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Dark Punk Hippies, Indie Dance producing duo from Me

Dark Punk Hippies, Tulum’s groove merchants

For our second release on Under The Trees, our Tanzgemeinschaft sub-label, we are moving to Mexico for two long-time friends that go under the moniker Dark Punk Hippies.

Over time this duo has been exploring different styles, keeping time and place in mind. Now they join the new label with two certified dancefloor rollers. Guaranteed grooves that will make you move.

In order to get the release out to an audience, we thought to give the work to Pablo and Victor to talk about how their project came together.

Dark Punk Hippies – Desertic (incl. SNYL remix) will be out on November 18.

Stay tuned here and check the great & positive feedback.

Connect with Dark Punk Hippies on Soundcloud | Spotify | Facebook

Hey Pablo, how are things going these days?

All good, better than the previous weird years. Trying to keep it productive and positive in some difficult times on our beautiful planet Earth.

What is the story about Dark Punk Hippies? How did it all start out for you as a duo? 

We met in our home town Monterrey in northeast of Mexico many years ago. It must have been in the late 90s around 1998-99. Not so sure if it was at college or a party or both. We had common interests in music and we found out that we lived nearby. So, we started hanging out together, all along with other artsy crowds, local weirdos, musicians and DJs?

Victor was producing music on his desktop with early software (Fruity Loops, Little Drummer Boy etc) and I was learning to DJ at some friends with decent gear and with some horrible CD equipment at my place. We used to go to rave parties, all sorts of alternative concerts and events during the late 90s, early 2000s. Two young kids living in an industrial city close to the border with USA with a weird ranch vibe in the middle of the forest and the desert.

So, luckily before the internet mp3 peer to peer explosion happened, we were able to get some decent records from Europe and USA via some friends, and in a couple of cool record stores around the area.

Also, a few local radio shows, scarce tv shows and MTV, in that era broadcasted late 90s cool electronica (Stereo Mc’s, Fluke, Bjork, The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Bent, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Portishead etc etc). In town we had one nice underground music club with a few promoters and one nice rock alternative bar that we used to frequent to listen to nice bands, DJs and live acts. The scene in town was quite active and in a natural way became part of it.

Around 2001-02 I was getting my first paid DJ gigs. But most times I still playing at parties for close friends in the outskirts of our city. Victor was producing IDM (please do not confuse with EDM hehe). I had some of that stuff in my repertoire when we started playing his and other friends original recordings together with what I already liked.

At some point we played as Dark Punk Hippies. The name came from a joke according to what Vallone (Victor) says. Hehe, but I don’t really remember. 

A certain moment in that time, we decided to produce, collect and play more upbeat danceable music to be able to get bigger gigs. IDM was ahead of its time in Monterrey. House and Trance was getting heard and all the attention at the big parties.

So, we shifted into that sound a bit more but with our own experimental style. We then got to play in bigger events for more people. Still in Monterrey and other small cities nearby.  Sometimes as DJs, sometimes playing a 100% original music set as a hybrid DJ set.

After a few years, we got a bit tired of the local scene and the type of music that was played and we decided to split a for while. Just music-wise, we’ve been always good friends. More or less around 2004-05 Victor was producing mid-tempo minimal Techno with other mutual friends and I was spinning the same genre in certain venues. At other places I tried out other genres. I’ve always liked Electroclash and House music and a bit of Nu Rave.

In 2010 I moved to Mexico City, and I noticed that most of the Techno scene at the place was horrible in many ways. Lots of dudes at the parties, almost no girls in the crowd, music super dark and repetitive etc. So, I focused on my funkier House Music side and started playing in several cool bars and local clubs.

Mexico City definitely has lots of cool spots so as a DJ I left the Techno and Electro sounds behind me and focused on more Slomo Disco. Edits and House music to please the, so called Hipster crowd in that time. After a year or two Victor joined me in Mexico City to get his audio engineer degree in SAE.

And, in a natural way we started working together again in the new Dark Punk Hippies sound. We have several edits of several genres and we do love some disco tracks and dislike lots of it but the truth is that the Dark Punk Hippies sound from 2012 in most of our original productions and collabs is better defined as Indie Dance than as Nu Disco. We try to bring fresh original things to the table.

Then after several years  (2012-17) we played lots of nights in Mexico City, toured the country a little bit and had a few international gigs too. After this, I moved to Tulum and have been DJing as much as I can down here. Victor moved back to Monterrey and he’s been working a lot to improve the studio and the quality of the sound that we want to deliver.

Currently, we work on the tracks via the internet and we visit each other and hang out in person as much as we can.

Was electronic music always your main influence when you were younger, how did you ultimately end up in this scene?

I guess we already answered a bit of the question in the previous answer. But I can add that in the years before Dark Punk Hippies, Victor was playing in a few local bands. More rock influenced but always experimental with synths and drum boxes in a pre-indie style with a rocker vibe. And I collected lots of mid-90s electronic music in all its genres plus some classic rock, acid jazz, gangster rap, reggae and whatever I was able to get in my hand.

Before that, I think we listened to rap, lots of rock mostly in English and Spanish, Mexican Pop and Folk music. We are kids from the 80s, so synths were heard in lots of the music we grew up listening to. Electronic music was always there but we started making sense of how to play and produce it with whatever gear was available, in our late teens.

Who does what in your constellation? 

Victor is the master producer and a really good DJ and I (Pablo) a constant music digger and melomaniac freak, with a little bit of PR. I also DJ because literally I need that output. Both of us as DJs and producers we try to share with each other the most we can.

How do you maintain your successful working relationship in this crazy space like dance music?

We are brothers from different mothers. We get along really well as friends and we know and understand each other’s weaknesses and strengths. Always trying to have a good time, that’s something super important. 

Collaboration can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas? 

Mostly file sharing and a little bit of jamming when we get the artists in the studio.

How would you describe yourself as artists? 

Versatile, we deliver.

Something about your music. What are some key elements that define your sound?

We try to sound original, and always groovy.

When you’re working on a new project, what’s the typical starting point? How do you break it down and how do you like to generate your ideas?

Drum samples, nice synth pad, proper tempo and key.

Soon, you will have a release on the Tanzgemeinschaft sub-label Under The Trees. What can our visitors expect from it?

Nice fresh electronic music made with lots of love.

Dark Punk Hippies – Desertic (incl. SNYL remix) will be out on November 18.

As the last question, where are you based and what makes it so special to be there?

Tulum is a small beach town located in the Mayan jungle and the Mexican Caribbean. It is a place full of energy from all over the planet. I really feel comfortable here. Cities are too crazy for me. I can spend a couple of weeks in the city but I’d rather be at the beach. Victor is in Monterrey because of the best setting for his studio. 

Thank you!

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

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