Music

Cuando trato de echarte la culpa termino teniéndola yo

All Linkin' Park pictures were grabbed from their official Twitter account.

All Linkin' Park pictures were grabbed from their official Twitter account.

By Sol Pérez-Pelayo

l  would be lying if I said that I was a huge fan, or that I had been thinking about that band or him or prophesying his death for the last couple of days. Even so, I do not condemn those who do, or those who suddenly camefans of the band or singer after his death. I'm not one of those people who criticize others because "they become fans" overnight of somethingthat becomes a trending topic because of a sudden Unfortunately we as artists are worth more dead than alive. I'm talking about the recent suicide of Chester Bennington, the lead singer of LINKIN PARK.

A famous person’s suicide is always news, it is not the first time even this year, (remembering the great Chris Cornell) that Facebook newsfeeds are invaded by the suicide or death of a singer or musician that somehow marked my life at a certain point. The first time I felt this particular pain that ached in my whore body but at the same time without a real location, it was with Kurt Cobain. I found that I could feel closer to these people whom I had never met in person than with the people I talked to on a daily basis. This is because the connection we share comes directly from that unrivaled feeling that a song has, when it touches you, as something ancient, as if it read something inside you that nothing and no one else can.

Since I was very young I have enjoyed listening to music, especially rock and metal. When I was growing up at the beginning of the millennium, a lot of things were changing, and although I spent all of my allowance on CDs, MP3s began to take over the music industry. Even though I was a fan of old school metal like Thrash, Black and American or European Death Metal, I began to take this new kind of music into my esteem. NÜ METAL was not only part of my formation and influence playing bass in my band but also in my development as a teenage girl with very different tastes in a world with a society that lives for stereotypes.

Thismusic genre differed from everything I had heard so far because it combined different styles. These were undoubtedly influenced by Heavy Metal,  the guitar riffs were repetitive and sticky the virtuoso solos of old Heavy Metal disappeared. The voices were a composition of clean vocals, combined with elements of hip hop, rap and even a little guttural screams. At the time I had not analyzed it so thoroughly. I was 14 years old in a world where I wanted to find my way, playing bass, in athletism or writing poems. But it was in music where I discovered a special sanctuary. I think that many of us participate in this almost psychopathic melomania, that exact moment where the world stops, when it breaks into a thousand pieces and each of them outlines a fraction of our personal soundtrack that forges our life and professes a context that illuminates that very moment, which is unique and will never again exist.

For those of us who were born in the last half of the 80s, became teenagers just as the millennium was about to crash it’s way into our lives like a hurricane. It's true that we had our whole life talking about this, we guessed that there would be flying cars and robots with a keen sense of humor as in the Jetsons, but as the date approached, it all seemed like a hallucination. I also remember during that this time, I discoveredgerman philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, someone who would stay with me the rest of my life. I read about nihilism and felt some sort of confort knownig that, like me, others had already felt this strange rage that perhaps was part of my development. A newly acquired hormonal behavior, of a type of adolescent angst without an specific justification, but that conformed a great part of my personality.

In a world where Rick Rubin was the producer of the greatest alternative bands of the world, I longed to find sense in my life through music everyday. I has already identified with musical lyrics before, when I discovered grunge. But Nü metal and Nietzsche came into my life just at the perfect moment. We clicked, iracound lyrics, frustration and the entering a millennium that becameless and less human, and dedicated to the earthly matters was part of what fashioned me.

Although I have always been more inclined towards the heavy, the brutal, the acidic kind of music, I found out one day that my unconditional love of Nordic Black Metal, Metallica and Sepultura and more recently acquired of Korn and Slipknot there was room for something that had never existed until then in my musical tastes. It was my weekly habit to go to the record stores and spend my last dime on records that I discovered on the radio program “El Despeñadero” or on “Metalmorfosis” in the radio of University of Guadalajara. On one of these trips I stumbled over with HYBRID THEORY. One shouldn´t judge a book by its cover right? I couldn´t agree more. Because despite the cover being absolutley hideous someonethings told me to check this band out, a band that I had never heard of but read about in Hit Parader.

I didn´t have to listen to it for long when the record became one of my favorite of the moment. It didn’t take long for me to look up more information about them and found a photo that reminds as one of the most intense memories I have of my teenage years. It was a photo that promoted Hybrid Theory; Chester Bennington´s arms tattooed with flames, just that without a face, and they framed a microphone. The photograph immediately enchanted my eyes. In my last year of middle school this photo became the cover of my English Lit notebook. Only in the United States this record sold 10 million copies,, whether we consider ourselves fans of the band or not, we would have to be diluted by not accepting that they were an influence of cardinal scale, at least in their genre. I would be a hypocrite to say that they did not mark my life in a way, at least with that album. It is true as I said at the beginning, that the band was no longer a one of my favorites, I didn´t listed to them or even knew that they had a new album. I had moved away a lot NÜ Metal and I am now where I love it most forever in Death and Black metal, genres that I have always listened to with singular joy and enthusiasm, so Linkin Park and Nü Metal did not last in my life.

When I speak about transcendence, the most valuable thing left to us by an artist or writer after their death is their legacy. One of my most conspicuous obsessions in both my life and in my writings is the idea of iving eternally through a work of art or literature that achieves transcendence defing time. It is the only way to live beyond the ethereal life we ave, to continue in this world even after or last breath.

With the news of Chester Bennington’s alleged suicide, which I found lamentable, the old ideas of suicide resurfaced in me. Suicide was a subject that obsessed me as a teenage, the idea of having control of your life to the point of being able to decide when to end it and not so much as a last or easy way out of a life which you can no longer deal with and you make the choice to depart from. Both points are reasons by which people may cease with their lives, but I was really intrigued by the idea of hy so many people that I admired committed suicide?

One of them most known Nietzschean theories is the Eternal Return; The same thing is repeated forever. But in a physical idea o nature, not involving things like reincarnation. But to someone who suffers a great deal, why would they want to repeat it all when death could end it? The idea of epeating the same thing involves the idea of Amor Fati or love for your fate. There is a will to live, but this would also mean that there is a will to die. The Will to Power also affirmed by Nietzsche creates the Übermensch who after announcing the death of God enters inevitable nihilism. The idea of he Eternal Return is perhaps a little frightening, since we know that the end of it all is death, but we often do no know the time, place or cause. If we put ourselves against infinity, time, space and the universe we would realize our own triviality, our existence is going to be reduced to living 70 something years and this against the eternity is an insignificance. Should we then decide to live a fuller life because of this, or we could decide to live intensely? Live thinking that everyday can be our last?

Perhaps it´s even unfair that Chester Bennington and Linkin Park were quite successful in their golden times, but it also true that they no longer enjoyed of total support from their so-called fans as it was at begining. Now that he has died, his fans may be collecting regrets, many of having abandoned him in his human and artistic journey, have resurfaced from the depths of their computers or perchance many are new. As I said, I do not condemn this, everyone knows what they do and what they say. The death of someone else opens up in us humans a certain feeling of guilt and trepidation, because we see in it our own death, our impotence to be able to do something, given that it is too late. It is at present too late for Chester, for all the people who called him poser or sellout or for those who stopped admiring him at their own  convenience. It is already late for all of them who still love him and that his death has left a gap in their lives, whether they were close to him personally or not. Nevertheless, it is only late in some way in this life, given the fact that t´s now imposible to to be able to do something more with it. Chester's suicide aroused in me these nihilistic feelings that I stumbled upon alongside his band and my intellectual guide. Philosophy and music will always be part of my life and leverage the way I see and analyze it

In any case, our Mexican idiosyncrasies of dealing with death in a humeours take or as a joke allows us to make pranks about tragedies as soon as possible. The memes or mockeries of something that started out as is something aberrant come sooner thatn ever. I am not sure if it is already something that conforms our Mexican geist or if we are already insensitive to the pain of others, which terrifies me. There are thousands of opinions about Chester´s suicide: if he was a selfish, that he was so famous, what about his family?, etc. The truth is that we can not and do not have the right to judge anyone, but I forget that in the networks we have all been like that, despotic judges of situations that are not of our concern, that everyone online feels that they are experts in all areas even if they have not studied the topic at all.

Until yesterday I hadn´t listened to the band ina long time, possibly and as many do it was because of thenostalgia I felt. I can honestly say that I shifted to my adolescence I was 15 years old again,  back then when I unveiled many things in my life and I returned to those years where I began to strengthen the roots that until now have kept me true myself. Nietzsche says: "The individual has always fought not to be absorbed by the tribe. If you try, you will often be alone, and sometimes scared. But no price is too high for the privilege of being oneself. "

Trying to put so much on you takes so much on me

All Linkin' Park pictures were grabbed from the band's official  Twitter  page

All Linkin' Park pictures were grabbed from the band's official Twitter page

By Sol Pérez-Pelayo

Estaría mintiendo si dijera que yo era mega fan, o que tenía días pensando en esa banda o en él o profetizando su muerte. Aun así, tampoco voy a condenar a quienes lo hagan, o a los que de repente les entró un amor a la banda o al cantante a raíz de su muerte. No soy de las que critican a la gente porque “se hacen fans” de la noche a la mañana de algo que no conocían pero de pronto por algo como una muerte, se convierte en trending topic. Desgraciadamente los artistas valemos más muertos que vivos. Estoy hablando del reciente suicidio de Chester Bennington, el vocalista de LINKIN PARK.

