** Originally published at World Now:
Kevin Santana remembers with a blank disenchantment the night he threw a party in his hometown of Ciudad Juarez and soldiers came to break it up.
It was in 2009, the young music producer and DJ recalls, and he and his friends had set up a sound system at a raquetball court and invited other teens to come dance. "There was nothing else going on that night and people in Juarez like to party," he explained a few days ago.
"They put us with our hands against the wall, made us close our eyes, they said they were going to rape the girls. We thought, 'This is it, they are going to break us.' "
I paused and asked for an explanation. Quebrar -- to break -- is slang used to signify killing someone in Ciudad Juarez, one of the most violent cities in the world and a sad symbol for Mexico's brutal drug war.
In the end, the kids were let go and the party was over. Santana shrugged and added: "There have always been soldiers in Juarez."
Santana just turned 18 in August. Troops were first sent to Ciudad Juarez in early 2008. Put another way, Santana has lived in a city with armed federal forces on the streets for most of his teen years.
Known by his DJ name Mock The Zuma, Santana is part of a loose generation of electronic musicians and producers based predominantly in Mexico's northern region that are attracting attention among tastemakers in the capital and in Latino-heavy cities north of the border.
Their cutting-edge sounds draw on diverse Latin American rhythms -- such as cumbia and son -- filtered through easy-to-access editing software that allows the music-makers to mix, scratch, and cut it all up with spacey and aggressive electronic beats.
To call them very young is apt; most are still teenagers.