Weekly Mezcolanza: DJ Nando

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A mixtape can be many things, but one thing is for sure, a mixtape is more than just random songs put in a particular order. It’s about recontextualizing sounds, giving them a new meaning (sometimes very different from the original) by setting them side by side, or juxtaposed in ingenious ways with others. Best thing about mixtapes, most of them are FREE (!), and they’re a great way to discover new music. In this column, Juan Data gives you a worthy one every week.

MIXTAPE: The Attention Deficit Disorder Minimix
DJ: Nando

Most of us DJs are by default music snobs. It comes with the job. And most of us also like to pretend that the audience we usually play for is comprised of equally sophisticated listeners. So, when we do mixtapes, we select the most obscure stuff. And we don’t like to admit this, but when the time comes to play at a big club, we usually end up playing cheesy commercial stuff or crowd-pleasing classics, because the sad truth is that’s what the average listener wants to dance to.

Chicago’s Latin scene legend DJ Nando has no problem admitting this and he actually did this mixtape not trying to impress other DJs and music snobs, but trying to appeal to the average Latino-in-the-U.S. listener whose music taste, as we all know, is ruled by nostalgia and tends to have a very short attention span, so they want to hear familiar tunes they can sing along to from the get go.

The Attention Deficit Disorder Minimix is the perfect remedy for that crowd. It opens up with the biggest cliché in rock en español, “Persiana Americana,” and it continues in that same direction for a while, even entering the forbidden zone of Vilma Palma (ew), and then almost without noticing it, he moves on to a Toy Selectah remix of She’s a Tease and ends up playing electro. All in just about 25 minutes. Finally, an honest mixtape!

P.S.: DJ Nando still plays more sophisticated and avant-garde stuff under his alter-ego Ron Solera, recently opening for The Pinker Tones.