Famous DJs perform at music festival in Oaxtepec
Sak Noel performing at the Electronic Summer Festival Morelos - Photo: David Morales/EL UNIVERSAL in English

Famous DJs perform at music festival in Oaxtepec

Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL in English
Sofía Danis & David Morales/EL UNIVERSAL in English
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In order to encourage an economic distribution to Morelos, which was deeply affected by the earthquake, Oaxtepec hosted the Electronic Summer Festival Morelos

The 7.1-magnitude earthquake that struck central Mexico on September 19 had its origin between the states of Puebla and Morelos, about 50 miles south of Oaxtepec water park.

In order to encourage an economic distribution to Morelos, which was deeply affected by the earthquake, Oaxtepec’s municipality, along with several sponsors such as Corona, Prudence,and Mega Body Paint among others, decided to host the first electronic music festival at the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS)’s vacation center on Friday, August 3 and Saturday, August 4.

Only an hour and a half away from Mexico City, surrounded by mountains and beautiful landscapes, the vacation center became the main stage for the Electronic Summer Festival Morelos among electronic music, neon lights, fog bursts, body paint, and traditional food.

Batalá Tepoztlán opened the festival with exotic beats from the North East state of Brazil Bahia.

Batalá Tepoztlán is an Afro-Brazilian percussion band that plays Samba-Reggae rhythms that welcomes people of all cultural backgrounds, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender identities, and it is currently celebrating its third year anniversary.

“In Tlaltenango Cuernavaca, I heard them playing once and the music bewitched me. The beats enchanted me as if they were the beats of my own heart,” said Salvador González, surdo 2 player at Batalá Tepoztlán.

Batalá Tepoztlán is part of a larger Batalá family created by Giba Gonçalves, a native of Salvador de Bahia, back in 1997 when he was living in Paris. Gonçalves envisioned Batalá as a rich, collaborative, and diverse musical collective that would share samba reggae musical arrangements and percussion breaks as an extension of the Salvador de Bahia Carnaval festivities. 

Batalá is characterized by 5 types of instruments: Surdos 1 and 2, Dobra, Repique, and Caixa. Surdo 1 & 2 are the pulse and heartbeat and they are played with alternating beaters. The Dobra is the mid-range sound or the melody drum while the Repique provides a “double layer” of clave to add to the snare. Finally, the caixa or the snare gives the upper-range of sound, the “white noise” that fills in the spaces left by the other instruments.

Joining Batalá Tepoztlán has a symbolic recovery fee, yet everybody is able to join them, as no previous musical, dance, or performance experience is necessary to become part of the band.

These exotic beats were followed by the retro beats with a vigorous touch offered by the newcomer Mexican band What The Funk.

Its line-up consists of Reik Loera (lead vocals), Jorge Silva (guitar), Laura Badillo (backing vocals), Mario Navarro (bass), and Alph Rojas (drums and producer).

To sum up, What The Funk is a band that intertwines Disco and Electronic beats producing a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of retro hits sprinkled with a smidge of some electronic, hip-hop, and chill stuff.

Welcomed with an enthusiasm that suggested festival-goers had been waiting for the Electronic Summer Festival Morelos to embrace thoroughly the electronic-based styles, the Rabbit Hunterz fully introduced the audience to the genre.

Self-thought Max Lavalle and Juan Pablo Macías are the masterminds behind the beats of the Rabbit Hunterz.

“On vacations, I usually take Max to Jalisco where my family has a desertic ranch of sorts. One day, we were exploring the ranch and we saw a rabbit passing by, so we chase it for hours, yet we couldn’t reach the rabbit as they are such fast animals. So, we realized that the rabbit was a metaphor for our dreams, and we have to chase them no matter what,” said Juan Pablo when asked about the band’s name.

Despite the fact that both Max and Juan Pablo are still high school students and that Rabbit Hunterz as a project itself has started only a year ago, the youngsters are a promising talent for the electronic scene in Mexico, however, they do not discard studying non-music related majors in the near future.

The second day of the Electronic Summer Festival  Morelos featured mechanical rides, a pool party, and performances from famous Mexican artists such as Ralph G, DJ Wallace, DJ Chrysler, Lemarroy, and Catalonian Sak Noel, known for his 2011 hit, “Loca people.”

At the Olympic Stadium of Oaxtepec’s vacation center, a diverse and vibrant audience gathered to welcome DJs from the capital of Mexico and abroad.

During the night, the stage lit up with an interplay of shadows and light that accompanied the catchy beats and powerful bass lines of DJ Dark Eyes, Lemarroy, and the star of the show, Sak Noel.

The DJ from Catalonia was grateful for the audience’s energy and joy: “I will keep the party going until the fucking sun comes out! We may be few, but we are family, damn it!” He shouted during the show.

Attendants and their families enjoyed a feast of tacos, nopales, and sopes while listening to the concert, as food trucks were promoting delicacies from Morelos such as the traditional cecina, along with Mexican beverages such as sotol and pulque offered by Mil Amores.


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