Tag Archives: Mexico

La Bruja de Texcoco Delivers a Folkloric Flux Manifesto

Nono Nogales

Photos by Ñoño Nogales

Origin stories don’t get any more thrilling or fantastical than that of Octavio Mendoza Anario, the artist who records as La Bruja de Texcoco (translated: The Witch of Texcoco). She had been hired to play violin with a group of friends at a party of concheros—traditional musicians who play guitars made from armadillo shells. That evening, in the middle of the event, a woman suddenly started convulsing. A curandero (a traditional healer) from the outskirts of Texcoco, a small town in Mexico, turned to Anario and delivered a plea: she must heal this woman.

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10 Underground Acts Bringing Monterrey, Mexico’s Rich Musical Legacy Into The Future

 

Monterrey—Mexico’s third largest city, capital of the northern state of Nuevo León and the country’s beating financial heart—is a hotbed for underground punk, indie, and experimental music. Though not technically a border city, Monterrey’s proximity to the U.S. has enabled the same creative osmosis found in established sister cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, making the complexities of border identity a recurring theme in Northern Mexican regional music.

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Nine Essential Netlabels From Mexico’s Electronic Underground

Tacos Al Vaporwave

The Mexican electronic underground exists, for the most part, online. Over the past few years, a wealth of netlabels—digital-only record labels—have built a legitimate scene in their own right. According to Edgar Mota, who produces under the moniker Fonobisa, this trend is mostly rooted in necessity. “You only need to invest time, and nothing else,” he says, adding that the high costs of printing are a prohibitive factor in publishing physical releases.

“I don’t know people who can afford to press 300 vinyl records,” says Durant, who co-founded the IMPT netlabel. Durant’s approach, like that of many of his contemporaries, is centered on building a local scene with the means he has at his disposal. “If you don’t like what there is, you do it yourself,” he says.

Netlabels may be the cheapest, most sustainable option for a lot of Mexican producers, but it also yields dividends when it comes to creativity. The flexibility of digital-only production often serves as a catalyst for building fresh aesthetics and forging communities of like-minded musicians. As Durant says, “We started the label because we were in a very disheartening place, in terms of developing our aesthetic. We felt that none of what we heard represented our city [Mexico City]. Instead, we started a party and made it more real.”

The artists and labels on this list are almost exclusively situated in the digital realm. Many of them occasionally overlap in the way of collaborations, remixes, and mutual influence. They’re rhizomatic, often working from the fringes of the mainstream music scene. A lot of them also exist beyond Mexico City, in states like Chihuahua, Nuevo León, and Jalisco. They have some of the most unique visions in the current spectrum of Mexican electronic music, precisely because they’ve opted to work from the margins, and have been mostly absent from the billings of mainstream festivals like EDC Mexico, Vive Latino, and Wish Outdoor. Though musically diverse, all are bound by a DIY ethos that’s flourished in the face of a challenging musical landscape.

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Today, Stand with Bandcamp in Support of Immigrants/Basic Human Values

Bandcamp

Like 98% of U.S. citizens (including the President), I am the descendant of immigrants—my great-grandparents came to America from Russia and Lithuania as teenagers and worked in sweatshops until they were able to afford to bring the rest of their families over. Most everyone you speak to in this country has a similar story to tell, because we are, in fact, a nation of immigrants, bound together by a shared belief in justice, equality, and the freedom to pursue a better life. In this context, last week’s Executive Order barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States is not simply immoral, it violates the very spirit and foundation of America.

Contrary to the assertions of the current administration, the order will not make us safer (an opinion shared by the State Department and many members of Congress including prominent Republicans). Christian religious leaders have denounced both the ban, as well as the exception prioritizing Christian immigrants, as inhumane. It is an unequivocal moral wrong, a cynical attempt to sow division among the American people, and is in direct opposition to the principles of a country where the tenet of religious freedom is written directly into the Constitution. This is not who we are, and it is not what we believe in. We at Bandcamp oppose the ban wholeheartedly, and extend our support to those whose lives have been upended.

And so all day today (starting at 12:01am Pacific Time), for any purchase you make on Bandcamp, we will be donating 100% of our share of the proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union, who are working tirelessly to combat these discriminatory and unconstitutional actions.

As another way of showing solidarity with the immigrants and refugees from the seven banned countries—as well as those impacted by the construction of the Mexican border wall—we’ve compiled a list of albums made by artists from the affected countries (Bandcamp may be incorporated in the United States, but we host artists from every corner of the world). We believe that knowledge and empathy are crucial weapons against fear and intolerance. We hope that, as you listen to these albums, you’ll not only discover some great new artists, but will also gain a further appreciation and understanding for the way music transcends all borders, and remember that, even in the darkest of times, there is more that unites us than divides us.

— Ethan Diamond, Bandcamp Founder & CEO

(Updated: Since our announcement, over 400 bands and labels have volunteered to donate their proceeds to the ACLU and other organizations as well. You can see that list here.)

(Update: Fans bought just over $1,000,000 worth of music during our ACLU fundraiser. Our share, which is ~12% of that amount, was donated to the ACLU.)

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