 

El suicidio de una persona famosa siempre es noticia, no es la primera vez inclusive en este año, (basta recordar al gran Chris Cornell) que los newsfeeds de Facebook son invadidos por el suicidio o muerte de un cantante o músico que de algún modo marcó mi vida. La primera vez que sentí este dolor particular que me dolía por todos lados pero al mismo tiempo sin una localización real, fue con Kurt Cobain.

Así fueron suicidándose ídolos que yo aún sin conocer en persona, pude sentirme más cercana a ellos que con las personas con las que convivía a diario. Esto es, porque la conexión que compartimos es directa de ese sentimiento incomparable que te provoca una canción, cuando te toca, como algo antiguo, como si leyera algo dentro de ti que nada ni nadie mas puede.

Desde una edad muy temprana he disfrutado mucho de la música y sobre todo del rock y metal. Cuando yo estaba creciendo en el comienzo del milenio, muchas cosas se estaban innovando, y aunque yo gastaba hasta mi último “domingo” en CDs, los MP3 comenzaban a invadir la industria de la música. De cualquier modo, aunque yo era fan del metal vieja escuela como el Thrash, Black nórdico y Death americano o europeo, lo que me tocó disfrutar como parte de mi formación y no sólo musical tocando en mi banda, sino musical en formación como una chica con gustos no comunes en un mundo lleno de estereotipos, fue por supuesto y sin lugar a dudas, el llamado Nü Metal.

Este género se diferenciaba de todo lo que yo hasta entonces había escuchado porque combinaba diferentes estilos. Éstos tenían sin duda gran influencia del heavy metal, los riffs eran comunes y repetitivos mientras los solos virtuosos del antiguo heavy metal desaparecieron. Las voces eran una composición de vocales limpias, aunadas con elementos de hip hop, rap y hasta un poco de gutural. Todo esto en ese momento no lo había analizado con tanto detenimiento. Yo tenía 14 años en un mundo donde me buscaba encontrar camino, tocando el bajo, en el atletismo o escribiendo poemas. Pero fue en la música donde descubrí un refugio especial. Creo que muchos participamos de esta melomanía casi psicopática, de esa conmoción donde el mundo se detiene, se parte en mil pedazos y cada uno de ellos perfila una fracción de nuestro soundtrack personal que forja nuestra vida y nos profesa un contexto que ilumina ese momento, el cual es único y que nunca volverá a existir.

 

A los que nacimos en la última mitad de los 80s nos tocó ser adolescentes justo cuando el milenio estaba a punto de adherirse en nuestras vidas como un huracán. Es cierto que teníamos toda nuestra vida hablando de eso, que conjeturábamos que habría carros volando y robots con humor como en los Supersónicos, pero entre más se iba acercando la fecha, todo eso parecía una alucinación. Recuerdo también durante esta época haber descubierto a Friedrich Nietzsche, persona que se quedaría conmigo el resto de mi vida. Descubrí el nihilismo y qué como yo, habían existido ya escritores que sentían esta extraña rabia que quizás formaba parte de mí. De un comportamiento hormonal recién adquirido, de un tipo de enojo adolescente sin justificación específica, pero que conformó gran parte de mi personalidad. En un mundo donde Rick Rubin era el productor con las bandas alternativas más escuchadas del mundo, buscaba encontrarle sentido a mi vida por medio de la música cada día. Con estas letras me había identificado en el grunge, pero el Nü metal cayó justo en el momento perfecto.

Hicimos clic, las letras de enojo, de frustración y el entrar en un milenio cada vez menos humano, cada vez más dedicado a lo terrenal era parte de lo que conformaba mi dedicación a toda esta corriente en la cual crecí.

Aunque siempre me he inclinado más por lo pesado, lo brutal, lo ácido, encontré un día que dentro de mi amor incondicional al Black Metal nórdico, a Metallica,  a Sepultura y recientemente adquirido a Korn y a Slipknot había lugar para algo que nunca había existido hasta entonces en mis gustos musicales.Era mi hábito de cada semana, ir a las tiendas de discos y gastar hasta mi último centavo en discos que había descubierto en el programa de radio el Despeñadero o uno que existía hace mucho que se llamaba Metalmorfosis en radio Universidad de Guadalajara, cuando me topé con HYBRID THEORY. Se dice que no se debe de juzgar un libro por su portada, y estoy de acuerdo de eso,  porque la portada a mi gusto era espantosa, y como mencioné me gusta la música mas “pesada” en cambio, decidí darle a esta banda de la cual había leído en HIT PARADER pera que jamás había escuchado; LINKIN PARK una oportunidad.

 

 

A las pocas veces que lo escuché, el disco se convirtió  en uno de mis discos favoritos del momento. No tardé en buscar mas información y encontré una foto que es de los recuerdos más intensos que tengo de mi adolescencia. Era una foto promocionado el disco Hybrid Theory; eran los brazos tatuados con flamas de Chester Bennington, así sin cara, enmarcaban un micrófono y en seguida, encantaron mis pupilas En segundo de secundaria los brazos en flamas de Chester fueron la portada de mi cuaderno de English Literature. Tan sólo en los Estados Unidos vendieron 10 millones de copias de su álbum debut, seamos fans o no seamos fans, tendríamos que estar negados al no aceptar que fueron una influencia de cardinal escala, por lo menos en el género. Yo estaría siendo hipócrita al decir que no marcaron mi vida de algún modo, por lo menos con ese álbum. Es cierto como dije al comienzo, que ya no era seguidora la banda, que me había alejado mucho ya inclusive del NÜ Metal y me he quedado estacionada ya para siempre en el Death y el Black metal, géneros de los que siempre he escuchado con singular alegría y entusiasmo, por lo cuales Linkin Park y el Nü Metal no duraron en mi vida.

Hablando de la trascendencia, lo más valioso que nos deja un artista o un escritor es su legado. Una de mis obsesiones más pronunciadas tanto en mi vida como en mis escritos es la idea vivir eternamente mediante una obra que logre la trascendencia a través del tiempo. Es la única forma de vivir más allá de la vida etérea que tenemos, de que sigamos en el mundo aun después de haber dejado de respirar.

Con la noticia del supuesto suicidio de Chester Bennington, la cual de verdad encontré lamentable, resurgieron en mí las antiguas ideas del suicidio. El suicidio era un tema que me obsesionaba de adolescente, el tener el control de tu vida al punto de decidir cuando terminarla, no tanto como una última salida a una vida con la cual ya no puedes y decides dejar. Ambos puntos son vertientes por las cuales las personas quizás cesan con su vida, pero realmente me intrigaba la idea de ¿por qué tanta gente que yo admiraba se suicidaba?

Nietzsche habla de su teoría del Eterno Retorno; se repite lo mismo por siempre. Alguien que sufre mucho, ¿por qué querría repetir lo que con la muerte pudo acabar? La idea de repetir lo mismo involucra la idea de amor fati o el amor al destino. Hay voluntad de vivir, pero esto también implicaría que hay voluntad de morir. La voluntad de poder acuñada por Nietzsche crea al superhombre después de anunciar la muerte de Dios y entrar en nihilismo inevitable.  Resulta quizás un poco aterradora la idea del Eterno Retorno, pues sabemos que pasa al final siempre, sabemos que moriremos. Pero no sabemos la mayoría del tiempo cuanto nos queda de éste y ni la causa de nuestra muerte. Si nos ponemos contra el infinito, el tiempo, el espacio y el universo tendríamos la idea de que no somos nada en sí, nuestra existencia se va a reducir a si bien nos va 70 y pico de años y contra el tiempo eterno es una insignificancia. ¿Es que gracias a esto, pudiéramos decidir vivir intensamente? ¿Vivir pensando en que podría ser el último día?

Haciendo un paralelismo, quizás hasta medio injusto; Chester Bennington y Linkin Park tuvieron en su tiempo bastante éxito, pero era cierto que ya no gozaban de tal ni de total apoyo de sus fans como lo fue en un principio. Ahora que ha muerto, y que ha decidido voluntariamente dejar este plano, sus fans quizás arrepentidos muchos de haberlo abandonado en su camino como seguidores, han resurgido de las profundidades de sus ordenadores o quizás muchos sean nuevos. Como dije, yo no condeno esto, cada quien sabe que hace y lo que dice. La muerte de alguien más abre en los humanos un cierto sentimiento de culpa y de miedo, porque vemos en ella nuestra propia muerte, nuestra impotencia de poder hacer algo, porque ya es demasiado tarde. Ya es demasiado tarde para Chester, para toda la gente que le llamó poser  o vendido o que dejó de admirarlo a conveniencia. Ya es tarde también para todos ellos que aún lo quieren y que su muerte ha dejado un hueco en su vida, hayan sido sus cercanos o no. No obstante, sólo es tarde de algún modo para la vida, para poder hacer algo más con ella. El suicidio de Chester despertó en mí estos sentimientos nihilistas que descubrí a la par de su banda y de mi guía intelectual. La filosofía y la música siempre van a formar parte de mi vida y de la forma en que la veo y la analizo.

