At a reggae club in Ciudad Nezahaulcoytl, dancing, free, I'm thinking about my musical influences, the sounds I was raised on. In other words, what my older siblings fed me. The older sisters, Lisa and Sandra, were cholas back in the day: In the 80s we were surrounded by freestyle and early hip-hop, electro, and R&B. From San Francisco, the Central Valley, and New Orleans, Ernesto brought us ska, post-punk, and new funk. From Tijuana and the barrios of San Diego, Luis Gaston introduced us to Chicano hip-hop and the most quality subterranean reggae. Through Sergio I absorbed classic rock -- Santana, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors -- and pure 90s hip-hop -- Dr. Dre, Too Short, Snoop, Ice Cube, Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang, Fugees, De la Soul, Rakim, Nas.
Later came the electro and indie waves, and then my current obsessions with psychadelia, weirdo electro, tropicalia, and all forms of shaggy rock. But in Southern California I experienced my true cultural formation, the sounds in the car on the way to school, in the driveway, in our rooms, BET on blast every afternoon after school. Now as I explore the cultural underground of Mexico City, in certain worlds the beats come back to me. They echo through the clubs, parties, toquines. They belong to the archeology of the moment, the fluidity that exists between North and South, the unifying thump.
What drives us are the in-between spaces, the ripples, and the intersections.
* Readers, I'm taking a couple weeks off again to focus on some pending assignments and reach a necessary signpost in my manuscript. In the meanwhile, please be informed that FM-SHADES is now streaming its entire library live online. Everyone wins.