Jose Miguel Buitrago, a Chilean composer known for his artist name AFRIK and his DJ name HAITI, stitches together sound recordings, video clips and musical beats to create his surreal, hypnotic soundscapes.
Afrik’s “songs” take you on a winding journey through forests, oceans, rituals and sensations. Influenced by the syncopated metrics of central African music, he creates textures that are sharp yet undulated, paying close attention to the synthetic structure of the music and its effect on the listener. The compositions can be thought of as Pandoras boxes: treasure chests full of memories, people, stories, and vibes. Where your mind takes you when you listen to these pieces is a highly exploratory and subjective experience based on the links you create between the networks of different sounds. The geographic and temporal diversity of the components adds to the feeling of movement in the listening experience: the back and forth between Peruvian instruments, European voices, and African drums gives us a sense of traveling in time and space as the musical piece progresses. Each individual sound also holds a memory for the artist, as Afrik collects the sound recordings and video clips used in his montages during his travels in Peru, Chile, and beyond.
Much of Afrik’s formation as an artist happened during a collaborative exchange in Berlin in 2012, where he soaked in the rich influences of the electronic arts scene. Since then he’s been working on various projects such as the Smiling Orchestra, a collusion of creative Chilean forces. Catch him play in New York next month- details will be posted on his website shortly.
And enjoy the deep voyage into the depths of his musical montages.