The Mexican dance music community unites for Catalogo MX

Words by: Sean-Michael Yoder
Posted: 28/8/12 8:02

The Mexican dance music community unites for Catalogo MX
It hasn’t been a great year for Mexico, the presidential election this summer was perhaps a precursor for the upcoming US election, a bitter contest that ended up deeply dividing the nation. Despite massive protests and a growing sense of dread that no Mexican political party can stop the escalating drug war has tinted the conversations of many citizens with touches of nihilism there is a sense of hope amongst the dance music community there.

The Catalogo MX project launched shortly after the elections with a compilation, website, and label that have brought the underground dance music community in Mexico much closer together although there is no one sound unifying such a huge country, instead Catalogo MX revels in its diversity.

The usual Mexican suspects are well-represented – nu disco, dubstep, and Eighties retro sound but there is also dub, shoegazer, house, techno, electro, drum & bass that is on equal footing with the more standard underground sounds.

One of the reasons is that nearly every region of the country is represented on the compilation’s 33 tracks and there happens to be a big difference between what happens in the East and West compared to the nation’s hub – Mexico City.

Enough that we wanted to sit down and chat with all of the artists involved with the compilation to get everyone’s story but with 33 different artists and a tight deadline, we soon realized we’d talk with anyone who wanted to about them, the compilation, and the future of Mexico from a more positive perspective.

We got responses as diverse as the music on the compilation, it was a moving experience with a common theme of a better, brighter future, a need for a home town, and a desire for unity through music running through all of the responses.

The principle architects of Catalogo MX have been Jerga and Valeria, better known as Mexican production duo Signal Deluxe. You’d be hard pressed to find harder working idealists anywhere in the world, their hope for the future is almost indefatigable, although it was severely put to the test during the contentious election this summer.

Signal DeluxeWhy did you put this compilation together and how long did it take?
Signal Deluxe: We have been working on this project for a couple of years; we thought it was a good moment to bring all artists and labels together. There are many amazing labels and artists all over the country, we work and collaborate with almost all of them so everything just came naturally.

There is a real sense of community, passion and camaraderie between all of these labels and artists so putting this together is a good way to show the world what's really going on in the Mexican underground. This is a very ambitious project that will end in a big festival to promote local talent of different disciplines, all based on collaborations and communal efforts.

We also spoke with Jack’s son, Nalé Garcia, FM, and Man Cor about the compilation asking them all the same questions and were surprised by the diversity of answers here.

Who are you and what label are you working with for the Catalogo MX compilation?
Jack’s son: Jack’s sonAbolipop Records and Blaq Records

Nalé Garcia: I am Nalé Garcia and work with the label Ruter,

Santiago Rodriguez (FM): Hi, I am Santiago Rodriguez and I have a project signed with Blaq Records, it’s called FM.

Man Cor: Man Cor part of the Greenbeat Records Label

Jack’s sonWhat city do you live in and what makes it so special to you?
Jack’s son: Zapopan, Jalisco, México
I have lived in this city for almost 27 years and I have watched how it has become a benchmark for Mexican independent art work, mainly through powerful cultural activities full of diverse merged artistic genders including outbreaks of classic, contemporary and experimental arts, inciting both artist and population to stimulate sensory capabilities through art.

Guadalajara, its history and culture had help me to refine and enhances my work by adding local influences to my sounds and incorporating audio messages in favor of or against some social and political ideologies. This is my hometown, it is part of me.

Nalé Garcia: I was born in the state of Tamaulipas but I live in Mexico City for some time. I feel part of it because my family is here; my best friends are in this city. I found the love of music and knowledge of electronic music here. I think that makes it special.  I like that you can find anything, there is much wealth in the streets.

Santiago Rodriguez (FM): Well, I’m a city rat from Mexico City. Wouldn't mind living elsewhere though. I guess Mexico City is just like any other major city. Except its has most of my friends and family. And the food is amazing.

