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Cruising Down ‘Momento Drive’ with Rebolledo of Pachanga Boys

We caught up with the Mexican tripper about his new work for Kompakt and Cómeme.

This article was originally published on THUMP UK.

Mauricio Rebolledo is the swashbuckling Mexican disco visionary who helped launch the Cómeme label with his pal Matias Aguayo in 2009, before jetting off into space as the more celebrated Pachanga Boys; the unlikely, fruitful partnership he's fostered with Aksel Schaufer of Superpitcher. Originally from Xalapa, Rebolledo's flourishing career as a producer of thrusting psychedelic sleaze necessitated a move to Cologne - the home of Kompakt - for whom he delivered his imperious solo debut Super Vato in 2012. A collection of menacing dance floor chuggers, Super Vato sounds like a heavily intoxicated re-imagining of Giorgio Moroder's 'The Chase'.

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Now a resident of Paris with his girlfriend, Rebolledo has just released a mix CD entitled Momento Drive on Kompakt; comfortably illustrating why he's one of the more adventurous producers working today with his own productions (the primal 'Windsurf, Sunburn and Dollar'), remixes (his radical reduction of 'Camino di Dreyfus' by Red Axes) and some personal favourites (Barnt's bananas 'Is This What They Were Born For?'). Key to Momento Drive is Rebolledo's irresistible flow  - a style that he calls "the tunnel". Cruise-control is his speciality. When he locks into his groove, you know may not know where he's taking you - but you know you're in for quite a ride.

We caught up with Rebolledo ahead of his rare solo appearance this Thursday at Plastic People in London, as part of Ivan Smagghe's Les Disques du la Mort club night.

You can also stream a track from Momento Drive below.

This article was originally published on THUMP UK.

Mauricio Rebolledo is the swashbuckling Mexican disco visionary who helped launch the Cómeme label with his pal Matias Aguayo in 2009, before jetting off into space as the more celebrated Pachanga Boys; the unlikely, fruitful partnership he's fostered with Aksel Schaufer of Superpitcher. Originally from Xalapa, Rebolledo's flourishing career as a producer of thrusting psychedelic sleaze necessitated a move to Cologne - the home of Kompakt - for whom he delivered his imperious solo debut Super Vato in 2012. A collection of menacing dance floor chuggers, Super Vato sounds like a heavily intoxicated re-imagining of Giorgio Moroder's 'The Chase'.

Now a resident of Paris with his girlfriend, Rebolledo has just released a mix CD entitled Momento Drive on Kompakt; comfortably illustrating why he's one of the more adventurous producers working today with his own productions (the primal 'Windsurf, Sunburn and Dollar'), remixes (his radical reduction of 'Camino di Dreyfus' by Red Axes) and some personal favourites (Barnt's bananas 'Is This What They Were Born For?'). Key to Momento Drive is Rebolledo's irresistible flow  - a style that he calls "the tunnel". Cruise-control is his speciality. When he locks into his groove, you know may not know where he's taking you - but you know you're in for quite a ride.

We caught up with Rebolledo ahead of his rare solo appearance this Thursday at Plastic People in London, as part of Ivan Smagghe's Les Disques du la Mort club night.

You can also stream a track from Momento Drive below.

THUMP: Before we talk about the music, let's take a minute to savour the cover of Momento Drive.

Rebolledo: Ah, that photo was really fun to do. Two years ago I was in Tokyo for a festival, and I went into record store in Shibuya. I was checking the psychedelic rock section, and I ran into a really cool record called 'Wally On the Road' by a Filipino guy called Wally Gonzales. I was so flashed by the cover as it has elements I really love: the aesthetics of 70s motocross and Yamaha bikes.

Is that your bike in the picture? 

Rebolledo: No, I borrowed it. My brother helped me find it. He used to ride motocross. He raced for a long time and I was going with him to the races every weekend, like a little caddy. In the first half of the 90s I was super involved in this, supporting him and driving around Mexico with him to the races. Me though, I was never a racer. What I think is amazing on Wally Gonzales' 's album is the Porsche at the side, because I really like Porsches. I already had the title of the mix CD in my mind, and then I decided to recreate the Wally Gonzales cover using my own car and a borrowed bike. 

