Sad news out of Mexico this week as Tony Gallardo announced via social media that he would be putting an end to his main and most recognizable alter ego, María y José. The news comes on the heels of last week’s bombshell that Cocobass, the indie label he co-founded with Daniel García and Eduardo Hernández, would also be shutting down after his next release as Boi Patrol, one of his various side projects.
Part of Tijuana’s modern musical renaissance and known for unleashing the tropical glitchfest that is ruidosón to the world, María y José has been the enfant terrible of Mexico’s electronic indie scene for six years running. Equal parts punk, summer jams, and political satire, María y José has spanned two full-length albums (2010’s Espíritu Invisible, 2013’s Club Negro) and three EPs (Kibosé and Violentao in 2010, and 2015’s Boy De La Costa). Gallardo has also taken his ski mask-clad act across Mexico and the U.S. to much fanfare and countless storied performances.
In a brief statement issued to PLOP Radio, Gallardo explains how he’s barely slept in weeks due to the amount of music he’s been producing and how none of it fits the María y José moniker. This newly ramped up creative energy will now be diverted to Gallardo’s numerous side projects, which include the synth-pop confessional Tony Gallardo II, the experimental surf sounds of El Capricho, and the decadently deep house Boi Patrol, whose Unlimited Fantasy One is out today. He also posted a statement announcing this new musical direction on Facebook:
It seems that after years or referring to himself as Mexico’s “permanently emerging artist,” Tony Gallardo is embracing the witticism and making it his mantra. Eliminating his most public persona to focus on his lesser-known projects might not be as ill-conceived as some feel, as it could trigger a reshuffling of the deck and allow him to finally break through to the larger audience he’s been craving. For those who already know and follow his music, Tony Gallardo will always be the pizza-loving weirdo who brought us generation-defining hits like “Granada” and “Club Negro,” and no amount of rebranding will ever change that. Revisit our Hangin’ with María y José from 2015: