’ve included?
It was a geopolitical framing. It’s a mix that consists of New York, Latin American/ Latinx, and global tunes. I wanted the vibe to be exalted but also rooted. It has no narrative or theme, though.
10. How does it compare to what we’d normally hear you play?
I feel a broader sense of freedom when I mix for platforms. I don’t have attachments to the outcomes, which gives me an exploratory sense that yields greater musical discoveries. When I play live, I’m a people pleaser and I want the crowd to become one and reach unified dance trances, so I probably don’t take as many turns in the arc.
11. What’s up next on your agenda?
I’m writing my thesis and the corresponding album, which uses Mayan archeological wind instruments and machine learning. I’m composing the album using only the samples of these ancient instruments, the discoveries generated by the artificial intelligence, and speculative sound processing techniques I distill from the research. I’m producing an audiovisual theatrical performance of the work with my collaborator Symbios (a.k.a Isomov), whose music is actually in this mix. I’m also wrapping up some work for Splice and working on lots of collaborations, with vocals, which is kind of new for me.
XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast here.
01. Don Toliver “No Idea” (Debit Clueless edit) (Unreleased)
02. Tony or Tony “Acid Flex” (Unreleased)
03. CNDSD “Exhale Azala” (Subreal)
04. Arca “Else” (Galtier Reconstruct) (Pineal Sounds)
05. Los Prisioneros “Tren al Sur” (Lechuga Zafiro remix) (Unreleased)
06. Tygapaw “No Boderation” (Sweat Equity)
07. Rizu X”Throwing Shade” (Unreleased)
08. Isomov “Perpetual 3_1” (Unreleased)
09. OMAAR “Groove” (N.A.A.F.I)
10. Object Blue “Neo Noir” (Nervous Horizon)
11. Alfonso Luna “Grandes Danzas” (Kumbale)
12. Elysia Crampton “Crest” (feat. Fanny Pankara Chuquimia) (PAN)
13. WildKatz “NightLight” (Aded Files)
14. Soda Plains “Glacier” (PAN)
15. Pre-columbian & Estoc “March” (Majia)
16. Siu Mata & Amore Satyr “Tachyon-Particles MST” (Hiedrah Club de Baile)
17. Nick León “Luna y Sol” (feat. Lila Tirando Violeta) (Kebrada)