De cualquier manera, nuestra idiosincrasia mexicana de tratar con la muerte como algo chusco nos permite hacer bromas de las tragedias a la brevedad posible. Los memes o mofas de algo que un principio es algo aberrante no se hacen esperar. No estoy segura si es ya algo de nuestro geist mexicano o si de plano ya estamos insensibles ante el dolor ajeno, cosa que me aterroriza. Hay miles de opiniones: que si era un egoísta, que de que le servía tanta fama, familia etc. La verdad es que no podemos ni tenemos derecho a juzgar a nadie, pero se me olvida que en las redes todos hemos sido así, jueces déspotas de situaciones que en verdad no nos incumben, que hay expertos en todo aunque no hayan estudiado nada.

Hasta ayer tenía mucho tiempo que no escuchaba a la banda y quizás como muchos dicen sólo por el furor o el recuerdo los puse. Puedo decir honestamente que me transporté a mi adolescencia, de nuevo tenía 15 años, descubría muchas cosas en mi vida y regresaba esos años donde empecé a fortalecer las raíces que hasta ahora me han mantenido fiel a mí misma. Dice Nietzsche: “el individuo ha luchado siempre para no ser absorbido por la tribu. Si lo intentas, a menudo estarás solo, y a veces asustado. Pero ningún precio es demasiado alto por el privilegio de ser uno mismo”.

YOUNG THUG IS HERE WITH A FUCKING GOOD ALBUM

By Ben Magana

Utilizing a hybrid acoustic guitar with tambourine a lá Country, through authentic down-home feel; this seems real. Haphazardly as it is his trademark and modus operandi, Jeffery Williams under his professional alias Young Thug proudly states to the four winds that Family Don´t Matter. In his liquid and reptilian style of rhyme-&-sing, Millie Go Lightly accompanies the Atlanta-native in this the opener from his new album, BEAUTIFUL THUGGER GIRLS. The nihilistic (non/anti) ethos that the album swifts into under the abstract syncopation in the second track where, just as it happened with the album opener, Young Thug’s intention is not to make his words be the meaning, but rather it seems that when he repeats, ’til Infinity, ’til Infinity, etc. he wants himself to be meaning  reflected under this dense but with enough stop-gaps (a trademark of his live act), he is the meaning and the music is just a means for him to rid of this seemingly facile task of making each track a party staple no matter the situation. With Go Lightly accompanying him again, by the third song titled She Wanna Party, now the mood is enhanced with trap beats and a languid atmosphere, this is among Young Thug’s most inviting songs yet. Also notable is the amount of singing he develops as each song unfolds, despite the usual lyrics of pills, girls and thrills that enunciate the kind of escapism the current world desperately needs. Thug is here to deliver the needs of music fans as no one has done recently since Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN two months ago. 

The smooth groove that swings in his personal ode to his family, Daddy’s Birthday, where the lifestyle is intertwined what appears to be affection and perhaps, love? An exaggeration could be, as it also happens on this album as it does with all his work, a mystique of vapidity permeates the album. This time out though, it is a solid artistic development, Do U Love Me goes to a 90’s Nelly galaxy where the party that the album certainly seems to conduct. The complexity of the music as a whole is undoubtedly for sure. On his collaborations with Future, Relationship seems like a summer hit at first glance, all the right ingredients for a hot summer dancefloor full of what the lyrics themselves describes, lots of women interacting in different scenarios, but somehow always there is some codeine, yachts, jet-skis and lots of fucking in-between, all the things that fuckin’ encapsulates anyway. You Said brings back the acoustic guitar of the album opener, though this time his beats and his powerful and melodic howl is there for the taking as he sing let’s get freaky here sing it now, Jeffery, sing that right now. On Fire they all give a jungle atmosphere with those bongos and those sticks that make for the beat in unison with his ever-present drum sequencer companion. The mood engages here with sighing sonic hallucinations, a knotty minimalism as he musically converses about his molly and red bull intake. 

It is here that Mr Snoop Dogg addresses his nephew, Jeffery himself, to make this the album’s cannabis showpiece, and by far the sexiest track of the album, a surefire hit given the chance. One of the major merits the album, with its lyrics of strains and G-Funk-meets-trap innovation, lets the listener know in its tenth track that it is an addicting ode to camel toes, lovely appreciated while they all Get High. Feel It finds Young Thug singing his ass out, all he can about how he can, or if and how does the listener feels by this time of the hypnotic thirtysomething minutes into the album, and the rhymes that fly at such overwhelming velocity that it compares to witnessing some kind of hallucination of falling stars under some drug combination with all the boyz and the bitchez down with him. Me or Us is a tongue-in-cheek full attempt at country-flavored pop, a somehow intriguing concept, Young Thug strumming his guitar while singing/rhyming random predicaments such as his joy of smoking weed in Japan. 

 

By the time the beat kicks in on Oh Yeah, the piano-led song that so far most resembles his former material, in particular his last release, Jeffery. The melodies this time around transcend and certainly arouse even the most casual listener into admiration. Young Thug has grabbed the position one of the most relevant artist of 2017, this is what someone might say by the time the acoustic guitar and trumpets starts to give close to an album that has the necessary components to be on repeat for the time being. Williams says Take Care after describing a multitude of circumstances all juxtaposing each on the other with absolutely no fucks given in the the last track, where he closes it in fact insinuating he is leaving somehow. He has said in interviews he doesn’t think he’s going to live long. He supposedly lives on Xanax, MDMA, water, soda and a daily injection of vitamins. The lyrics at times seem to offer clues into what he really is about, even though it never seems that’s his intention to do so. Let's all listen again.

Com Truise’s last iteration

By Ben Magana

Ever since Seth Haley released his first album, 2011’s Galactic Melt under the Com Truise moniker, there has been a dramatic shake-up in humanity in general, particularly in the mid-decade. When Galactic Melt was released, a nascent social expressive movement known widely as Vaporwave was just taking off and Com Truise seemed to belong in the increasingly 90’s nostalgia dependent and lo-fi/low-brow concept altogether. Haley revealed that Com Truise is in fact a character who specialized in intergalactic voyages, and it’s in his music that this story has been recorded. In basic terms, the musical aspect of 2011’s Vaporwave was mostly either chopped/screwed samples of 80’s synthpop or analog-sounding compositions that seemed empty of human condition as a whole. Com Truise represented, unwittingly according to Haley, a popular strain of the second type of the genre’s then genesis. Nonetheless, Galactic Melt was a syncopated cruise into an electro haven that represented a time where darkness attracted the apparent nothingness of the first few years of the current decade and never since has it been directly compared to the Vaporwave art form it was later classified as.

Six years ahead and oh fuck has the world changed. Needless to say, the once-alienating robotic sounds that make for each thread of Com Truise’s psychedelic techno have become soothing and welcoming. The twelve tracks that form Iteration, his second proper album release that hit streaming sites worldwide June 16, have an elastic empathy about them, perhaps nodding to a more human-friendly Artificial Intelligence in a nearer-than-we-thought future. As it often occurs with instrumental three-minute pop songs that transcend monotonic electronica and truly engages the listener in manners not unlike on what’s going on in the background of some of hip-hop’s up and coming artists such as Playboi Carti for example, who on his eponymous release this year proved that its style now is indebted to this strain of synthesized melodies over fragmented Techno glitches and blurry vocoder voices over in the distance.

Haley has stated in interviews across 2017 that this album mostly represents his move to Los Angeles last year, all the changes this move meant to his music (in his case, the Com Truise astronaut escapes a certain planet with his girlfriend astronaut and live a happily ever after). This means Iteration is the last Com Truise album we are going to get from Seth Haley, which makes the machinery and the hypnotic sonic fractals that make this album all the more poignant and rousing. While not straying far from his debut’s electro sails into a dark litmus that, as it evolved into Iteration and its content, in the end, it is safe to say that Com Truise is our time’s smooth jazz, the languishing escapism that sometimes not even hip-hop has managed to encapsulate as finely.

Groove Cartel: A new House variation that could take over the dance floors around the world.

Will and Cary photo by:  Groove Cartel Instagram

Will and Cary photo by: Groove Cartel Instagram

By Tom Spiegel

Electronic Music in Mexico started to be really important in the early 2000's. The international live acts started to look at that third world country as an ideal spot to play shows when they all realized the inhabitants had developed a certain level of taste for this genre. Mexicans' natural taste for dance and the party also had something to do with it, and soon a native scene was growing fast. Early Mexican EDM artists' first influences included Sasha, the Chemical Brother, Fatboy Slim and Groove Armada. Not too soon after those artists made it to Mexican ears, psychedelic trance also made its way to cities such as Guadalajara. 

It is precisely in Guadalajara where the main subject of this interview was born. His name is William Gonzalez and he is a true trendsetter when it comes to Mexican electronic music producers. His journey has taken him through some of the hottest dance floors in Mexico; it has taken him high enough to meet the world famous Infected Mushroom, and from that meeting his current project, Groove Cartel was born. 
They've been playing live together for only a few months, but in that time, Will and Cary have managed to establish a message of positive vibrations with a groovy feeling in this new Tech House Variation. They call it Groove House. 

