Track By Track: Santiago Salazar – Chicanismo


For a Californian-born DJ to earn his stripes in Detroit's bubbling underground techno scene in the '90s was no mean feat. Santiago Salazar has proven his worth time and time again and yet there's still no sign of him slowing things down even in the slightest. He's got a brand new album on the way very soon indeed called Chicanismo and we're big fans. We asked Santiago to talk us through what the album means to him, one track at a time;


I made this track while living in Southwest Detroit in 2005. I had borrowed a the Korg Karma keyboard from my friend Naheed Choudry and had my studio set up in my son's room (4yrs of age).  During that time, I was missing my mother heavily and made this track in her name.


This track is a ode to the classic period of house and techno. I love the pitch bend on a keyboard and how it can change the mood of a track. It reminded me of the first time I got to play with a pitch bend in the early 90's from a Kawai K1ii keyboard my brother had for his new wave band.


This track was made on a hot summers day after a gig. At this gig here in Los Angeles, there was a few house dancers there who were really getting down to my dj set. The kind of dancers you don't see to ofter here in L.A. who were really feeling it and doing moves that were in tuned with the music. I was so inspired, the next day I made this track with their hot sweaty dance moves in mind.

Varrio 2 Varrio

V2V was made with a new keyboard I had just purchased (Casio XW-P1). This is a pick me up jam that you play when you want to dance! This was one of my first attempts to see if I could make a song with that keyboard. I feel the name "Varrio 2 Varrio" is a continuation of  Model 500's "Ocean to Ocean", along with Underground Resistance's  "Nation 2 Nation", "World 2 World", "Galaxy 2 Galaxy", "Millennium 2 Millennium" and hopefully (soon) "Universe 2 Universe". 


The title of this track translates Kobe, Japan to Los Angeles. This track was originally started in Kobe, Japan and finished in Los Angeles. I had a apartment in Kobe with a full studio (provided by Underground Gallery) for about a week. Everyday there, I would buy a bottle of rum and some Yoshinoya beef bowls and just make tracks all day and night. I later finished the track in Los Angeles with a Yamaha Motif borrowed from my partner, Esteban Adame.  


The title track was the last track to be made for this album. It was made in December 2014 early on a Saturday morning and finished by mid afternoon using only a Roland JV-2080. It's very rare I can start and finish a track in one day.  


Brownout was made in 2007 right after a power outage we had here in my neighborhood of San Gabriel. It's a special track to me because I used my son's Nintendo DS for the baseline and lead synth using the Korg DS-10.  

Ojo Por Ojo

Eye for a Eye is what this track translate too. This was inspired by a former label mate who took a track by me that we agreed would come out with credit to both of us. So, I took a riff from one of his track and the result is, OJO POR OJO.

Clark Park

Clark Park was my son's playground in Southwest Detroit. We would visit that park almost 5 days a week while living there. I feel the sounds in this song are memories of us having fun. We really miss our old neighborhood there.

The Farce

The Farce was made on the 4th of July 2014 (aka the farce of you lie). From NAFTA to WTO (and many more organizations like that), they are poison to the Americas. The spoken word is a sample from a Chicana poet/activist Cherríe Moraga. 

Chicanismo is out on 7th September via Love What You Feel.