When he’s not mixing Afro-Peruvian sounds with Vudufa, the Peruvian artist Francisco de Los Heros works as Pounda, the name for an all-purpose project that serves as a playground for him to experiment as his moods and discoveries change. On AbsTract, his third EP, he offers eight immersive tracks, caught somewhere between dark ambient and obscure, abstract hip-hop. Beyond the familiar rhythmic patterns of rap music, Pounda plays with textures, imposing different atmospheres and providing a singular sonic experience, set off by chaotic – almost creepy – visuals that he directs himself. Although this is one of his most experimental projects to date, he already has more than 16 releases to his credit and intends to continue this hyperactive trajectory. Pounda was a special guest for the PAM Sound System show, which you can listen to below.
How was the Pounda project born, within your other side-projects?
I believe that each project has its own personality and way of evoluting. Pounda was born as an individual need to develop as a producer, and to have a larger panorama of experimentation that is not limited to hip hop as it is with Nomodico, or the electronic and afro music of Vudufa.
In your guest mix, we can hear some Latin influences, as well as ambient and abstract hip-hop of the 90s. How would you define Pounda’s style?
Pounda is a new project and honestly what I like the most is that I do not have a defined style yet. So far this year I have already released 3 EPs and they are all completely different. I plan to release one more before the end of the year, which will also be very different from all the others. I am still working on it, but it will be inclined to funk, g-funk, disco, among other genres… Musically I am influenced by everything, I am constantly listening to news on Bandcamp or radios on the Winamp Shoutcast, I look for a lot of music to inspire me and I look for it everywhere.
What are your main inspirations?
On the Afro music side I like the work of Dengue Dengue Dengue, Tribilin Sound, among others, it motivates me a lot. With Pounda project I like the classics J Dilla, MF Doom, as well like Flying Lotus, although I sincerely admire the work of other emerging producers who go more for the genres donwtempo, future garage, or experimental.
How are the electronic and hip-hop scenes in Peru? How do you see them growing?
The electronic scene of fusion music is very good, it has incredible exponents, and they all exhibit very creative works. On the hip-hop side, although there are many exponents that stand out, I feel that creativity is not the main characteristic since it is stuck to the mainstream, as hip hop in general. At the level of production and beatmaking there are very talented artists such as Therapy Beats, SkillzFlav, Der Enyel, BanchiBeats, Beatdilla, Don Jota and many more. I think it’s a scene that is going to grow a lot in the coming years, it has a large audience and many factors that drive it. Electronic music has always tended to grow, there are more and more artists, and the great thing is that everyone is committed to our local identity, which in itself is not only Afro, it is very varied.
Where do your samples come from?
I use samples from all over the place, from traditional Peruvian music, to movie singles, noise records, and sometimes instruments that I record myself. I have also worked with other musicians to record sax sequences, basses, guitars, etc.