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Tijuana has long been a punch line to too many lazy comedians' jokes. But that oft-mocked city just south of San Diego is also home to one of the world's finest electronic-music labels: Static Discos. Betta recognize.
Inspired by the global attention garnered by fellow Mexicans in the Nortec Collective, label head Enrique "Ejival" Jimenez plus recording artists Fernando Corona (Murcof, Terrestre) and Ruben Tamayo (Fax) launched Static Discos in 2002. "[W]e decided that we wanted to focus Static Discos outside of the country and establish it as a platform for Mexican artists we liked," Ejival says via e-mail. "We knew we had two great records as a start: Murcof's Martes and Fax's Resonancia."
An independent electronic-music label based in Mexico faces serious obstacles. Distribution is nonexistent; media outlets are mostly ignorant or apathetic; clubs are mainly geared toward accessible electronica, what Ejival calls "trance and its devil offspring."
Due to this sad situation, Ejival states that "the main objective was to launch Static Discos as an international independent label." The company still garners more sales and attention in Japan, Europe, and America than it does in Mexico.
But don't despair too much for Static. "We receive a lot of support from government cultural institutions," Ejival says, "which helps us get air travel to the festivals [to which] we sometimes get invited abroad. And despite not having proper distribution in Mexico, we receive a lot of support and respect from the people in the know."
While in Seattle for the Decibel Festival (at which Murcof and Fax played stellar sets), Ejival handed me four new Static releases, which reveal the imprint's range and quality control. Childs' Yui abounds with majestic, ice-toned shoegazetronica à la Múm and M83. Microesfera's deep, riveting Negative traffics in the sort of hypnotic minimal techno that could slot into mixes inhabited by tracks from world-class labels like Musique Risquée and Spectral Sound. Fax's Primario is an artful foray into ethereal dream dub, like an updated Talk Talk or A. R. Kane, whose Alex Ayuli contributes wistful vocals on two cuts. Duopandamix's Infrarrojo puts a stunningly fresh coat of paint over IDM's fading veneer of rhythmic irregularities and tone warpage. Bravo!
Ejival says participating in Decibel inspired him and his cohorts. "The Decibel community was very friendly to us. We always joke that we're about ready to throw in the towel, but meeting the people who love what you do as a label totally changes [our] outlook. Their passion for music is the same as ours. We now owe them the responsibility of keepin' it real and to release quality electronic music. At this point we don't feel lonely anymore."
More info: www.staticdiscos.com.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29
CAPS & JONES
Today's ambitious DJs realize that (almost) anything goes in clubland and that the real challenge is making corny tracks segue well with sublime ones. Can you blend a yacht-rock chestnut into baile funk? How about transitioning from Black Sabbath into Young Jeezy? OMD into OBD? That's Caps & Jones's steez, and it's helping to bring surprise and fun back to the dance floor. War Room, 722 E Pike St, 328-7666, 9 pm—2 am, $5 or free by signing up at www.hip-hop.net, 21+.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30
A DJ Eddie set is like a very thorough yet very festive seminar on the myriad wonders of techno and house. Eddie always facilitates a pure enjoyment of these sometimes-insular genres. His crates are deep and his experience behind the decks is vast. Watch a masterly smooth operator at work. ToST, 513 N 36th St, 547-0240, 9 pm—2 am, free, 21+.
MISTER LEISURE, BRETT JOHNSON
Tonight Mister Leisure (AKA Matt Corwine) hails the release of his new 12-inch on Seattle label Uniting Souls, "Don't Clap Your Hands." The track—which perversely abounds with handclaps—is a midtempo, woozy stomp through house music's more unconventionally appointed rooms. Piquant cowbell hits and a tweaked soul vocal sample (AWB's "Person to Person"?) help to deposit this cut securely in your memory bank. Corwine says, "The set will draw a lot from what I played at Decibel, so everyone who blew off my show to see Ratatat or Telefon Tel Aviv can bring themselves up to date." Johnson's deep, quirky house stylings should complement Corwine's own idiosyncratic specimens. Baltic Room, 1207 E Pine St, 625-4444, 9 pm, $7 before 11/$10 after, 21+.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 3
This excellent L.A. DJ/producer has been a major underground-hiphop player with Emanon, has racked up production credits with Mobb Deep and Jurassic 5. Supporting his new Dirty Science LP, Exile lays down his elevating beats for the Fourthcity crew's incisive Stop Biting night. Should be a serious headnodic experience. With Introcut, Bumblebee, Hideki, Kamui, Madman. Lo_Fi Performance Gallery, 429 Eastlake Ave E, www.lofiseattle.org, 9 pm—2 am, $6, 21+.