Full disclosure: Will and I know each other personally from my raving days in Guadalajara. My first impression of him was formed at a house party. He's joyful human being who always has a smile to give and a whole lot of talent to share with everyone. He was kind enough to grant Kinofilia this interview without Cary, who was in Los Angeles at the moment. I told Will that I'd be asking about their history and how this Groove Cartel movement came together, so sit back and enjoy this lengthy interview because there is a lot of ground to cover. 

Photo credit:  Menbar Photos

Photo credit: Menbar Photos

Kinofilia: So I guess the best way to start is by asking you who this other guy is, how did you guys meet?

Will: "Cary White is from Lake Tahoe in California. He studied drums in a sort of conservatory. He has played them all his life and while working as a drummer in Tahoe and near Los Angeles, he worked hard making connections. He played for a while with a band called Metro Station who are multi-platinum. They play pop/rock music. After that, he played with Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine in a band he formed, and then he started playing with Infected Mushroom who now live in Los Angeles. They met and hit it off right away. They started touring around the continent and Cary has basically been busy doing that."

Cary White

Cary White

"When the two guys from Infected (Duvdev and Erez) started thinking about expanding, they came to Los Angeles and with the classical music background they have, they started thinking about playing their music in a live format which is the Infected Mushroom Live Band that we all know. It's a very well-organized project that has its basis in pshychedelic trance but they also have a hint of rock. They have a sick show. That's actually how I met them in person."

Kinofilia: How did that come about?

Will: "I met them in Mexico City. The first time I had the chance to contact them in any shape or form, was inside some Beatport charts back in 2011 when that electronic genre was wildly active in the country. On that website, how it works is that artists in general share their top ten picks of the best tracks from that month. One day I noticed they supported a song I produced that is called 'Savage' I think, I obviously flipped out at the idea that Infected Mushroom liked one of my songs. That's the first time I contacted them and a while later I realized they were going to perform at Pepsi Center in Mexico City in 2013."

Kinofilia: And then what happened?

Will: "That's when I decided to write to them. I have always thought that opportunities only come when you go after them, so I wrote them an e-mail. I was like, 'Hello Infected Mushroom, I really appreciate you supporting my song. I just realized you are performing in Mexico and I would like to help you guys out in the only way I see fit which is by playing music for you. I would love to be your opening act. That is if you allow me of course.' They quickly responded, actually they were really nice about it and told me they would be keen on doing that but I couldn't do anything unless they requested it."

"They were actually really cool about it, we arranged my opening act through some very diplomatic messages at first. I traveled to DF and played in their concert. At the end I came over to them and we started talking about music. I thought, "These are two guys who are very polite and diplomatic, with an impressive vision for business." So that's where I met Cary. After a few beers I immediately hit it off with him. We started talking about the industry and future plans. That's when he told me he wanted to start something new."

"Back then I was a little bit shy, I was going through a difficult time in my life. I was coming from one of the most difficult months of my life, actually, some really heavy personal and economic issues. I was in limbo. Actually, a day before the gig I was really close to not going to Mexico City because I didn't even have money for the trip, but a friend of mine at the time let me borrow 1,200 pesos for the trip and that's how I made it. It wasn't my best show, but making that trip changed everything for me, it was a learning process that proved to be beneficial for me because I met Cary and I also met Duvdev and Erez with whom I kept contact  later when they visited Mexico again."

Kinofilia: Ok so, now that we know how you and Cary met, I'd like to know how your whole production process happens. Who does what and how do you divide work?

Will: "We divide chores into several layers. First of all, any creation process needs to have a proper inception. In general, he is the one who sends me most of the ideas for any song. I pretty much always compare his ideas with mine and then proceed to select the best ones to start producing something. Once I have a clear idea of what we are both looking for, I spend time at my studio and start mixing or producing the music. Because we aren't together - he is in Los Angeles and I'm in Guadalajara - I'm the one who has invested more in equipment to do all the mixing and producing."

"It's way easier for me having an objective technical reference about what I'm doing and then sending him the ideas of what I produce in the studio. He has a good sense of rhythm and he has quick thinking. As soon as I send him a one-minute idea for example, he quickly suggests other complementary ideas that help me complete the track with the best possible quality. It's that same back and forth process that lasts between three and four days for a single track. I pretty much always begin with a percussion section, bass, kick and high hats on the first day. I produce that as clean as I possibly can. Then I try to balance it as well as I can. Then on the next day all we do is share our melodic input for each track."

Kinofilia: Sweet, and what genre would you call this style you have? Because I see influence from a lot of different concepts. It has house. It has some progressive trance influence, but it's a whole new different thing on its own. 

Will: "At first we were thinking about doing something like adding a whole new style as a little bit of marketing, as if we were aiming to create a whole new genre, a new sound. But finding a name for that genre was complicated, so we decided to combine the group's name with the genre. We call it Groove House because to us, it's a type of house that isn't tech house. It's not techno either because it's not as cold or raw as techno tends to be. The whole sequence and composition is a bit more free, a bit more bubbly. It's a lot like a new genre that has been blowing up in Asia called Power House but that's a name that doesn't resonate with me that much really."


"Groove House gives it a more fun spin and ring to it, it has more flavor. So this is not completely tech house because sometimes you listen to some really boring tech house, it's music to just hang out and not really dance that much. I think that because of my trance background, we also have some progressive trance elements."

Kinofilia: Groove House sounds perfect! And speaking of influence, which are your main influences in electronic music besides the obvious classic rock and classical music you have from your childhood and adolescence?

Will: "One of my biggest influences is a dude called Didi or Bizarre Contact who is starting to focus a lot more in producing tech house. He is incredible, one of the producers I deeply respect because his work is remarkable. He is a great human being as well. I actually gave classes where I analyzed the harmony of many of his songs. He recently played his first tech house set and talking to him, he told me this is a huge moment, and I think the same way as he does."

Kinofilia: How old is Groove Cartel?

Will: "This project was born between June and July this year. We have been invited to perform in several places so far. The problem is that I haven't been able to travel for many of the invitations we've gotten so far. I've been working 24/7 in Mexico because I'm more interested in opening this act here in Mexico. We look at Groove Cartel, and we are business partners. As such, we both have to keep in mind the best interest in the project. Right now we don't have the range the best in the world have. Being honest electronic music is not very profitable."

"This has a lot to do with self-funding, you have to be prepared to work really hard at first and then start getting results about six months or a year later. Playing our music at Burning Man, for example, has been a great help. That happened thanks to a series of contacts Cary got in LA. He started showing our stuff to some producers over there and we got invited. Unfortunately, Cary told me just a few weeks before the festival, a trip to Burning man involves getting mentally, psychologically, emotionally and economically prepared, and I just wasn't ready for it. You are ten days in the desert. The desert literally wants to kill you. It wants to leave you dry as a corpse as soon as possible. You need to be very well-prepared for that."

Groove Cartel  @ Burning Man

Groove Cartel @ Burning Man

Kinofilia: Yeah! It must be great knowing your music is being heard in one of the best music festivals in the world. And what's next for Groove Cartel?

Will: "Right now we are preparing a showcase in Guadalajara, the first official Groove Cartel event in town. I would like to tell you everything. The event will take place in about a month in a place that has had good artists performing in Guadalajara, but right now I can't give you more details. I want to bring people from all over the country, people who know me and have shared a lot with me throughout the years, mostly people who have been close to me and love their job. I think those connections are the ones that make this whole experience of making music worth your while. The official invitation will come out three weeks prior to the event. We want it to be a private event. We want a fluent dance floor where we can all enjoy the music and dance because this isn't deep house, we need enough space to dance freely."

Kinofilia: Will it be just you guys playing? Or will you have other artists in that event as well?

Will: "We've been looking at other artists who can do the warm-up and some others who can close the event because we want to be democratic with the range of music we want for the event. Everybody likes something different, we want someone playing techno at the end and something more down tempo for the warm-up. We don't just want people to come and enjoy the new project, we also want people to have a great party night where we can offer this new project as a bonus."

Will: "I have a very clear vision of what I want, the professional decisions I make are based on the professional goals I have as a producer. Right now, Groove Cartel is a project in which I'm dedicating my heart and soul because I have a mission to accomplish with it. I want to get to a certain point and when I get there I just want to keep going forward with it. I have some other personal projects and a few more that I'm doing collectively, one of them will be released in October. One of those projects has been in development for a year and a half and by the end of this month we'll get together to polish it and fifteen days later we will release the first video. This is also electronic music with some indy urban influence."

William Gonzalez

William Gonzalez

Kinofilia: We'll be happy to attend your event and cover it in Guadalajara. Just to end this tasty minutes you've given us, could you tell us what your vision for the future is and where do you see yourself in a few years?

Will: "I have a very clear vision of what I want, the professional decisions I make are based on the professional goals I have as a producer. Right now, Groove Cartel is a project in which I'm dedicating my heart and soul because I have a mission to accomplish with it. I want to get to a certain point and when I get there I just want to keep going forward with it. I have some other personal projects and a few more that I'm doing collectively, one of them will be released in October. One of those projects has been in development for a year and a half and by the end of this month we'll get together to polish it and fifteen days later we will release the first video. This is also electronic music with some indy urban influence."

