Continuing the 10 Years of Dumb Unit blog takeover the Argentinean techno producer, Seph, takes us through some of his favourite spots in his native Buenos Aires, generously filling in your knowledge of his home city whilst kindly offering up two copys of his brand new albuim 'Alquimia' for a pearly competition prize.
To be in with a chance of scooping one of the copies, email us with SEPH ALBUM SWAG in the subject line by the end of play Friday.
People often ask me why I haven’t moved to Berlin yet, and I always answer that Buenos Aires is where I’m supposed to be, even if Berlin is the place where most techno-heads are. Apart from the fact that it’s my home town and its where all of my music buddies are, there are other reasons why I choose to stay here; the food is high up in the main reasons, so here are a few of my favourite easy going spots (I won't talk about fancy, expensive places...):
Argentina is generally known for its meat, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve been around the world quite a bit already and I can honestly say that the (portenian) pizza, empanadas, pasta, salads, bakery munchies, ice cream and other food fantasies are just unbeatable for the most part, except in places like Italy and Spain (well, Argentineans are in essence a mixture of Italians and Spaniards). And let’s not forget our love for sweet things. Anyone who is into chocolate and candy will go crazy in the thousands of bakeries and kioskos that are dotted all over the city.
Let’s start with the good stuff. Near my neighbourhood of Congreso there is an amazing little and simple parrilla (barbecue-stake house) called Parrilla Peña. Every friend that I’ve taken to it just can’t believe the exquisite taste of each and one of their different meat options: lomo, asado, entraña, bife de chorizo, churrascos, mollejas, matambres, vacio, colita and the list goes on and on. As a bonus for starters they always throw in some GREAT empanadas. Never leave out a good bottle of Argentinean red wine. If you're vegetarian, I definitely recommend checking out a nice little restaurant called Sattva. Fantastic veggie dishes, and they also do Mexican; really nice atmosphere and service.
If it’s a Sunday afternoon or if you're just getting together with some friends, you’re probably going to be drinking mate instead of tea or coffee, and you’ll definitely be munching down some facturas from your closest panaderia (bakery). We have a very good one near our place called La Nueva Focaccia. Apart from the mouth-melting cakes and the huge variety of bisquits and sandwiches de miga (thin-bread sandwiches), they have a big selection of facturas (pastries - get a dozen!) which have to be one of the best I’ve tried in Buenos Aires. If you are in Argentina and you don't have a mate and facturas experience, then you’re a fool...
Many times throughout the week the restaurant La Continental is my saviour. This is a very typical pizza and empanadas place which has numerous venues around the city, and they have a fast and reliable delivery system. Expect thick and crunchy crust and lots of cheese and big topping options. But this isn’t the reason why La Continental is the closest thing to having a second mother: their milanesas (kind of shnitzel) stand out, and any meat loving fan should try these, whether its original or napolitan style (with cheese and tomato on top). However, if you're aiming a bit higher you should dine at Los Inmortales, one of the most Argentinean restaurants in the city, full of tango, history and excellent pizza.
The neighbourood San Telmo is full of nice coffee shops and restaurants (it’s the tourist-meeting-point). One particular favourite of mine is ORIGEN (Perú and Humberto 1º). This is a great and simple place for having lunch; they have awesome sandwiches and great little meals. Very cool place for when the sun is shining and you want to sit outside with a friend or lover. They pay a lot of attention on the nutritive aspect of the meals, so expect very balanced dishes.
One very important thing I can’t leave out is our love for Ice-Cream. Tons of heladerias (ice- creameries) are all around the city, and I definitely recommend finding one of the Freddo or Persicco venues. Don’t forget to try a Dulce de Leche flavour...
In terms of architecture, Buenos Aires has heaps of different styles of buildings which are definitely worth a look. As with everything I’ve said so far, I’ll keep it simple. You can’t miss out a walk from the Congreso right up to Plaza de Mayo, via Av. Rivadavia, or a stroll right in the city center on the pedestrian-exclusive road Reconquista...
I can’t finish my monologue without saying anything for the party-heads. So I’m throwing the nightclub Cocoliche onto the table. This underground joint (where I have my residency) has been spitting techno for as long as I can remember and it’s the headquarters for most of Buenos Aires' techno and electronic music producers and fans. The club is known for being the only one constantly taking risks by putting a different spice of deep and forward looking techno, whether it’s driven by locals (the usual suspects) or international guests. The soundsystem is great but the important thing is the people. They’re very open to new sounds; one of the most enthusiastic crowds I’ve ever played for.