I admit that I was kind of late to the party on Mexico’s Tribal Guarachero/3ball Guarachero/Tribal/3ball. Great write-ups on the upstart genre have been all over sites like the Mad Decent blog, XLR8R, and The Fader, and even The Guardian, but I payed them no heed. It wasn’t until I revisited my library recently that I realized how blind I’ve been — and I’m pissed that I didn’t hop on the bandwagon sooner. How could I have missed this awesomeness? It even spawned the crazy pointed-boot fashion style in Mexico!
I’m going to save y’all a lecture on the history Tribal Guarachero and point you to this awesome VBS video. Its focus is actually on the pointed boots, but you’ll soon see that the two are inextricably linked. Pretty cool stuff.
Now then, to the tracks!
“Manos Arriba 2.0 (Benassi Sound)” – Erick Rincon (Direct download) <- In case you didn’t get the impression from the video, I’d like to clarify that Erick Rincon runs Mexico. He’s the rock star of Tribal Guarachero. With his Colectivo 3ball Monterrey (3ball MTY) partners-in-crime DJ Otto and DJ Sheeqo Beat, Rincon stands at the head of an entire subculture. Their album actually hit the #1 spot on the iTunes Latino store chart. And they’re not even old enough to order beer on this side of the border. But with tracks like this, how can you not gain millions of fans? Aptly subtitled “Benassi Sound,” “Manos Arriba” tells us to “put our hands in the air” before destroying us with squeeling synths and the plodding, Cumbia-inspired drums that has come to define the 3ball sound. Check out the video preview for their Intentalo - LP below as well.
“Cadereando (Original Mix)” – DJ @nTnA (Direct Download) <- All pan flute and shuffling, I got “Cadereando” off this awesome blog called Tribaleros while brushing up on 3ball. Now it’s one of my favorites. I know next to nothing about DJ @nTn@, though, because I can’t find a website for him with a bio or a discography or anything else. All you get when you Google his name are a confused jumble of mis-hits and a few tracks floating around the blogosphere and file-sharing websites. If you know anything more, get at me!
“El Canto (Original Mix)” – DJ Cucañas (Direct Download) <- Try as I might, I can’t find a webpage for DJ Cucañas, either. No Facebook, no Myspace, no Soundcloud, no Twitter or Tumblr. Just more disembodied tracks and a couple of 3ball compilations he pitched in on. This track in particular I first heard in the Buraka Som Sistema Essential Mix back a couple years ago, before I got into 3ball. Even then, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I looked and looked and looked before finally finding it with the track above on the Tribaleros blog. The flute is the key here, too — even if it does take a while to get off the ground.
“Ezpektro (Original Mix)” – Mixer Javier Bernal (Soundcloud Link) <- This is off the El Rave Azteka compilation that Mad Decent repped earlier this year. Mixer Javier Bernal actually resides in Virginia, though he’s from Mexico originally. He makes some golden Tribal Guarachero and Cumbia. Spooky and dark, “Ezpektro” is one of those tracks that you can throw on when you want to change the vibe.
“Laquisha (Original Mix)” – French Fries (Beatport Link) <- You’re heard me talk about French Fries before (last week actually), so I’ll save you any refresher. This track is a banger. A banger of bangers, in fact. Mixing Taiwan’s Dancehall vocals with the lumbering 3ball rhythm, swelling Garage-influenced synths, and even a little carnival whistle, French Fries has created a sexy monster of a track that will slay a floor in the middle of primetime or the end of the night. Plus it has an awesome video, which you can watch below.
That’s all for this week, though we’re bound to come back eventually. Next week I’ll be focusing on a genre much closer to home: Chicago’s Juke, which remained underground for almost 20 years before Europe caught onto it. Should be interesting, so be sure to check in!