After 2008's slyly funny "Minimal" saw Matias Aguayo turning his back on the increasingly sterile world of minimal techno (which he'd inhabited as one half of Closer Musik), the Chilean producer seemed to find his own voice on 2009's Ay Ay Ay. Quite literally, given the album had him twisting his tongue over all manner of eccentric grooves, often letting it stray close to his cheek. And now, for the follow-up, Aguayo has found plenty of other people's voices, too. The culmination of five years travelling the globe, The Visitor features a roll-call of vocalists from Chile, Argentina, Colombia and other places where Aguayo has thrown his impromptu Bumbumbox street parties.
The spirit of those Bumbumbox parties seeps from The Visitor, an album that very much feels like the fair coming to town. A bassline contorts like a limbo dancer under the cumbia rhythms of "Las Cruces," and "El Camaron" thunders with rolling carnival beats. It's the sound of international travel experienced on long dusty bus journeys rather than in air-conditioned business class cabins. Most of the rhythms have the makeshift vibe of sounds beaten out in a junkyard—on "Aonde," the drum machines sputter as if powered by paraffin.
But if the beats sound like a rickety fairground ride, the vocals might call to mind a menagerie. Singers Juliana Gattas and Aerea Negrot purr at each other like lions in heat on "Rrrrr." Felipe Gutierrez rumbles like a bull throughout "Levante Diegors." Aguayo himself is something of a chameleon, his voice shifting not just between languages but also between Devo-esque punk yelps and the Lennon-ish lilt he seems to acquire on "Dear Inspector." He hams it up with B-movie horror organs on the Gothic pastiche of "By The Graveyard," which shares similar influences with his Cómeme compadre Rebolledo.
Of course, anyone who's been following the artists Aguayo has been releasing on Cómeme—such as Philipp Gorbachev, who handles some production duties here—will know that he hasn't entirely burnt his bridges with house and techno, as you can tell by the way he structures the dynamics and vocal stabs of "Do You Wanna Work?" Yet the machines sound as loose as the limbs The Visitor is determinedly set on shaking, and the album as a whole will twist you around when it gets you in its grasp. You may not always know what's going on or why, but that hardly matters when it's such a joyous whirl.