The Mexican electronic music scene has never been healthier than it is now. Much of this is attributable to the success of festivals such as BPM, but a whole host of artists have begun to make their name on an international level recently too, with Climbers, Alex Rubio and Louie Fresco but a few of the names currently creating a stir.
Another man we can add to that list is Desolat favourite, Hector. Having cut his teeth behind the till at London’s renowned Phonica Records store, he’s since become a sort of figurehead for the Mexican house scene, in the process reminding his compatriots that hard work, talent and tireless energy are still the main traits needed to crack the notoriously fickle global DJ circuit. A regular this summer at Marco Carola’s notorious Music On shindig, we phoned him up recently to chat Phonica, Ibiza and his favourite Ibiza track…
How do you look back on your early days in Ibiza?
“I was a worker, handing out flyers for Manumission at Privilege. So with that I earned enough money to pay my rent, buy vinyl and go out in Ibiza. I was busy pushing my music to promoters and for four months, I don’t think I stayed in once. You should see the photos of me back then — I weighed nothing! But it was the start of a big journey for me and now I’m playing at the clubs I used to work for, which is crazy for me.”
Some time after that you got a job in Phonica. What was it like to work there?
“It was an amazing experience. If you’re an up-and-coming vinyl lover or a DJ, it’s obviously the place you want to work. That’s how I met pretty much every influential DJ in my life, as guys like Richie [Hawtin], [Loco] Dice, François K and Luciano would always be coming in to buy music.
I became friends with them, which opened a lot of doors for me in terms of getting my music signed too. The only problem about working in Phonica is that you always spend all your wages on records! From there, I joined an agency, did a sound engineering course and worked in the shop at the same time.”
Did you ever worry that you wouldn’t make it as a professional DJ/producer?
“Actually, that thought never even crossed my mind. I was really determined in what I wanted to do, but I’m also aware that getting to where I am was not the easy bit. Staying here is what motivates me now.”
So tell me about your relationship with Marco Carola. How did it come about?
“I met Marco in London as I used to sell him records and I saw him play in Fabric a few times. I used to run an after-party called Cubicle and we’d always get someone from Fabric to play after their set. There’d only be about 100 people there, and one time Marco and myself played back-to-back for six hours.
So our relationship has sort of grown from there, and when he invited me to play at Music On, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Since then he’s invited me to play in New York, Miami, at BPM. So I’m very comfortable with his crew and delighted to be a part of it all.”
So what’s it like playing at Music On?
“Playing the Terrace is just incredible! How the people react to every single track is just really something else. I get goosebumps just thinking about it!”
Do you still get nervous before your gigs there?
“Yes, I always get nervous! Before I start my gig there I always feel like I wanna puke (laughs). So I have two shots of tequila as my pre-gig ritual and that gets me into the zone!”
So if you could pick one track that sums up Ibiza for you, what would it be and why?
“That’s got to be DJ Rolando’s ‘Knights of the Jaguar'. When I first came here every single DJ played it, and I heard it nearly every single night. It’s a classic track and it reminds me of a great time in my life. And I still play it all the time!”
Hector is a regular guest this year at Music On (Fridays at Amnesia) this summer
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