Man Cor:  I'm actually in Mexico City, but now I’m living in Tulum and what really makes it so special is the liaison we have with nature, it’s a beautiful town and full of energy.

Nalé GarciaTell us a little bit about the Catalogo MX; what is it and why is it important?
Jack’s son: I think Catalogo MX is more than a project; it has become a platform for independent record labels, musicians and general Mexican underground culture and art.

Catalogo MX
represents a window through the world helping us to insert our work in an international circuit to be known, explored, shared and remixed.

Nalé Garcia: This project is the union of all labels of our country. It is an amazing project that as support for labels that are unknown but have very good musical material. Mexico has a lot of talent; with this platform I'm sure other countries will turn to see our work

Santiago Rodriguez (FM): I know massive amounts of effort were put in to making this project possible, and it was all done with the best intentions, old fashioned agreements, great talent, you know, the works.

Personally, I'd rather quote a god friend of mine and posted it on my FB: "Catálogo MX es un desdoblamiento interno que explota. Una compilación genial por ser fiel a la unidad de una expresión diversa. Merece dispersarse como fuego en la hojarasca. Que así sea." - LFB
It’s worth the translation, believe me…

Man Cor:  Catalogo Mexicano is a great platform for our music to be heard in different parts of the world right now, it is a nicely done project that took years and that's what makes it important. I just want to say thank you to Signal Deluxe and Indigo [Mendigo] for this beautiful idea.

Man CorHow do you feel about the recent presidential election and what effect do you think it will have on the future of the country?
Jack’s son: Perfect systems don’t exist, and certain political profiles are best suited for each niche... I don’t consider that the return of PRI's good for me or for many people... The change has always been in me by trying to be a better person, taking care of my actions without affect others and by trying to live in society in the best way. It’s a pity that not many people quite understand that we all are human and we have to live in the same space... Changing by myself and proposing new and better things is my way of life... The change begins in you…

Nalé Garcia: No doubt, this issue went around the world, heh! I am disappointed by the people who sold their vote. I understand that the situation in the country is not good, but was it worth selling your vote for money? It scares me what will happen if the supposed new president comes to power. This country has a lot of wealth to be stolen by people as ambitious and ignorant. The future of our country is uncertain, I imagine a repressed country in which the rich get richer and, day-by-day, the poor are poorer.

Santiago Rodriguez (FM): I’m sure I might lose my single fan with this one (sorry Mom), but I stayed home on Election Day and watched dumb ass television. Guess that sums it up.

Man Cor:  I feel very sad because Mexico has always been a country conquered and ruled by people with very bad management, I believe that every day there are more people that know what is happening in the country and are open to make a real change in our country, in the future we can lose every day things that really belong to the country and all Mexicans.

Santiago Rodriguez (FM)What role do you think music will play in that future and how would you like to be involved in that future as an artist?
Jack’s son: Everything is changing in different perspectives and proposes, music is not the exception. I don’t know how it is going to change but what I know is that we have the guns to continue fighting… We are part of those changes and we have to adapt our lives and work to them.

Nalé Garcia: We area all dedicated to art and dream of leaving a legacy, at least that is my dream, heh! Electronic music in Mexico is growing in a surprising way and I think in a couple of years we will become powerful, we need to work hard and be united. I would like to collaborate with the future of electronic music by supporting new artists and always representing Mexico with my music….

Santiago Rodriguez (FM): I hope that in some ways this huge wave of shitty music is so powerful that young guys start to learn how to play a fuckin’ instrument and play along with other human beings and make music together. And yelling whatever the hell they feel like expressing that morning. Hey, I wanna be a part of that.

Man Cor:  I think we are in an era where creativity is filled with years of good examples can now merge any genre and electronic music. Everyday it becomes more musical and full of surprises, we offer fresh and different sounds and don't follow the same styles, always trying to do something original.

Varios Labels Compilation -  Catalogo Mx 00

Catalogo MX Online
Web Site Soundcloud


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