During this 45 minute interview, Will was very gracious about the whole set of questions I had for him. My impression is that people like him, those who stay humble and grounded, are the ones who usually succeed in what they do. He has always been a wildly talented dude who never acts better than anyone in an elitist way, and that's the key to being liked by everyone. He already knows the amazing art he produces. All he cares about is sharing it and that's the reason why I am confident he will succeed alongside Cary. 

Mr. White was unfortunately absent for this interview. When he comes to Mexico in October, we gladly extend an invitation to give us a second interview so that we can share more of his life and background with all our readers. Maybe after Groove Cartel's show in Guadalajara... By that time you will be blowing up and we'll have the first exclusive if you give us the honor! Thanks Will for doing this with us, we hope you like it. Groove Cartel's new release, 'It's Alrite,' is out now and you can listen to it on their official Soundcloud page. It's part of a 12-track repertoire they have ready for us when their first big event comes to Guadalajara. Check it out!

You can also check out all of Groove Cartel's social media outlets and web page here:

Their official website.

Instagram account.

Soundcloud account.

Facebook page.

Their official presentation in Mexico will take place on October the 15th in Guadalajara. 

Alpha+: Techno análogo y saltarín de Guadalajara para el mundo

Photo credit:  Tino Design Photoflash

Por Pavel Ibarra Meda

Cuando yo llegué desde Tijuana a Guadalajara para pretender estudiar algo o hacer algo de mi vida, llegué con toda la viada que trae un chamaco de 19 años que quiere comerse el mundo y tirar toda la fiesta que le fuera posible. Mi fresca cabecita apenas había conocido el concepto de la música electrónica y realmente aún no sabía distinguir entre un género y otro, solo la disfrutaba. Recuerdo vagamente que antes de entrar en este mundo y antes de corromper mi cabeza con substancias psicoactivas, mi primer viaje experimental con esta expresión musical fue a bordo de un taxi escuchando todo el Involver de Sasha bajo el calor abrazador de la frontera. 

Pero al viajar a Guadalajara no tenía ni puta idea de lo que me esperaba, una ciudad llena de diferentes sabores y sensaciones dentro del mundo de la música electrónica, que comparada con Tijuana era un auténtico dragón de mil cabezas. Fue donde conocí los varios géneros y variaciones desde todos los subgéneros del trance, los subgéneros del house, el electro y el techno. De todos hay variaciones por las cuales caí perdidamente hipnotizado y hasta el día de hoy sigo enganchado de su belleza e ingenio. A mi siempre me ha gustado un track que tenga melodías bien estilizadas, pero que tenga una atmósfera que te provoque mover el bote, o por lo menos ese típico movimiento de cabeza cuando disfrutas un buen "eargasm". 

 

Fue en la ciudad de Guadalajara donde conocí al buen Migue, una de las personas con el intelecto más desarrollado que logré conocer ahí, dando apenas sus primeros pasos del camino que lo trajo a presentarse por primera vez en el mundialmente famoso Boiler Room de la ciudad de Guadalajara, organizado por el siempre confiable Bar Américas, meca de la música electrónica en México. En los últimos tiempos de la mano del señor Ramón Gonzalez como el principal promotor, se han dado a la tarea de voltear a ver los talentos locales más llamativos y les están dando salida al público poco a poco. Migue es uno de los primeros en darse a conocer con su Live Act llamado Alpha+.

Pero tenía años que no veía a Miguel, con él siempre tuve conversaciones ricas en cultura y noté que ya tenía ese gusanito productor que lo llevó a poner a brincar a todos los presentes con su tecno análogo saltarín. Un ritmo que me hizo recordar mucho viejo videos de fiestas en Detroit que llegué a ver en youtube, donde tocaban DJ's con discos de vinyl. 

Inmediatamente después de ver el stream en vivo volví a ponerle play al video de lo tanto que me gustó, estaba gratamente emocionado por Miguel por el nivel que ha alcanzado, pero para nada sorprendido. Él es capaz de hacer esto y seguir evolucionando, quién sabe hasta donde llegue pero no creo que tenga límite. Lo contacté para que nos diera la oportunidad de entrevistarlo para Kinofilia y con gusto aceptó, desde acá le mandamos un abrazo y le deseamos todo el éxito que seguramente tendrá. Disfruten de esta entrevista para que lo conozcan un poco más como artista. 

Photo credit:  Tino Design Photoflash

1.- ¡Qué onda carnal! No te pude decir muy bien lo que pienso de tu live en Boiler Room pero puedo decirte que no soy el único al que le gustó, solo me gustaría saber algunas cosas al respecto. La primer y más lógica creo yo, es saber. ¿Entre qué estilo o sub-géneros de la música electrónica consideras que está tu estilo?

R.- Raw Techno, (techno crudo con grabaciones o instrumentos análogos que "ensucien" o exciten la señal) y variantes del House.

2.- Me gustaría saber cuál es la diferencia entre los que hacen su live solo poniéndole play a su lap top y lo que tú hiciste ahí, porque lo tuyo fue totalmente distinto a lo que está acostumbrada la gente que te vio. Siento que no todos logran comprender lo que lograste ahí. ¿Cómo lo explicarías?

R.- El sistema de mi live act se basa en cadenas MIDI, donde se escoge un dispositivo maestro (en este caso un secuenciador análogo Electribe ESX1) que manda tanto la información de notas, como información de tiempo (bpm) a los demás instrumentos o sintetizadores por medio del lenguaje MIDI. Todos los demás aparatos están conectados vía MIDI al dispositivo "maestro" y quedan "esclavizados" al mismo.

Photo credit:  Nuevecinco

Photo credit: Nuevecinco

La diferencia entre un live act de laptop, es que están centrados y ejecutados desde un DAW (Digital Audio Workstation como Cubase, Logic, Ableton, etc.) y es la computadora quien realiza todas las secuencias y en muchos casos los mismos sonidos que integran un track por medio de instrumentos virtuales (VSTi's). Pocos actos en vivo integran instrumentos físicos en la interpretación, pues la comodidad de tener todo un estudio dentro de una laptop ha facilitado que se pueda prescindir de hardware y de sintetizadores físicos.

En mi live, yo voy haciendo las secuencias, mezclando cada uno de las pistas que integran un track mandando información de notas a los sintetizadores, además de contar con una caja de ritmos para las baterías. Para poder presentar mi acto necesito llevarme un sampler, un secuenciador, una caja de ritmos y al menos un sintetizador.

No creo que usar hardware o software defina la calidad de tu música, cualquier camino que te ayude a llegar al sonido que buscas es lo que importa. Oh! y lo más importante! Muchos cables MIDI y un MIDI splitter jajaja.

3.- ¿Cuáles son tus influencias más fuertes en música?

R.- Los Chemical Brothers, Legowelt, Jeff Mills y Kink entre otros. Sellos favoritos: Lobster Theremin, Unknown to the Unknown, 1080p, L.I.E.S., Opal Tapes, etc.

4.- Platícanos un poco tu opinión sobre la escena local y cómo crees que ha evolucionado mientras has estado presente. 

R.- La escena local creo que apenas está volteando a ver a todas las grandes propuestas que están surgiendo de la escena under, hay productores, sellos y netlabels por todo el país haciendo cosas de muchísima calidad y muy interesantes, gente como Siete Catorce, Fonobisa, Arp y AAAA (por mencionar algunos). Ellos tienen varios años haciendo música y puliendo su sonido, cosolidando propuestas excelentes y muy apreciadas en la escena internacional, el mexicano empieza en creer en el talento local,  sin embargo sigue habiendo mucho malinchismo y "cangrejismo" en la escena. Como bien dicen, "nadie es profeta en su tierra". La gente prefiere pagar un cover muy alto por ir a escuchar las mismas propuestas viejas y los promotores le apuestan por traer artistas ya conocidos que le aseguren ganar dinero, es decir ni el asistente ni el promotor se arriesgan en apoyar talento local. 

Por hablar de un caso, el sello mexicano NAAFI que tras varios años de carrera está recibiendo la proyección mundial que merece (EU, Japon, Chile, Argentina, etc.) y en México la gente empieza a reconocerlos también. Creo que la época en la que los Dj's y productores buscaban sonar como artistas del viejo mundo o sonar como tal artista norteamericano, está muriendo. Una escena mexicana donde no se busca imitar sino desarrollar una identidad propia o un sonido propio está naciendo. Creo que el modelo del DJ-productor rockstar está bastante gastado, hace falta que los principales bares y clubes del país tengan más apertura e incluyan otros géneros dentro de sus recintos y alejarse un poco de la fórmula (a mi parecer obsoleta) del Tech House y el EDM. 

5.- Sobre la escena internacional. ¿Qué cosas crees que han cambiado o evolucionado?

R.- Creo que la tecnología, las nuevas plataformas y las redes sociales han logrado convertir al usuario o al melómano promedio, en un activo creador de contenidos (prosumidor), por lo que ahora es más fácil poder crear tu propia música y poder posicionarla y comunicarla a través del internet.

6.- ¿Dónde te ves de aquí a 10 años dentro de la escena?

R.- Me veo teniendo lanzamientos en sellos nacionales e internacionales, así como en los sellos del subsuelo que admiro y que inspiran mi sonido.

7.- ¿De dónde viene el nombre Alpha+?

R.- Proviene del libro "Brave New World" de Aldous Huxley.