So, that's your Porsche in the shot?

Rebolledo: Yes, it's a 1974 911.

The car every boy fantasises about owning when they grow up.

Rebolledo: Totally. 

Did you buy it using those Pachanga Boys DJ fees?

Rebolledo: Haha, I got it a little bit before the Pachanga super-boost, just before the release of Super Vato in 2012. I was in a strange mood around then, but then I thought, "Come on, I have to be happier – my first album is about to be out. I'm going to give myself a nice present." I always wanted a classic sports car so I just went for it. Now my brother takes care of it in Xalapa. 

A mix CD seems like a very unfashionable thing to do these days. 

Rebolledo: In a way, yes, but I think it's a really nice format that has been lost in the swirl of so much information. I truly believe that it is a special thing if you do it well. Of course, Kompakt liked the idea and trusted me with the task. The style of the mix is a little dark – this idea of driving down into the tunnel, this hypnotic, pushing feeling. That's my approach. Kompakt boss Michael Mayer told me after I sent him the final mix: "Even though it is a mix, it sounds and feels like an album. The whole story is in there." Coming from him, that's a big compliment.

My idea with this mix was to play what I play in my sets; not caring about the latest tracks or trying to copy like "the sound of today". I played personal classics I have liked for 10 years, like 'Pork Chop Express' by Love Supreme and 'Homogen' from Justus Kohncke. I also open and close with Wally Gonzales. It's cool because it's from the same year I was born, 1978. I like the idea that music in the mix is as old as me.

Why call it Momento Drive?

Rebolledo: Well, it's just playing around with words. "Momento" in Spanish means a moment in time, but also momentum in physics and drive; because of the feeling of motion, of creating. This has always been my approach to DJing. It's not about playing nice music, or cool music. It's about creating moments. That's also why I started producing music. I was never that interested in producing because I was happy to DJ, but I always wanted to create certain moments on the dance floor and at some point, I felt that I ran out of the music that I needed to create the moments. 

Pachanga Boys is a pairing of opposites – crudely, a stiff German and a wild Mexican – who somehow complement each other beautifully. What happens when you get together? 

Rebolledo: This is what we always say! We are so different from each other, but we somehow match in certain things.

You both employ this trippy 'tunnel style' in your productions. 

Rebolledo: Exactly, and yet Superpitcher is so different from Rebolledo and both are so different from Pachanga Boys.

Where did you meet?

Rebolledo: I met Aksel in Mexico seven years ago when I was resident in a club called Santanera in Playa del Carmen. At that time a lot of people were coming to play, including from the Kompakt crew, and one new year's eve Aksel came with Michael Mayer to play another party, and I got to meet all of them and we made an instant connection, Aksel and I, and started to be friends and kept in touch. He came back often and I would host him and then I started to visit Cologne. The friendship was there for a long time before we even talked about doing anything together. 

And then – true story – one day I was staying at his place in Cologne and singing in the shower. When I came out he was laughing, saying, "Wow, I'm impressed." He was finishing his last album Kilimanjaro at the time (around 2010), and asked if I would like to sing on a track. I said sure. During this process of helping him, he started to test an instrument and I started to sing – and he recorded it. That was how our first Pachanga Boys track came to life, 'Fiesta Forever'.  

You then started your label Hippie Dance, which really captures the mood of Pachanga Boys' own, strange world. 

Rebolledo: Yes, two years after first track we decided to do Hippie Dance; to create our visual language and Pachanga world. It's been really fun. Somehow, even though there's only been a few releases, it's become a a little cult label.

The records you press are limited to 300 copies and incredibly desirable, which explains why there's a copy of 2011's 'Girlcatcher' for sale on Discogs for £400. Will you repress it?

Rebolledo: Of course not. It was a total accident that this thing got so big. It's such a collectable item. We put so much effort into the design and the little presents for each release, that it would really not be cool to do a repress. Especially for the people who already bought it.

Pachanga Boys' 'Time': it's like a 16-minute goosebump rush of pure serotonin. It must be one of the most ubiquitous set-closers of recent times. How did it come about? 

