TLDR: La Boite continues to impact the diverse underground electronic music world of Argentina.
I first learned about La Boite during an interview with Gerardo Boscarino, where he mentioned it as one of the highest regarded clubs in the Argentinean nightlife scene:
“This is a club that has been around for 10 years now, and every year has been better than the last. I haven’t met a DJ that has played La Boite and has left unsatisfied, so I would put La Boite at the number 1 spot on my list.”
With a compliment like that, I had to learn more about a club that could be so outstanding in a region that sees so much underground electronic music, both from local and international DJs. I caught up with La Boite’s owner Eduardo Meson, who provided insight into the history and current state of the Argentinean nightlife, and what is coming up next for this special venue.
Could you tell us about the history of La Boîte and how you got started in this industry?
La Boite saw the light on August 7th, 2004, but but everything that led up to it’s opening began brewing 2 years before that. it was a chronicle of an outcome foretold, the consequence of a series of itinerant events called óxidoh!, irresponsibly conceived during a coffee talk, the way great challenges are conceived, with no budget at all. None.
The itinerant part wasn’t exactly voluntary, but was a consequence of that same irresponsibility I mentioned. óxidoh!, don’t ask me how, started in what’s one of the main stations of the Argentinean railway systems, in terms of architecture and structure: Estación Mitre, which at the time was fully functional. We would have the parties Saturday night, and on Sunday mornings around 9 am, you could see some remaining characters still holding drinks right next to a freshly woken up family, carrying their luggage to the train about to leave for Buenos Aires. It was insane.
As it was to be expected, sooner than later we had to relocate the parties and the locations we found never lasted very long, so we were doing them in a different place every Saturday.
For me, electronic music was the catalyzer of my rediscovering music. I got started in the 80’s, during my college years, when academic activity would mesh with DJing and producing small events.
During the 90’s I couldn’t find myself with what was happening in Argentina’s night and music scene so I called it quits.
óxidoh! in a fleeting way, and La Boite in a more steady one (it’s running it’s 11th year), were and are the rediscovery of a passion that I kept in the drawer for 10 years.
At that time, Tucuman’s electronic scene was almost non-existent, people didn’t know much about electronic music and there wasn’t much aside from some short-lived proposals, such as ¨Cabezas Cuadradas¨ and ¨Punto Negro¨, that while very well produced, were perhaps out of time and place in the city back then.
We put together the first bar that would have a DJ playing electronic music all night long: Club 25. A couple months later, someone else opened, ¨Nocturno¨ a club that was first conceived as a gay club but ended up becoming the first actual electronic night club in Tucuman and which we would compete with some months later when we opened La Boite.
Tucuman is the smallest province in Argentina but also the most densely populated. It’s located 1300 kms (800 mi) north of Buenos Aires (Argentina’s capital city). Historically it has had a very active night circuit but has also always been very traditional and conservative. Due to its dense population it has always been a hotbed for art in all its forms, but in a very traditional and mainstream way. The underground has always had a hard time finding its way into Tucuman.
Perhaps it was the electronic music scene that sprung back then that pulled together the rest of the underground ‘tribes’ and led way for a club like La Boite to be possible.
Argentina is known for having an excellent underground electronic music fan base. What do you think makes Argentineans so receptive to this type of music?
Maybe it has to do with what I was just talking about. Even though I was talking specifically about Tucuman, Argentina in general is very receptive of every form of art. There’s an underground for everything and most of it finds in electronic music a common social ground.
What is one of the most memorable events you’ve been a part of at La Boîte?
Not related to the artistic component of the event but to the event itself. Sometimes La Boite morphs to an outdoor format and the on I perhaps hold as most memorable was one we did on a New Year’s Eve that went on until noon on January 1st.
What advice do you have for travelers or locals looking to make the most out of the Argentinean Nightlife scene?
Bring comfortable sneakers haha! Also, don’t just stay in Buenos Aires. There are many cities such as Rosario, Cordoba, Tucuman or Mendoza which, in their own scale, have excellent proposals.
Are there any current musical trends you have been seeing a lot of lately?
I’ve seen moments when trends were much more defined than they are today, and personally I think some of them were a bit counterproductive. My impression is that right now there’s a much more flexible posture sound-wise.
Even though there could be a common denominator in Tech/House, nowadays I feel like DJs have more freedom to veer in any direction they want.
What do you think the future holds for La Boîte and Argentina’s music scene?
In my opinion both have great potential for many years ahead. If I have to be critic about it, I believe event promoters are taking up a lot of protagonism to the local artistic. Argentina has a great deal of DJs and many of them are very well positioned but it could also be a breeding ground for many more than it is who will need space to grow and prosper. I think event promoters are very much responsible for allowing local artists to emerge. La Boite has four local resident DJs, and it is our policy to keep it that way, to have a balance between foreign artistic, also coming from Buenos Aires and the rest of the country, and the local one. For example, we’ve lately had on our mainfloor: Javier Portilla (from Costa Rica), on the 2nd we have Carlos Alfonsin (from Buenos Aires), one of our residents, Gustavo Filgueira is playing on the 9th, on the 23rd we have Chris Fortier (from USA), Martin Garcia (also from Buenos Aires) on the 30th and D-nox (from Germany) on June 27th.
Dive into Argentina’s deep underground & tune into Dual Q, hosted by one of La Boite’s residents, Gerardo Boscarino: