Here at Remezcla we’re in the habit of celebrating our heroes, so today, let us honor one unlike any other: Juan Gabriel, a.k.a. El Divo de Juárez. He has definitely incarnated Mexicanidad for many, which is why audiovisual project MEXCLASS—graphic designer Oscar Reyes and TropicAll mastermind Disque DJ—chose to honor JuanGa through Nadie Baila Como Tú, a remix and art LP.
Without a doubt Juan Gabriel is Juan in a million to a lot of Mexicans. A singer/songwriter who showered us with countless songs—from rancheras and mariachis to pop ballads, rock songs, and disco-pop jams—we absorbed his voice from childhood. His music is responsible for making most of our abuelas, tías, and primas deeply emotional. Out of all of his albums, the lesser-known soundtrack Me Gusta Bailar Contigo (for the 1979 movie Del Otro Lado del Puente) was chosen to frame this tribute.
According to Oscar Reyes, the visual idea references the cheesy disco posters from the ’80s. Fans could get a magazine full of chisme and news of their favorite stars, but the main selling point of those magazines were the posters inside.
Latino graphic designers from Mexico, Brasil, Colombia, and Peru gave every single remix on the Nadie Baila Como Tú LP its own colorfully decadent image. The tracks themselves were delivered by the Mexican music network around curator Disque DJ. Producers like Pa Kongal, Mariel Mariel, Sotomayor, Pedro Infame, Oscilador Bass, Sonido Satanás, and Telésforo (just to name a few) gave Juan Gabriel’s music some interesting new contexts, twists, and flips, via reggae, cosmic cumbia, ’80s tropical, tropi-synth-pop, and house.