Venezuelan Techno EP

The standout on Mérida, Venezuela-based Rafael L. Garnica‘s four-track Naif EP, a free download from the Microbio netlabel, isn’t the familiar techno of the title cut. And it isn’t “From LA” (the name of which includes a witty parenthetical clarification: “LA” means “Los Andes”), though that one has a distinct midtempo appeal, especially how on each run through the verse a layer of sound is added or removed. It isn’t “b3,” though this track distinguishes itself with a memorable false denouement at its midway point, when it breaks for an inquisitive line of beeps and a soothing choral “ahh.”

No, the keeper — and it’s a true keeper — is a remix, titled “Luisa a 3 Velocidades,” credited to El Lazo Invisible. On “Luisa,” El Lazo reduces Garnica’s well-honed sounds to at most a fifth the thickness of the other pieces on the album, trimming away the layers, rather than merely teasing with them, and dropping the standard beat like the bad habit that it is. What’s left is a thin slice of a song, the rhythm an occasional trip of a microscopic switch, the melody built from what sounds like a field recording of department-store elevator trills. Some of this relative quietude may have to do with the fact that “Luisa” was compressed at a measly 64kbps, versus a generous 224 for the rest of the EP, but that math doesn’t diminish Lazo’s skill; he really has a way with the stuttered sample, which he introduces on occasion with the low-level intrusiveness of something stuck in the periphery of your memory. Download the full set at

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