Muchas gracias por este espacio de tiempo que te has dado para atendernos, tienes puntos muy interesantes en los que has logrado articular una crítica importante que seguro llegará a los nervios de muchos que se creen la crema y la nata de la música electrónica en México. Por suerte en Guadalajara hay gente interesada y comprometida con exponer a los talentos emergentes, me dio mucho gusto haberte visto en ese live stream de Boiler Room. Dejaré tus links para que la gente te escuche y te conozca mejor, hasta pronto y buena suerte. 

Soundcloud de Alpha+

Facebook de Alpha+

Aquí el live completo de Alpha+ en el Boiler Room

Moonlight Shapes, the beach Mexican sound of hedonism

Photo credit: Monique Flores

Photo credit: Monique Flores

 

By Tom Spiegel

Photo credit: Aleks OI

Photo credit: Aleks OI

Coming from the Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen Mexico, two dudes who were born in one of the music meccas of the country thought it would be a good idea to move past the conventional ways of making music and cross over to the electronic music world. I know both of them, but have a tight friendship with Luis Mario Mijangos, who people call 'El Negro' (and no, it's not a racial slur - only a nickname). This guy has always shown a devil may care attitude, worthy of a true rockstar from the 1960's, and I've been fortunate enough to follow his path both in music and in life for quite a while. 


 

Photo credit: Monique Flores

Photo credit: Monique Flores

That easy going vibe translates into his art, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Moonlight Shapes' best hit, “Pieces Ft. Gustavo Lobo.” The atmosphere and samples on that song are just perfect for the hedonistic lifestyle people live in a place such as Playa del Carmen. But the background that Luis has, combined with the technical abilities of music engineer Pablo Candelaria, perfectly portray the roots of a city presumed to have a nearly perfect palate when it comes to music in all its forms. 


 

Photo credit: Monique Flores

Photo credit: Monique Flores

There is no denying that Guadalajara is one of the main music influences Mexico has. A certain aura of creativity roams around every corner of the city, whether it's downtown or in the hippest, most posh areas. The quality will always be a constant there, and our duo from this interview is a great representation of this crossover from the city to the beach life. They have just begun, but already there are talks with a world-class label. They were kind enough to answer some questions for Kinofilia, with an exclusive look at what it is they do, their musical background and their process. Enjoy!

Hey dude, tell me first, how did Moonlight Shapes as a name come to exist? Who is part of this project?

Negro: Hey man, great to be here. Well this project started in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and consists in Pablo Candelaria also known as “Vaktun” by the electronic music scene. He is in charge of sound engineering, producing and the live percussive elements. And  myself Luis Mijangos also known as “Negro” or “The Darkest Boy Alive”, I’m also in charge of production and live instrument performance and recording.

 The name actually came after we had already recorded about three tracks and we got to really trip out listening to the music. We were trying to find something that would reflect the mood and groove of what we were doing. So Moonlight Shapes for me hit right in the spot since our music, in my opinion, is really dark and ethereal. It always takes me to really abstract places in my mind when I’m listening and feeling it, kind of when you go to a really far away place at night and you start noticing all those shapes painted by light in the trees, the water or simply just in the ground. Those sounds can be really different for everybody, so I think of our music as something really similar to this, in which there’s not just one sole interpretation of what we are expressing, but on the contrary.

 

Photo credit: Aleks OI

Photo credit: Aleks OI

Listening to these down tempo-ish kind of beats, what is the style you would give yourselves in the Electronic Music genres? 

 That has actually been a question that we have been trying to figure out ourselves for a long time hahaha, since our tracks are very different from one another. Some can sound very deep and techno oriented and some others are slower and more nostalgic, so I wouldn´t really like to categorize what we do into a specific genre. I think that sort of limits oneself to go only in that direction and sometimes inspiration for us takes very different roads, we try to keep that style that defines us without putting a label on it. Our approach since the beginning was not trying to use the formulas that a lot of electronic music producers are basing their tracks on. We have always aimed to go the old school way and tell stories with our music, not necessarily with vocals but more with the instruments, sounds and sequences we use for it. But I guess you could say it has a lot of influence from deep house, techno and alternative music.

 It’s worth mentioning that our foundations are majorly electronic but using as much live instrument resources as we can for our shows, as well as for when we go in the studio to give it a band-like feeling such as guitar, bass, live vocals, synths and lots of various effects.

Who are your main influences in music and other arts?

Negro: My main influences which always inspired me to want to become a musician were classic American and British rock & blues, mainly because I listened to a lot of that with my parents in the house or in road trips. Good examples are The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pink Floyd, Queen, Eric Clapton and B.B King. I’ve always loved Mick Jagger though; I think I still have one of those super embarrassing videos that moms love to keep, from when I was like 3 years old where I was “dressed as Mick Jagger” with a toothbrush in my hand and I was trying to sing (mumbling/screaming) “Ruby Tuesday”. 

I think the bands that have had more influence on my music style are actually Queens of the Stone Age and Pink Floyd, since I´ve always liked all the weird stuff that they recorded while experimenting and creating atmospheres as well as saturations or dissonances and all sorts of sounds which really make you wonder how the hell they pulled it off.

In the electronic field I like Bob Moses a lot, I think they have something really interesting going on. Seeing them live once made me want to also create something with a live music feel, more human in a way.

How is the Electronic lifestyle in Playa del Carmen? Which styles are the most dominant? 

It has always been my opinion that the music scene in Playa del Carmen has two main elements: electronic music and cover bands. This can be frustrating sometimes because I lived in Guadalajara most of my life. I mean, I love electronic music but I was used to have a lot of options to choose as far as “going to any music show in the city” was concerned. There is a huge amount of different bands and projects performing either local or international over there. From a techno live act to a really acid alternative band, and all in between.

But the scene has grown a lot in the last few years, I could even say that instead of Playa having an electronic lifestyle, the Playa lifestyle IS electronic music. You have the BPM Festival happening every year and other parties from big labels and promotion agencies. It has become a paradise for party people, DJs and producers worldwide. And it’s bringing more and more people every year to see what the fuzz is all about. Although my favorite parties have been mostly in Tulum and other locations along the Riviera Maya.

I would say the most dominant genres are House, Deep House and Techno, with their endless variations. If you walk downtown through the different establishments, you’ll hear a mix of these and the overly commercial music that’s on the radio all the time (which is shit mostly in my opinion).

Photo credit: Aleks OI

Photo credit: Aleks OI

Tell us a little bit about your musical background, your roots. 

Pablo: My roots came mostly from psychedelic trance, electro and techno. That’s how I got interested in electronic music in the first place and what motivated me to study sound engineering at G Martell in Mexico City.

Negro: I always wanted to learn to play something and when I was about 11 years old, my older brother gave me an acoustic guitar as a gift. I was absolutely thrilled, so I used to lock myself up in my room for hours trying to play the song that I liked at the moment. By the time I was doing that, internet was already around so I looked up for theory there to understand how music worked.

Then me and some other friends put on a rock band and I started to get really hooked with the bass, so I decided to learn how to play it and I haven’t left it ever since.

With electronic music I was really interested in psychedelic trance, but then I decided to move to London for a while. There I discovered so much music everywhere, going to places like Fabric, Sosho, The Egg, etc. That made me get a much wider perspective in regards of electronic music, I started looking for more minimal, minimal tech, house and deep house. After that I had the opportunity to work with the Katerholzig crew from Berlin in Tulum, for a project they had going on at Papaya Playa Project. I also met a lot of people from the local and international scene there.

Moonlight Shapes 1

How is your process of creating this music? Walk us through from the beginning. 

Negro: Well… to be honest it always starts with a beer (he giggled). With the heat in playa it’s impossible to do it any other way.

Pablo: What we usually do is start creating a rhythmic base depending on the mood we want to create, after that we try to look for dark harmonies for the atmospheric melodies, since that has become our line of sound right from the beginning.

Negro: And after that I usually plug my guitar and I microphone and I start trying different ideas to start shaping the music, we choose what we like and we record every part properly.

After that well, it’s basically structuring the ideas and getting arrangements done, which we do together to get exactly what we’re aiming for. We have a pretty good musical chemistry and I think that’s reflected in the constant flow of ideas that we have in the studio.

Who are your favorite electronic artists right now?

Pablo: I’m listening to a lot of Kraftwerk, Teenage Mutants, Balcazar and Audictive, who is a good friend of mine and amazing producer. We actually have a track with him that will come to light eventually.

Negro: Right now I’m digging Kettenkarussell, Traumprinz, I’m liking a lot a live act that TheMidnight Perverts have been performing with Andy Martin, with a lot of live hardware and such. I also listen to Smash TV, V I V I D Savvas, Marc Poppcke, Konstantin, and a new live act that some friends of mine are putting together named “Calling Scientists”, from who I’m expecting to release something soon. I’m also really liking the latest MOTEK and Delay Records releases as well.

Tell us an anecdote about your life as a music producer that people will like, maybe life in Playa while making your music and meeting new people...

I guess a funny one could be from when we started working in the beginning, we used to go to the studio at a friend’s house and we used to record from 12 to 15 hours straight every time while drinking “caguamas” (40 oz beers). A lot of times it happened that the next day, when we listened to the material, on the first hours of the session everything sounded really neat on the recordings. But in the last takes my singing was not too sharp and easily could have emulated a wild coyote’s wailing with some sense of intonation. So we would have to record those parts again the next day. Some takes were hilariously terrible.

