When Paulina Rodriguez hits the decks, her message is one of untethered freedom. Her Paurro project draws from the sounds of UK garage, house, breakbeats and techno she discovered after college, and today she’s pushing a sophisticated flavour forth in her sets and upbeat productions, which integrate uplifting melodies, syncopated drums and plenty of nostalgic, ’90s-era rave energy. Her debut Boiler Room set from Primavera Sound Madrid this year is a perfect encapsulation of this sound.
Previously best known in Mexico City, where she’s an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights as well as a resident DJ at YuYu Club and Funk Club, Paurro’s now in the midst of a breakout moment. Recently, she joined the New York-based Discwoman collective, and on 9th June she dropped her ‘Onna-Bugeisha’ EP on SOS Music, an LA-based imprint that’s amplifying gender marginalised groups in dance music.
“Throughout this whole EP what I did is play around more with textures and percussion, I focused more on the details and smaller sounds that you might not hear straight away but that make a song really amazing,” she explains. “I feel that’s what ‘Onna-Bugeisha’ is all over.” The first single, ‘Naginata / Sable’ fits the description — it’s a swirling sonic collage that pulls effortlessly from organic and technical realms. The entire five-track collection is a thing of unbridled beauty, much like the bulk of Paurro’s favourite dancefloor cuts, some of which feature in her Selections, along with meaningful tracks from throughout her life, from anthemic pop to blissful electronica. Dive in below.
“New age music reminds me of my childhood when we used to drive with my parents to a town called Tequisquiapan for the weekends. I’ve always loved the folk harmonies in the tracks and ‘Sadness’ is definitely my favourite. It’s peaceful, but very unique, and the breaks give me everything I need.”
“El Tiburón showed its full power on me when I saw a dance group perform it live when I was around 11 years old and they blew everyone’s minds — it was SO fearless. Merenhouse has been a musical influence forever, without even knowing this was a genre.”
“I mean, this is my jam since my Space Jam-era as a child. I love playing it!”
“This song might be my favourite of all time. I am thankful for Jon Secada’s existence every day. This song is a big deal for my close group of friends too, and singing it with them is one of my most cherished things in the whole world.”
“When I was 14, I bought an electronic music compilation on CD as a present for my first boyfriend. He didn’t care about the gift at all (he was kind of an asshole) and left it in my house. I felt so badass when I discovered this track and played it on repeat in my room. It was the first time I was conscious that I was listening to electronic music, and it definitely planted a seed for the future me.”
“Timbaland’s beats can be super versatile, but very him — always. His use of percussion is so catchy and sexy, and this track really represents that. Plus, I’m obsessed with Nelly Furtado. They are the best team ever.”
“‘Ray of Light’ is my top Madonna album for sure and ‘Skin’ is a journey that doesn’t get old to me — it has a futuristic and minimal rave jam feel to it that is really inspiring. I’ve been wanting to play it at a party but haven’t found the right moment yet.”
“This remix was all I wanted to play when I started to DJ in public, and it reminds me of my first gig ever in a club called Leonor. I was the pre-opener, so no one was there, but I told my friends to come and it was a really cute night.”
“I listened to ‘Morning Side’ a lot after I finished my production course, and it would make me wonder about how I wanted my own productions to sound. I love that it’s a 20-minute track and it seems like it’s all the same but has small details that make it dynamic and a treat to listen to.”
“This track was with me while travelling on my own for the first time. This was a very introspective time for me because I always felt I didn’t fit in and it was finally my opportunity to be me and do what I wanted, and this track made me feel so free! The synth that explodes in the middle of the track and Little Dragon’s voice makes me wanna cry of happiness when I hear it.”