The undisputed king of Tribal Guarachero is a shaggy haired 18-year-old DJ named Erick Rincon. He and his fellow tribaleros DJ Otto and DJ Sheeqo Beat form the Colectivo 3Ball Monterry (3BallMty for short), an energetic trio of young producers and remixers who were just signed to Universal Music Latin Entertainment.
The Tribal (pronounced 'Tree-BALL') movement has grown strong in the last two years, originating in Mexico City, migrating to Monterry, and finally crossing the border into the Southern United States, border fence be dammed! By Rincon's own admission, the largest Tribal showcase he has ever experienced has been at Far West Discotheque in Dallas.
The genre itself is a trance-like combination of cumbia, techno, and pre-Colombian drum beats. It pulls you in with it's fun rhythms and holds on tight until you are drenched in sweat from dancing. Think of it as the Mexican Dub-Step, only with less bass and more high-pitched synthesized keys.
The MC announces that Thursday nights at El Chaparral are being reformatted as Tribal Thursdays, with cash prizes awarded to Tribal dance groups who win the weekly competitions. Three dance groups give us a spectacular sneak preview, jumping and shuffling to the bouncy, repetitive beat.
With a couple of CD-J's, flanked by a beat machines on each side, 3BallMty gets to work. The crowd splits in two, half at the front of the stage, and the other half on the dance floor. The dancers move in a counter-clockwise circle, fueled by a passionate intensity that runs in their Mexican blood. The three DJ's alternate fluidly between the main and auxiliary music makers, all the while laughing, raising the roof, and meticulously stringing together tracks with an expertise that seems way beyond their teenage years.
Rincon drops one of his biggest hits -- "La Bomba" -- this time remixed in real time with the help of local rapper Chingo Bling. Both the track and the rapper receive praise from the crowd, and they embrace with a triumphant bro-hug that displays a mutual respect for each other's talent. He also unleashed the catchy new single "Intentalo" which will be available on iTunes next month.
We won't be surprised if we see 3BallMty at SXSW in the Spring or even at the other large Summer music festivals next year. On the contrary, we will be there with our pointy boots on!
Personal Bias: Hecho En Mexico
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The Crowd: Young, Energetic, & Mexican
Overheard In The Crowd: "Mexicaaannoooos! A hueeeevoooooo!"
Random Notebook Dump: I witnessed a teenage fan of Chingo Bling trade his oversized religious medallion for a pair of Chingo's expensive designer sunglasses. Good trade!