After the fanfare of the Neo Cumbia movement fades, I will still be playing my classic 60-70s Cumbias, Porros, Paseitos, Gaitas y Vallenatos, as I simply find them more danceable than a lot of the newer infusions.
So what's your story, in 100 words or less? I've been loving music since I was big enough to scratch my dad's albums (It's a Beautiful Day) ...been DJing in bars since I was 19. Through collecting New York (Puerto Rican) salsa since the mid 90s, I discovered Cumbia and other Latin genres along the way. At KALX I began superimposing genres such as hip-hop and country to follow the format and found my sound consisting of remixed or re-fattened world music (beats in strange places). I continue to dig for Latin gems as well as African music of Africa and Latin America, India and Suriname ...where's that?
Name of a track you can't get out of your head: "Burrup" by Nardo Ranks.
Name of an artist you're currently championing in your DJ sets: Santero, particularly the song "Checherengoma" El DJ Kool Kyle Mix
What's been your best crate digging experience in another country? In a Mexico City bookstore I stumbled upon five piles of records stacked four feet high. It was messy on the sidewalk as I carefully dismantled the piles of records, but it was totally worth it! I found some Sonora Dinamita records as well as a Los Dinners album that I quickly scratched off my want list. There were also some decent Disco en Español records and they were all in good condition ...at about 30 cents each you won't find me complaining. I play the Dinners record almost every time I play.
What currents drive both African and Latin music do you think? The Humboldt Current, Atlantic North Equatorial Current, Gulf Stream, North Atlantic Current, Canary Current, South Atlantic Gyre, South Equatorial Current, Brazil Current, Antarctic Circumpolar Current,
Benguela Current...I think that just about covers it!
Musical mantra: ¡Sueltala pa' que se defienda!
Favorite DJ experience: The wedding of my friends Tito and Mara in Cuernavaca last year. It was at a beautiful Hacienda of a former sugar processing plant. It was very fancy all around and I played for over six hours for a mix of New Yorkers and Mexicanos ...and I am still standing!
Worst request: "Can you play something I can dance to?" (Damn near everyone else was dancing at the time of this request).
Worst club faux pas you've committed: I don't speak French but...okay, I recently forgot to reset my clock and called last call an hour early....oops!
Most treasured vinyl score: Alfredo Gutierrez Y Los Caporales Del Magdalena ¡Asi es... con Salsa! Not incredibly rare, but this album is excellent all the way through and has some really nice up-tempo salsa-cumbias that get people up on the dance floor in the first 30 seconds.
What other music-related projects are you currently working on? Upcoming releases on Club Unicornio Records include the "Esqueletos" 7" remix as well as a tribute to Anibal Velazquez coming out later this year.
* The forthcoming Los Pinche Malditos ep
* ...and we are going to finish The Thermal Idiots 12" this year dammit!
What elements would your fantasy club night entail? Basically ¡El Superrritmo! The only thing that would make it better is if they turned the Make-Out Room into a topless bar...I think you need a special license for that.
Question we didn't ask you but you often ask yourself: Is it taco time?
Favorite taco truck: Guadalajara Restaurant Truck, 1003 Fruitvale, Oakland, CA 94601. It's all about the Al Pastor Tacos with extra jalapeños. Sacrelicious!
Runner up: El Tonayense, SF
Next time we can see you spin: Saturday June 6, 13, 20, 27th Make-Out Room; Thursdays beginning June 18th at Skylark.