Published May 14, 2019With all the captivating genre-bending going on in electronic music, and with the number of producers currently trying to innovate, it is curious how much the classic sounds are still so endearing. The reason (whatever it may be) why classic Detroit techno and house music keep pulling us in might be the same one that keeps pushing Santiago Salazar to juggle his music production and DJ gigs with the responsibilities of being a family man, developing ideas in his home studio or during his breaks at his job.
A veteran of over 25 years, and a member of the venerated Underground Resistance collective, Salazar has hinted at having a spiritual approach with his music, taking as much inspiration from the fervour of the most excited clubbers during his sets as he does from his personal relationships.
On his third album, The Night Owl, his brand of house and techno combines earthy tones with an astral radiance, as it has done many times. We've all heard this before: the four-on-the-floor beats (steadily around 120-125 bpm); the brooding strings and the bubbly melodies (as in "Midnight Oil" and "The Night Owl"); and the squiggly synths and funky bass lines (as in "Chato's Lament"). Whether it is introspective ("Light the Sage") or energetic ("Chuco's Groove"), it is a familiar yet effective style that invites dancers to celebrate and express themselves on the dance floor ("Hey life, look at me!" as is repeated on "Hey Life").
The major drawbacks might be that this has already been done many times to better results (by himself and by others), and that there are a couple of duds ("Loca" and its remix). But, if you happen to hear these tracks blasting out of a sound system at the club, or if you play them loudly at home on a weekend afternoon, it would be surprising if you weren't the least bit charmed by it. (Independent)