 How did you get to where you are music wise?

I have played many different things throughout the years, such as Blues, Funk, Classic Rock, Reggae and experimental projects.

The most recent bands I was in were “Pigs On The Wing” with which we performed the full “Dark Side Of The Moon” album live. Also when I moved to Berlin for a while I was playing with “Dear/Us”, an electronic live band that still performs over there by the way, which was an awesome experience since I had the privilege of playing in the now closed “Katerholzig” club, as well as other great places such as “Prince Charles.”

As a DJ I started playing constantly in Tulum, since I lived for quite a while in Playa del Carmen and I’ve had the opportunity to play in spots such as “Papaya Playa Project”, “Casa Jaguar”, “Todos Santos”, “Dragon Turquesa”, “Cannibal Royal” among others.

 What I think has helped me the most in developing as a musician is that I have always loved playing with other people, no matter what their style or their sound is. I have played with alternative rock bands, metal bands, reggae bands, experimental electronic bands, etc. And I always learn something from every person that I have ever played with. I love jamming with different people so that I’m able to try different things and get ideas for my personal projects.

You can check out Moonlight Shapes' music on the Soundcloud or the Facebook pages. 

CTM FESTIVAL 2016 18th edition: New Geographies

Si existe una ciudad que de cabida a un festival con un formato como el de CTM, esa ciudad es Berlin. De hecho podría decirse que el festival nació para Berlín, para una ciudad que resurgió de sus propias cenizas a través del movimiento musical y cultural que se estaba gestando a la caída del muro.  Numerosos edificios abandonados retomaron su utilidad como clubes nocturnos, templos del techno y de la transgresión, donde la ciudad reivindicó su derecho a expresarse por fin libremente.

CTM nació en 1999 en el club María en Ostbahnhof, (Estación de tren del Este), el ahora llamado Yaam, en el barrio de Friedrichshain. El festival por aquel entonces llamado “Club Transmediale”, nació bajo la premisa de servir como soporte al “Transmediale Festival”, tal y como se mantiene hoy en día, y tenía, tiene como misión arrojar una nueva visión al incipiente desarrollo de diferentes prácticas artísticas nacidas en el seno del movimiento electro-techno, la cultura clubera y las artes de los nuevos medios. Esta primera edición del CTM llamada “10 Tage an der Schnittstelle von Bild und Ton” (10 Dias en la Interfaz del Sonido y la Imagen) estuvo organizada por Jan Rohlf, Marc Weiser, Lillevan Pobjoy y Timm Ringewaldt, con la colaboración de Oliver Baurhenn y Remco Schuurbiers. El festival se siguió desarrollando en los años siguientes con la excepción del año 2001, en el cual se suspendió por falta de fondos económicos, y siendo la edición de 2014 “Dis Continuity”, año en el que el festival celebró su 15 aniversario, la que registró el mayor éxito de su historia con una audiencia de más de 25.000 espectadores y 200 artistas participantes de 33 países.

La edición de este año, “New Geographies”, como su propio nombre indica, explora en profundidad las nuevas topografías híbridas surgidas en el marco de la globalización, así como la expansión de sus bordes y las consecuentes reacciones de resistencia que está propagación ha suscitado. Durante los diez días en los que transcurre el festival - más eventos que emanarán de él en los meses consecuentes-, los asistentes disfrutaron y disfrutarán de conciertos, exposiciones, talleres, instalaciones, discursos y la intensidad sonora de la escena clubera berlinesa. Bajo la supervisión del co-curador Rabih Beaini en cuanto a programa musical se refiere y a Nororient (Network for Local and Global Sounds and Media Culture) encargados de las exposiciones y las discursos, esta decimoséptima edición del festival pretende acercar a artistas y creadores de países con menor atención mediática. Este año como en años anteriores, el festival se desarrolló a lo largo y ancho de Berlín, desde clubes como el mítico Berghain/Panorama Bar hasta salas de exposiciones como Kunstquartier Bethanien y contando por primera vez este año con Werkstatt der Kulturen.

Para establecer en la medida de lo posible un mapa dónde se desarrollaron la mayor parte de las discursos, exposiciones y conciertos deberíamos dividir el festival en cuatro secciones temáticas diferentes, por un lado, la homónima “New geographies” en la que podríamos englobar las manifestaciones musicales, o “adventurous music” como los organizadores prefieren referirse a las prácticas musicales y artísticas del festival. Prácticas que más allá de poder denominarse “electrónicas”, al menos musicalmente hablando, fluctúan hoy en día en un limbo en el que la música electrónica misma está influenciando prácticas analógicas contemporáneas y viceversa, enriqueciéndose mutuamente la unas a las otras. Por otro lado, encontramos la exposición y serie de discursos “Seismographic Sounds. Visions of a new world” que se desarrolló en la sala Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Kunstquartier Bethanien. Allí pudimos ver la obra de 250 artistas de más de 50 nacionalidades, mayormente concerniente a las posibilidades o limitaciones que la globalización y la digitalización están agregando al mundo del arte y de la música. Esta serie de obras nos muestra la versatilidad a la que el mundo de la cultura está expuesta en la era de las redes sociales e internet. Bajo el nombre de “Rituals” encontramos en HAU2 la obra del artista Vincent Moon, una serie de videos que exploran el concepto del trance en diferentes culturas modernas a través de un viaje sonoro y visual embriagador. Por último, y cabe mencionar, como uno de las atracciones principales del festival, encontramos la intalación del artista Christopher Bauder y el compositor Robert Henke “Deep web”, que tuvo lugar en Kraftwerk Berlin, y en la que los asistentes pudieron disfrutar de una experiencia sonora y visual sin precedentes. Esta intalación creada con sistemas de láser a gran escala, se compenetró perfectamente no sólo con la música con la que estaba coreografiada, sino con el edificio mismo de Kraftwerk creando diferentes tipos de figuras geométricas que fluían dentro de su propia luminosidad.

Como comenté al comienzo del artículo, CTM podría considerarse lo que Robert Irwin creó en los 70 para referirse a obras de arte concebidas para un lugar en concreto, “Site specific”, en este caso, podría decir que el CTM es un “site specific festival”, creado por y para Berlín y en el que el asistente puede saborear la esencia misma de esta ciudad camaleónica.

Como artista y asistente puedo decir que considero que para entender Berlín en profundidad, es necesario conocer su escena musical y artística, en definitiva lo que le da el sello de identidad tan especial a esta ciudad. Creo que la labor del festival CTM va mas allá de la de ser un mero festival artístico-musical, para convertirse en una seña de identidad, y así mismo en un lugar de reflexión sobre las sociedades contemporáneas. Como uno de sus creadores, Oliver Baurhernn, afirmó “Music is an interesting seismograph of societal changes, politics, and how we as societies deal with these changes. That’s why these themes are quite important to us.” (La música es un sismógrafo interesante de los cambios sociales, y políticos, y de cómo nosotros, como sociedades mismas lidiamos con estos cambios).

“Seismographic Sounds. Visions of a new world”

“Seismographic Sounds. Visions of a new world”

En esta edición pudimos ver una gran carga política y no es de extrañar, con la crisis europea y más concretamente en Alemania de la inmigración, los creadores del festival abrieron las puertas a la experimentación, a la reflexión sobre esta crisis y a la realidad de un mundo cambiante que de igual modo se refleja en la música y en el arte. Pudimos ver una gran cantidad de artistas y de manifestaciones artísticas no provenientes de occidente, del lado favorecido del mundo, sino que los que asistimos pudimos saborear el debate, el cambio al que el mundo contemporáneo se está viendo sometido, a las sacudidas que nos están haciendo poner miras más allá de nuestro ombligo, de nuestra parte del mundo conocida, para considerar no sólo otros puntos de vista, sino también otras formas de arte. De algún modo Joseph Beuys ya habló de acercar el arte a la vida, que es y ha sido siempre un problema filosófico, liberar al arte de su peso y convertirlo en algo efímero, como la vida misma, como el día a día, se pone aquí de manifiesto más que nunca. Y es que el festival aún sacando de nuevo a la luz teorías del siglo pasado, es de una actualidad arrolladora.

“Seismographic Sounds. Visions of a new world”

“Seismographic Sounds. Visions of a new world”

Una de las ideas que más me rondó la mente paseando por Bethanien, dónde como mencioné anteriormente pudimos encontrar la serie de exposiciones y discursos “Seismographic Sounds. Visions of a new world”, fue el concepto de “Aura”. De hecho encontré en una de las salas un poster dónde se hablaba en concreto de ello. A lo largo y ancho del recinto se pudieron ver “corta y pegas”, loops de conocidos videoclips, extractos de canciones famosas que los artistas reinterpretaron e hicieron suyos. ¿La idea subyacente? No viene a ser nada nuevo, el concepto de aura se perdió ya en los albores de la invención del cine, hoy en día sólo vemos su manifestación más extrema cuando los “nativos digitales” usan a su antojo obras de otros, las retocan, las trastocan y las hacen suyas, despojándolas así de cualquier indicio que pudiera quedar de su “aura”. Como ya predijo Walter Benjamin en el siglo pasado, a las obras se les quita su autenticidad, se las despoja de su halo y de su condición cultual para convertirlas en un objeto de masas, se las emancipa de su ritual para dotarlas de una mayor visualidad. En la era de la globalización no es de extrañar que esta sea una de las prácticas artísticas más proliferas, y es que cuando el arte se libera de su parte ritual la parte política sale a flote inminentemente. Estas prácticas como el festival nos muestra, no son para nada dañinas, sino que dotan a la obra de una dimensión participativa, se crea una colaboración directa o indirecta propiciada mayormente por el acceso a internet.