Rebolledo: Well, Aksel had some melodies in place and was wondering what to do with them. Then I went to Mexico, and recorded some stuff and came up with the lyrics. We weren't really sure if people were going to like it, but we were happy with it. 

What kind of life has that track had? 

Rebolledo: It's been a full spectrum of things. People from all over the world write us little messages saying, "Oh this track is special because of this and because of that.," "Oh I have cried during this", or "I have proposed to my girlfriend during this." Everybody gave it so many meanings that it's really nice and overwhelming.

Of course we find it so special too, but we really believe that any special track should only be played at special moments. There are many, many times that we don't play it becuase we think it's not the right moment. This can be a bit of a problem: many people like it and are pissed because we don't play it at the end of the show, ha. 

You're known for your epic Pachanga Boys sets. Last August, you played for 25 hours straight at a party in Mexico called Lost Track of Time that was streamed online. How did you stay awake? 

Rebolledo: It was so hard, but somehow we knew we could do it. You can always play one more track if you know things are right. If people are there. We came with four huge boxes containing about 400 records, plus digital files and 7"s – we had a full spectrum of music. The interesting thing is that there were many tracks we wanted to play, but we didn't have enough time!

We were saving all these tracks for a special moment towards the end, but this moment never came. The next day our heads were playing games - like dreaming while being awake - and at some point our back and legs would be in so much pain that we couldn't stand. The pain was awful. We were offered a stool to sit but you cannot DJ seated, to be honest. The last five hours was intense. It was worth it though. It always is.

Momento Drive is out now on Kompakt

THUMP: Before we talk about the music, let's take a minute to savour the cover of Momento Drive.

Rebolledo: Ah, that photo was really fun to do. Two years ago I was in Tokyo for a festival, and I went into record store in Shibuya. I was checking the psychedelic rock section, and I ran into a really cool record called 'Wally On the Road' by a Filipino guy called Wally Gonzales. I was so flashed by the cover as it has elements I really love: the aesthetics of 70s motocross and Yamaha bikes.

Is that your bike in the picture? 

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Rebolledo: No, I borrowed it. My brother helped me find it. He used to ride motocross. He raced for a long time and I was going with him to the races every weekend, like a little caddy. In the first half of the 90s I was super involved in this, supporting him and driving around Mexico with him to the races. Me though, I was never a racer. What I think is amazing on Wally Gonzales' 's album is the Porsche at the side, because I really like Porsches. I already had the title of the mix CD in my mind, and then I decided to recreate the Wally Gonzales cover using my own car and a borrowed bike.

So, that's your Porsche in the shot?

Rebolledo: Yes, it's a 1974 911.

The car every boy fantasises about owning when they grow up.

Rebolledo: Totally.

Did you buy it using those Pachanga Boys DJ fees?

Rebolledo: Haha, I got it a little bit before the Pachanga super-boost, just before the release of Super Vato in 2012. I was in a strange mood around then, but then I thought, "Come on, I have to be happier – my first album is about to be out. I'm going to give myself a nice present." I always wanted a classic sports car so I just went for it. Now my brother takes care of it in Xalapa.

A mix CD seems like a very unfashionable thing to do these days. 

Rebolledo: In a way, yes, but I think it's a really nice format that has been lost in the swirl of so much information. I truly believe that it is a special thing if you do it well. Of course, Kompakt liked the idea and trusted me with the task. The style of the mix is a little dark – this idea of driving down into the tunnel, this hypnotic, pushing feeling. That's my approach. Kompakt boss Michael Mayer told me after I sent him the final mix: "Even though it is a mix, it sounds and feels like an album. The whole story is in there." Coming from him, that's a big compliment.

Advertisement

My idea with this mix was to play what I play in my sets; not caring about the latest tracks or trying to copy like "the sound of today". I played personal classics I have liked for 10 years, like 'Pork Chop Express' by Love Supreme and 'Homogen' from Justus Kohncke. I also open and close with Wally Gonzales. It's cool because it's from the same year I was born, 1978. I like the idea that music in the mix is as old as me.

Why call it Momento Drive?

