Discos Mono started out as a point of frustration: Sergio Alcocer, Igor Figueroa and Humberto Zamorate couldn’t seem to find a record shop in Mexico City that completely satisfied their desire to discover new music. So, in 2014, they decided to open their very own store, and thus Discos Mono was born. Featuring a wide range of experimental, krautrock, musique concrete, and noise, Discos Mono offers up a highly curated selection of local and international records, all hand-picked by the three owners. Their collection is so good, it made us want to know more about the guys behind Discos Mono, so we asked them to tell us about their latest discoveries. The result is an introduction to Mexico City’s underground scene in ten tracks, with Humberto Zamorate.
Camille Mandoki – Fast is Real (Ensamble/Static Discos)
I met Camille in 2015. Since the first time we spoke, I knew she had a fantastic world within her, full of illusions, haunted dreams and ethereal landscapes, which she then translates into cinematic pieces of improvised, experimental music. Camille is amazing at both songwriting and singing, and she has a great dynamic range that really unleashes her voice, transforming it into an unexpected wave of sonic power.
Hark – Astvaldur (Oly Remix) (NAAFI)
Oly is part of a new uprising of artists coming out of Mexico City’s underground scene. She was one of the Mexican artists on the line-up for the Inter_Connect Mutek festival in Montreal this year, thanks to her innovative way of exploring sound and producing tracks and remixes. She’s also the newest member of our staff at Discos Mono. Lucky us!
Practice – What Does She (Ensamble/Machine Danse)
Practice’s adventures with modular synthesizers have opened up new pathways in his already bold sound palette. From pulsating techno to cavernous breaks and drones, unexpected changes and dynamic percussion coming from every which way, you’re just along for the ride. This is a track Practice donated to the Fuerza Mexico compilation, to support the victims of the earthquake in Mexico City last September. You can help too by purchasing the Fuerza Mexico compilation from our dear friends at Ensamble. Thank you.
El Shirota – Intro (Progreso Nacional)
I was immediately hooked by the brutal honesty and power in their sound. They just let themselves go. This isn’t your ordinary punk/garage band. These guys from Atizapan are much more than that. This track is included on their eponymous EP, produced by the legendary Hugo Quezada (Exploded View/Robota) at Progreso Nacional.
Espejo Convexo – Color del Cielo
Azul and Daniel are Espejo Convexo. I first met Daniel through his fantastic experimental-techno modular live act, A-rp. Then, in July this year, they shared their “Ruina Circular” EP with me, which is a pleasant departure from the music they had been working on the last two years. The new project embraces softer, more enigmatic melodies and is infused with darkwave and synth pop vibes. Exquisite.
La Redada – Abrete Sésamo (((Sonorama)))
This project is an initiative started by crate-digger/drummer Carlos Icaya, accompanied by a multicultural group of sixteen other musicians. Together, they create a sexy, contagious groove inspired by Cuban danzón music and cha cha, with a big dose of psychedelic magic.
Nima Ikki – Sexy Mantra (Memory No.36/Ensamble)
Nima Ikki is constantly breaking her own rules with experimentation and improvisation. Her music is both abstract and haunting, with melancholic vibes and ethereal lyrics set to endless drones. She’s a storyteller, and her music takes us on an irresistible journey.
Viv and The Sect – No Tengo Miedo
With their very own unique mix of garage and psychedelic, Viv & The Sect are one of the most exciting bands in Mexico City. Gregg Kostelich from The Cynics and producer Hugo Quezada are both huge fans of this band.
Oceanss – Dlysd
Think noise, shoegaze and fuzzy dreams melted with punk spirit and darkness…but with a light at the end of the tunnel. Oceanss is a band that blew me away when I first listened to them in 2014 and they’ve been refining their sound ever since. One of Mexico City’s best kept secrets.
Fishlights – Telescopio
I’d describe this band started by Fernando Heftye as a wave of multi-colored sounds, combined with fresh, soft layers of pop melodies. Just listen and let your mind float in space.
Has A Shadow – Vampire Kiss (Fuzz Club)
Has A Shadow offers up a blend of fuzz, psychedelic, and shoegaze in an almost ritualistic manner. They earned a reputation in Europe with their first album, “Sorrow Tomorrow” on the Fuzz Club label. Definitely keep an eye on them.
Mondragón – Agosto
Edgar Mondragón started as a solo project, but he soon decided to form a full band out of it. Since then, his sound has expanded into a rich ocean of dream pop, shoegaze, ambient and post-rock.
O.M.A.A.R. – Progressive Tribes (NAAFI)
O.M.A.A.R. comes straight from Coacalco, located on the outskirts of Mexico City. This guy has a futuristic barrio sound that will make you dance until the sun comes up. This track is off of his recently released album, from the excellent NAAFI label.
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