Chilean electronic music refers to the electronic music genre and its subgenres produced in Chile or by Chileans.
The origins of electronic music in Chile can be found as far back as 1958, when physicist Werner Meyer-Eppler visited Chile. As a result of his visit, experimentation with electronic music gained support from the scientific community and an electronic music laboratory was established.
In 1959, Jose Visencio Asuar published a thesis entitled "Generación mecánica y electrónica del sonido musical" (Mechanical and Electronic Generation of Musical Sound), and to demonstrate his thesis he composed "Variaciones espectrales" (Spectral Variations), the first piece of electronic music in Chile.
In 1966, at the Universidad Católica, Samuel Claro released his second electronic music album, Estudio N°1.
Asuar released Estudio Aletorio in 1962 and Ambientes Sonoros in 1967. Both records were released in Germany (Karlsruhe) and Venezuela (Caracas).
In 1968, Tomás Lefever composed 19 electronic tracks and released Klesis, a compilation album containing works by Amenábar and Asuar.
It is not clear when exactly the electronic music movement as it is known today reached Chile. At the beginning of the 1990s a small underground movement had emerged, with DJs such as Cristian Vogel, Ricardo Villalobos, Matias Aguayo and Sergio Orrego, the opening of the specialist store Background, and small scale events like “Barracudas” in 1992, “Corriente Alterna” (1993), “Distrito Distinto” (1993), “Background” (1994), “Avanzada multimedia” (1994), “Frontera Final” (1995) and “Spandex Parties” taking place through the 1990s. However, most commentators see the true birth of electronica in Chile at the Alacran Peninsula in the city of Arica, in an event that took place during the solar eclipse of November 1994.
The solar eclipse took place on November 3, 1994, with excellent views available in northern Chilean cities such as Arica, drawing astronomers from around the world to observe the rare phenomenon in the area's uniquely clear skies. A group of electronica fans and DJs decided to use the eerie eclipse landscape as a backdrop to host Chile's first rave. The event was sponsored by the German clothing manufacturer Pash and took place outdoors in the Scorpion Peninsula, opposite to the historic Morro de Arica. Ravers could observe the eclipse and wait for its shadow to pass, with electronic music as a soundtrack. DJs who took part in the rave included John Acquaviva, Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos, Derrick May, Pascal, Siddhartha and Adrian.
Though it was a small event, the Alacran rave has gained near legendary status in Chile and has become a landmark in the country's electronic scene. Since then, the scene has grown fast and massive events have taken place in many of Chile's major cities, including “C[C2] reamfields”, “Sensation White” (a spin-off from Amsterdam’s “Sensation”), and Ultra Music, an event that first appeared in Miami.
In the last decade, techno and house music, mostly inspired by the movement in Berlin, has grown in Santiago. These underground scene has been recorded by labels like Comeme and Pirotecnia with stars from the scene like Alejandro Paz and Mamacita.
The International Society for Chilean Music (SIMUC) has a podcast called MEC dedicated exclusively to Chilean electronic music. The first episode was aired on September 30, 2016.