Like soccer, the current electronic dance music craze arrived late to South America after being invented decades earlier and thousands of miles away. But as eventually happened with fútbol, the prodigies of Latin America are schooling the rest of the world in how to play the game.
The reasons for South America's surging EDM scene should be obvious. Take a region rich in compelling beats (salsa, cumbia, mambo, merengue, vallenato, reggaeton) and melodic textures that are ripe for digital sampling and splicing. Add a supply of aspirational clubs and record labels in cities like Buenos Aires, Bogotá and Santiago.
Then stir the mix and remix it with a growing number of smart, sophisticated DJ-producer collectives like ZZK, the Buenos Aires label and one-stop-shopping party-thrower. Suddenly, you've got an intriguing and fresh-sounding EDM scene that's not only nurturing home-grown talent and global nomads like the tango-suffused, Paris-based Gotan Project but also attracting expatriate DJs, label owners and digital entrepreneurs from Europe and the United States.
One of the most promising is El G, né Grant C. Dull (pronounced Duel), a transplanted Texan who's been earning his keep and polishing his Spanish slang in Argentina since 1999, gradually transitioning from musicologist and online magazine editor to DJ-curator and head of the Buenos Aires-based ZZK Records label.