“Seismographic Sounds. Visions of a new world”

“Seismographic Sounds. Visions of a new world”

Hasta ahora como pudimos leer a lo largo de la exposición, eran sólo los niños ricos los que tenían mayor acceso a la música, pero gracias a este fenómeno de apropiacionismo participativo las cosas están cambiando. “The Internet and pirated software have totally changed the power dynamic inglobal music in the Arab World and else-where. It’s not only the rich kids who speak anymore. The best example is the rise of the Egyptian dance music from the streets, called mahraganat, in the years 2006 and 2007. It has become the omnipresent sound-scape of Cairo, flying out of every micro-Shopping, every taxi and every tuc-tuc.” (Internet y la piratería han cambiado por completo las dinámicas de poder en el mundo árabe y en todas partes. Ya no son sólo los niños ricos los que tienen la palabra. El mejor ejemplo es el desarrollo de la música egipcia de baile en las calles llamada mahraganat en los años 2006 y 2007. Se ha convertido en el omnipresente sonido de escape del Cairo, volando lejos de cada micro-Shopping, cada taxi y cada tuc-tuc) Nos cuenta Maha ElNabawi, editor del libro “Seismographic sounds”.

Si hablamos de “aura” y “apropiacionismo”, nos remitimos a su vez al arte conceptual. La artista serbia Svetlana Maraš con su obra "Matter of Fact" despuntó en cuanto coherencia y adecuación con las premisas del festival. Con una composición basada en “corta y pegas” de clips y otras obras expuestas en el festival, analiza la relación texto-música desde una perspectiva totalmente innovadora. Para Maraš, el texto es la columna vertebral de su obra y no los clips o la música, introduciendo en una pequeña caja una palabra, el espectador cambia la música y los clips que se proyectan en una pantalla. Esta palabra contextualiza en sí misma la obra, pero no dotándola de sentido alguno, como ocurría en las obras de Jenny Holzer o Barbara Kruger, sino todo lo contrario, la palabra y todo lo que la rodea, pierden su significado o ganan uno absolutamente absurdo.

“Rituals” del video artista Vincent Moon y proyectada en HAU2 a modo de instalación multipantalla, nos muestra un recorrido a través del trance en distintas culturas, y es que el artista viajó alrededor del mundo para investigar in situ rituales de ayahuasca en Perú, trance en Brasil o sufismo en Chechenia. Más allá de ofrecer un punto de vista crítico o analítico, Moon, nos acerca a la cultura de un modo despojado de todo prejuicio, nos deja el camino libre para que experimentemos lo que él probablemente sintió al infiltrarse entre estas gentes. Nos permite sentir, que no interpretar, y eso es algo que no muchos creadores consiguen. Se alternan los cantos, los zumbidos, los gritos, el viento, la conexión que nos une a todos en esencia, las imágenes se superponen en la pantalla.

 

Por último, y pese a haber aún muchos más artistas que me sorprendieron gratamente, me gustaría mencionar la atracción principal del festival, “Deep web” de Christopher Bauder y Robert Henke. La estructura luminosa que formaba estas olas estaba compuesta de 175 esferas luminosas y 12 sistemas de lásers que se compenetraban a la perfección con el edificio de Kraftwerk. Como suele pasar con los clubes berlineses, un club no es meramente un club, sino que es un compendio arquitectónico e histórico que además contextualiza el sonido que ahí dentro se genera. Kraftwerk es uno de esos clubes que aúnan a la perfección una estructura sacada de una película cyberpunk y una acústica de ensueño. Si a todo esto le unimos la magistralidad con la que ambos Bauder y Henke pusieron en escena “Deep Web”, tenemos una experiencia visual y sonora cercana al surrealismo que todos alguna vez en nuestra vida deberíamos experimentar. Para aquellos curiosos que tengan la ocasión, la obra se exhibirá en Lyon en diciembre de 2016.

CTM pese a ser la antesala de otro festival  “Transmediale”, no dejó con mal sabor de boca a los amantes de la música y el arte experimental, es un festival concebido para pequeñas audiencias, y es así como sus creadores prefieren mantenerlo. Al final y al cabo, pese a no existir un arte aurático hoy en día, aún podemos decir que ciertas manifestaciones se mantienen en la esfera de culto. Esta es una de ellas.

* Como guinda del festival, y a modo de eco, el 12 de mayo en Berghain podremos asistir a Polymorphism con Tim Hecker, Wolf Eyes y We Will Fail.

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Ethics.... the new sound of Baja.

By Pavel Ibarra Meda

The memory of a scruffy-looking kid that always keeps his cool is still fresh for me. I always imagined that this skinny dude from Tijuana would share a piece of his mind with the world, and eventually he did. With a kind of dance indy vibe and a lot of feeling for his first music project, Producer Elías Carranco, A.K.A. Ethics, brings us an introductory E.P. that will surely become one of Tijuana's most-played tunes for this generation. 

 

It is safe to say that the time he has dedicated to the craft of making music has finally payed off, with a mature sound that makes us wonder just how far Ethics can go. The combination of lyrics that make you think about life and the ups and downs it has, and an electronic vibe that gets the hips moving, tells us that this artist has tasted all kinds of music, but is looking to define his sound and signature as one of the most eclectic and versatile producers of the Millennial generation. It's not a matter of liking the material or not, it's a matter of sending a message that stands still between peace and serenity.

 

But enough of my ranting. Hear it directly from the mind of Ethics instead, just for y'all...

 

Kinofilia.-Why Ethics?

Ethics.- When I was a kid I feared world war three and the mayan apocalypse, so they took me to a psychologist. After the session they told my parents that I lack criteria and I would never really have any. So I always ask myself about ethics and morality. I don't really know if anything is right or wrong, but now I know that psychologist was a dumb ass because I think I'm pretty conscious. 

 

Kinofilia.- How would you define your music genre?

Ethics.- Genres are for movies. I think music is always evolving and people are complex and in constant change. I don't want to stay stuck to a genre because I like to listen to various types of music, and it would be narrow-minded to force myself to listen to one type of music all my life... like eating tuna everyday, it gets boring.
 

Kinofilia.- Name the main influences you've had in your music life.

Ethics.- I'd say I started listening to disco and funk at a very early age and then started descending into punk and hardcore for my teenage years. After that I started to *grow up* and be more open to everything. 

 

Kinofilia.- What is the impact that independent musicians have had in your upbringing as an artist?

Ethics.-  Well, I like the chaos it can bring, and the intimacy an independent artist can provide to the listeners or participants. You can get a sense of the band's personality, instead of just dropping the coin and getting your music from the vending machine. 
 

Kinofilia.- Tell us a little bit about your early years and the process of becoming the concept of Ethics as a whole.

Ethics.- It's been a long process. It started at 12 when my best friend decided to leave skateboarding and start a band, just because. I guess that's what you do when you're 12, so I raised money for a cheap electric guitar and sucked at it. 

 

I didn't expect to need classes so my friend along with the others cut me out of the band, even though the practice space was in my house. I just sat there listening to shitty Nirvana covers. One day the drummer quit, and they told me to get some drums and play so I did. After that I was a drummer most of my teenage years. I started trying to sing but every band I was in kicked me out. It's alright though because everyone had some sort of idea of what they wanted and I always wanted to go in a different direction. 


I got fed up, and started making music by myself. I really got lost in that DJ phase, which I'm glad is over. I was really young when I got my first LA label deal and tour in Europe. While I was in that scene I realized old DJ´s aren´t cool and music gets annoying after a while, like a zombie pace machine, everybody just bobbing they're head in a synchronized motion. 

 

Soon after that I dropped out and wanted to do comedy and film for a while. It's been 6 years since I stopped making music, but now I know that life is not meant for one thing, it's meant to do whatever makes you happy, and music makes me happy because it's the ultimate way I can express how I feel and think in a nutshell. 

 

Kinofilia.- What other artistic hobbies and abilities does Ethics posses as a band?

Ethics.- I make dark humor stuff, cartoons and films. 


Kinofilia.- Tell us about your favorite art forms in general and how you combine or use them to make your music.

Ethics.- I want Ethics to be a multimedia artist, not only music but everything. I want no limitations. Right now I've only been doing video, photography and music, but who knows. I just love creating. 

 

_MG_1574.JPG

In his new E.P. called Instincts, Ethics explores this indy dance vibe with the nostalgia of the places and surely the individuals that have surrounded him throughout his life. Reaching this sound after years of hard work and dedication, Ethic's music tells us that we may have the newest fresh big artist and performer on our hands. The sky is the limit. Here at Kinofilia we thank you for the exclusive interview, wish you the best of luck, and salute your body of art.

For more info on Ethics visit his Facebook page and his Soundcloud profile.