Rebolledo: Well, it's just playing around with words. "Momento" in Spanish means a moment in time, but also momentum in physics and drive; because of the feeling of motion, of creating. This has always been my approach to DJing. It's not about playing nice music, or cool music. It's about creating moments. That's also why I started producing music. I was never that interested in producing because I was happy to DJ, but I always wanted to create certain moments on the dance floor and at some point, I felt that I ran out of the music that I needed to create the moments.

Pachanga Boys is a pairing of opposites – crudely, a stiff German and a wild Mexican – who somehow complement each other beautifully. What happens when you get together? 

Rebolledo: This is what we always say! We are so different from each other, but we somehow match in certain things.

You both employ this trippy 'tunnel style' in your productions. 

Rebolledo: Exactly, and yet Superpitcher is so different from Rebolledo and both are so different from Pachanga Boys.

Advertisement

Where did you meet?

Rebolledo: I met Aksel in Mexico seven years ago when I was resident in a club called Santanera in Playa del Carmen. At that time a lot of people were coming to play, including from the Kompakt crew, and one new year's eve Aksel came with Michael Mayer to play another party, and I got to meet all of them and we made an instant connection, Aksel and I, and started to be friends and kept in touch. He came back often and I would host him and then I started to visit Cologne. The friendship was there for a long time before we even talked about doing anything together.

And then – true story – one day I was staying at his place in Cologne and singing in the shower. When I came out he was laughing, saying, "Wow, I'm impressed." He was finishing his last album Kilimanjaro at the time (around 2010), and asked if I would like to sing on a track. I said sure. During this process of helping him, he started to test an instrument and I started to sing – and he recorded it. That was how our first Pachanga Boys track came to life, 'Fiesta Forever'.

You then started your label Hippie Dance, which really captures the mood of Pachanga Boys' own, strange world. 

Rebolledo: Yes, two years after first track we decided to do Hippie Dance; to create our visual language and Pachanga world. It's been really fun. Somehow, even though there's only been a few releases, it's become a a little cult label.

Advertisement

The records you press are limited to 300 copies and incredibly desirable, which explains why there's a copy of 2011's 'Girlcatcher' for sale on Discogs for £400. Will you repress it?

Rebolledo: Of course not. It was a total accident that this thing got so big. It's such a collectable item. We put so much effort into the design and the little presents for each release, that it would really not be cool to do a repress. Especially for the people who already bought it.

Pachanga Boys' 'Time': it's like a 16-minute goosebump rush of pure serotonin. It must be one of the most ubiquitous set-closers of recent times. How did it come about? 

Rebolledo: Well, Aksel had some melodies in place and was wondering what to do with them. Then I went to Mexico, and recorded some stuff and came up with the lyrics. We weren't really sure if people were going to like it, but we were happy with it.

What kind of life has that track had? 

Rebolledo: It's been a full spectrum of things. People from all over the world write us little messages saying, "Oh this track is special because of this and because of that.," "Oh I have cried during this", or "I have proposed to my girlfriend during this." Everybody gave it so many meanings that it's really nice and overwhelming.

Of course we find it so special too, but we really believe that any special track should only be played at special moments. There are many, many times that we don't play it becuase we think it's not the right moment. This can be a bit of a problem: many people like it and are pissed because we don't play it at the end of the show, ha.

You're known for your epic Pachanga Boys sets. Last August, you played for 25 hours straight at a party in Mexico called Lost Track of Time that was streamed online. How did you stay awake? 

Rebolledo: It was so hard, but somehow we knew we could do it. You can always play one more track if you know things are right. If people are there. We came with four huge boxes containing about 400 records, plus digital files and 7"s – we had a full spectrum of music. The interesting thing is that there were many tracks we wanted to play, but we didn't have enough time!

We were saving all these tracks for a special moment towards the end, but this moment never came. The next day our heads were playing games - like dreaming while being awake - and at some point our back and legs would be in so much pain that we couldn't stand. The pain was awful. We were offered a stool to sit but you cannot DJ seated, to be honest. The last five hours was intense. It was worth it though. It always is.

Momento Drive is out now on Kompakt