If you want to kick off your 2018 on the right foot, consider packing your bags for Comunité Festival this January. The third edition of the eco-friendly festival is set to take over the beautiful beaches of Tulum on January 5, offering hours upon hours of music from heavyweights Carl Craig and James Holden, among many others.
Apart from the inclusion of the wonderful Cuban jazz vocalist Daymé Arocena, the Latino and Latin American lineup Comunité is offering focuses on electronic producers. Mainstays like Matías Aguayo (who was recently added to the lineup), Nicola Cruz, and Mexican experimental music staple Murcof lead the pack, and will be joined by AAAA and Alpha 606. In its short existence, the festival has proven to be a great platform for under-the-radar artists.
Some of these acts have been making music for a few years; others have been in the game for decades. But they have one thing in common: they are all lesser-known acts from the festival lineup. They’ll spin alongside the likes of Colombian tennis-player-cum-DJ Julio Victoria, label head Soos, Dance Your Name collective’s Bad Name Roy, and deep house connoisseur Josep.
We decided to highlight five of the lesser-known DJs and producers playing Comunité. Even if you’re not traveling to Tulum this January, press play and supercharge yourself to start 2018 right.
Comunité returns to Tulum on January 5, 2018. To purchase tickets, click here.
Soul of Hex
At the beginning of the decade, Tijuana’s Gerardo Cedillo and Fabricio Gerardo Tepetitlan (aka Sébastien Vorhaus and 4004, respectively) started Soul of Hex as a way to further conceptualize their musical collaboration. Nowadays, Cedillo carries the moniker on his own, with a string of releases on numerous international labels, as well as his Vicario Musique Recordings. He’s restlessly explored the confines of dance music. With a body of work strongly rooted in house, he also finds inspiration in jazz samples, techno sounds and patterns, and even downtempo, as evidenced by his latest Quintessentials EP, Helipop.
Live, Cedillo often performs using an array of his favorite analog and digital hardware, as seen in his 2017 Boiler Room Mexico City set. But for Comunité, he’s doing a special DJ set to showcase his command of the dance floor.
Mexico City-born, Puebla-based DJ and producer Vivian Garciaferro has spent the better part of her career touring every possible corner of Mexico. Her love for electronic music, and specifically the craft of DJing, blossomed while living in Chicago for a brief period. There, she immersed herself in the local scene and found her way into the Naughty Bad Fun Collective, founded by Sassmouth. Her DJ sets lean towards sophisticated minimal house and techno, and she frequently performs using only vinyl records, keeping this old-school tradition alive.
Her SoundCloud account is stacked with one recorded set after another, revealing that she’s in her element when she’s behind the mixer. But scroll down to the very first track she uploaded and you’ll find the old original tune “Untitled.72,” which shows that the elegant nature of her dance selections permeates her original work too.
Jon Orve has been involved in the Mexican electronic scene for the last 10 years, both as an artist and as a promoter. In addition to owning a promotion company called GetMove, he’s curated events like Carnaval de Bahidorá, as well as local broadcasts of Boiler Room. Plus, he’s also part of the Comunité team, which probably explains why this is his second time playing the festival. But he is also becoming increasingly well-known for his DJ skills, both under his name and the Jonn alias. His eclectic sets oscillate in and out of the typical techno and house realm, incorporating genres like hip-hop and soul. His work has opened doors to international stages; he’s already performed in countries like Germany, Colombia, and the U.S.
Like Soul of Hex and Jonn, Uchi is also returning to Comunité in January, but this time behind the decks. Born in Venezuela and raised in Miami, the artist has been thriving in Berlin’s electronic music scene for several years, thanks to her experimental take on techno, which feels weightless and daring, as it is largely based on ambient and noise textures. Uchi has found a home in German imprint Plangent Records, where she released her first three-track EP.
Uchi’s DJ sets are even more bold than her live performances. From electro-pop and coldwave to abstract sound collages, it’s hard to know what she’ll drop next – adding plenty of anticipation when you get the chance to see her live. She has hinted at the release of her debut album in 2018, so her upcoming performance at Comunité couldn’t be more timely.
Mexico City’s OG club kids might already be familiar with Alexis Yasky, thanks to his influential radio show alongside Uriel Esquenazi on the now defunct youth station Radioactivo. For about 20 years, Yasky has been collecting and sharing electronic music not only as a radio host, but also as a DJ in local collectives like Imeca, Noiselab, and Abstract Massive. Throughout this time, he’s provided soundtracks to some of the most popular clubs in Mexico City and the country’s other major metropolises. He’s the type of DJ who truly knows how to read a crowd, although he has a special affinity for house and funk, rhythms we’ll most likely get lost in during the upcoming edition of Comunité. For a taste of what’s to come, check out his joint remix of Titan’s 90s anthem “Corazón” with Esquenazi, a dance floor hit that works as well as it did when the original came out in 1999.