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María y José: Ruidosón and Failed States

"Mexico is headed towards a void"

/ November 10, 2015

Maria y José is el boy de la costa, a humble guy in his mid 20s from Tijuana, Mexico. He was in Chicago for Ruido Fest 2015, and we had a nice weekend to talk, share ideas, and party. Ruidosón first made stirs in 2009, with the release of Maria y José’s “Espiritu Invisible” and has since reached international acclaim with the dark cumbia stylings of Los Macuanos. Santos’ latest effort proves the haunted spirit of ruidosón is as restless as ever, while Siete Catorce continues to look towards the minimalist future of the genre. Together, Maria y José, Los Macuanos, Santos, and Siete Catorce make up the vanguard of Mexico’s underground ruidosón scene. Maria y José is maybe the least mysterious of the ruidosoneros, embracing techno, pop, rap, and other accessible avenues in his musical discourse. Eerie soundscapes, Catholic church organs, macabre cumbia, ghostly tribal, disturbed Banda, slogans like “sangre / bandera / cruz” and “juventud / guerrera.” Ruidosón seems like an appropriate soundtrack to the idea of Mexico as a failed state and a failing society eager to tell its story and build towards an escape from this darkness.

ZÉ GARCIA: If you had to choose three ideas that illustrate what Maria y Jose is as a project, what would they be?

TONY GALLARDO: Planning / Construction / Self Destruction

Describe Tony Gallardo II in three words:

No-Hay-Futuro (There is no future)

What can we expect from your next proper album. You played for us the sunny side bachata of “Boy De La Costa” during your stay in Chicago. What else can we expect from your new project?

It will be an EP, although in the end, I really don’t know what it will be. It will be a return to its origins, similar to Espiritu Invisible, with better production, but not 100% pristine.

On Club Negro you collaborated with Matilda Manzana. What collaborations can we expect this time around?

On this LP / EP / WE, there will be a song with my friend DANY F from Colombia, and the Tony Gallardo II collaboration on some of the production.

Is ruidosón still a relevant “movement” in 2015? What is ruidosón? Is future ruidosón a real thing?

Definitely! We have scattered many seeds who aren’t necessarily organized under the ruidosón banner, but you can definitely notice. Its possible that such a thing (future ruidosón) exists, I hope it will. I would love to see people create something using what we have created as a reference point.

In terms of audience, what is the difference between scenes in the US and scenes in Mexico?

In the US, the audience (mostly [email protected]), is eager to consume things that share their roots. [The scene in Mexico] for the most part wants to listen to foreign bands, and anything that is made locally they choose to ignore. Unless they have a gigantic promotional machine behind it.

What is your opinion regarding the social and or political context of Mexico?

Mexico is headed towards a void and I don’t think I want to be here when that happens. The political class of Mexico is a telenovela that enriches itself with money and power, the power structure that in the end will crush them and will leave them just as poor as the pueblo they ignored and disparaged.