Rising stars of the Montreal electronic scene, Pelada, have resonated with audiences for their blend of Chicago house and Detroit techno-inspired dance music. Chris Vargas’s fierce lyrics - sung in Spanish - explore themes of power, surveillance, social, environmental and gender politics.
The duo, comprised of vocalist Chris Vargas and producer Tobias Rochman, create a sound combining a patchwork of sequenced analogue synths, drum machines, voice and samplers that is both urgent and powerful. Their live sets are living and breathing entities, energetic and combative.
Pelada grew out of the city’s infamous underground afterhours warehouse scene, performing alongside DJs, punk groups, and live experimental electronic acts. These large, illegal parties are populated by an eclectic mix of punks, club kids, ravers and freaks, promoting a spirit of inclusiveness and open-mindedness. Pelada has developed based on the ethos that scene has inspired.
In early 2016, after more than a year of performing live, including a short tour with Pharmakon (Sacred Bones), Pelada dropped their first EP ‘No Hay / Ten Cuidado’, accompanied by a remix from Jock Club (Ascetic House). The material was produced by Pierre Guerineau of Essaie Pas (DFA) and released by Rochman’s record label, New. The international electronic underground music community immediately embraced the tracks.
Following up on the momentum of their digital EP, the group flew to Europe and embarked on a massive tour, playing 23 shows in just 3 weeks. The band played for audiences in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic (Creepee Teepee Festival), The Netherlands (Grauzone Daytime Festival), Brussels, Belgium, France (Garage MU Festival), Spain, and Switzerland.
When the tour was done, they were reunited in the studio with Pierre Guerineau (Marie Davidson, Essaie Pas, Dirty Beaches) to begin recording their first proper full length album, to be released in 2017.
In the meantime, their self-released digital singles have now been properly re-issued in a physical format by MIND Records in Paris (Bernardinio Femminielli, Night Musik, Bataille Solaire). The label decided to release them on clear vinyl, and were sold out via online pre-sales before release date.
Pelada is now returning to Europe in February 2017 for their second major tour in 6 months, playing new cities and countries and connecting with audiences through their extraordinary live show.
*Press photos by Maiko Rodrig
Montreal, QC /
with Tenderizer, E-Saggila, Stehcy