Nestled between the Amazon Rainforest, the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Ecuador is a sanctuary for countless flora and fauna. It's one of the 17 so-called 'megadiversity countries', which together contain the majority of Earth's various animal and plant species. There's a lot being done to conserve delicate endemic ecosystems, and Ecuador itself is the first country in the world to recognise the rights of nature, enforcing them against global corporations like Chevron.

The South American nation is also a cornucopia of rich, bustling cultures: from the descendants of survivors from a slave ship wrecked offshore, to the ruins of Incan cities; from the Balkan refugees of WWII to the traditional colonial Spanish heritage sites. Despite a run of military juntas, revolutions and fracases with neighbouring territories, Ecuador has become a powerful economy on the continent, with funds being raised largely through oil and banana exports.

With liberal conservationist laws and much freedom amongst native tribes, there's a focus of ensuring culture survives, even though the current government is fond of imprisoning protesters, journalists and censoring the media. However, through the allegations of human rights abuses and accusations of corruption, there's a wealth of sublime sounds to be found in this vibrant land, proving that creativity can remain strong in the face of quasi-tyranny.

Harking from the capital city of Quito, Mauro Samaniego, AKA Da Pawn, blends bucolic folk quaintness with flashes of experimental playfulness. Big single 'Casa Siempre' has got huge post-rock structures, dark alt. grunge guitars and the faded falsetto of Bon Iver – it's folk with bite. Beginning life as a dainty ode with twinkling finger-picking and trundling bass, it soon implodes, becoming drenched in effects and wielding emotional tendrils. Rather than languishing in broody sulk-strewn maelstroms, there's a passion and a pace. There's a link to Patrick Watson or Pete Yorn in his compositions, with major avante-folk tendencies but an affable sheen. The track's Coheed and Cambria-esque coda has immense impact.

Caye Cayejera's visceral cut 'Puro Estereotipo' blends rap, folk and pop. The backing feels a tad Cat Power-y, with haunting, mythical backing vox, but the lolloping bass resembles a jaunty Eminem. Cayejera's words, though in Spanish, sound venomous. She's apparently inspired by feminist struggles, and uses a dark hip-hop beat from which to launch verbal assaults.

Acoustica maestros MUNN imbue their synthetic-yet-organic brew with trip-hop and downtempo flavours, nodding to Massive Attack, Portishead and Lamb with silken efforts. They sample Louis Armstrong and Pink Floyd on their fractured EP Espirales, toying restlessly with warped synths, cinematic strings and the tick-tock of percussive jitters. It's a grandiose statement, ambitious and adorned with a multi-faceted throng of elements that both burrow deep into the wrinkly folds of your grey matter and bob along with poppy glee. The quintet gush with broken emotion and construct the patchwork structures akin to Styrofoam, eliciting rapidfire heart rates with their sonic slabs. The members have a vast array of knowledge that they've harvested over years in local and international music scenes, and though Espirales was released last year, recordings for it were taking place as far back as 2009. The EP is simultaneously an unnerving anthology of subterranean doom and a collection of red-lit seedy anthems.

Noise-dance trio Sweet Sandra, another outfit based in Quito, channel Crystal Castles and CSS for their aggressive aural afflictions. It's a raucous, disconnected brand of sound, drenched in drugged-out synths that burble like vivid hallucinations, and the sickly syrup of lead vocalist Maggie Camps. It's not polished in any way, often sounding brutal, and though they utilise the same hedonistic vibes as their Brazilian counterparts, their shindig is decisively more skeevy and crack-denny.

Techno fiend Nicola Cruz summons beats from the demons of dance music. Infusing post-dubstep drums with traditional Andean instrumentation and home locale folk sounds, he creates an intriguing and exotic timbre. It's seductive and definitely rooted in dance music, but his take is a unique one, blending lurching synth hooks with the mystical national instruments. He's a producer with plenty of creative energy, taking modern US genres like trap and dubstep and techno, and splattering them with Balearic sensibilities and oodles of Ecuadorian charm.

There's heaps of juicy music simmering away in Ecuador. Others to keep an eye on include indie rockers La Máquina Camaleön, electroclash foursome L.O.B.A., 'one love' pop merchant Marley Muerto, beatboxer fabrikante and post-punks Alkaloides.