Xalapa’s own Rebolledo is here to guide us toward dance floor confessionals through loosened-up club tracks and powerful introspection.
The follow up to his debut album Super Vato and mix-CD Momento Drive arrived on May 27 via Kompakt sub-label Hippie Dance. Mondo Alterado is the antithesis of the tightly packed, formula-driven model of what’s become mainstream EDM dance music; the dance music bubble is set to burst, and Rebolledo’s latest signals the end. The record is also moving us toward new dance music beginnings, though really the club music vet has been here all along to steer the way.
In partnership with his Pachanga Boys brother Superpitcher, the Hippie Dance label delivers the gospel of the self-proclaimed “New Church of Hippie”– a “place of freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of mind, freedom of dance.” What does that mean, exactly? In the case of Mondo Alterado, it’s a set of “colorful mnemonics,” walking between being “a soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist” and his recollections of moments of recent years – but really it’s honesty and vulnerability, translated for the dance floor.
In visual terms, Mondo encompasses a bizarre world of Rebolledo’s that’s as good as it is real, illustrated via 70s sci-fi and vintage montage feels in the label’s nine-minute official documentary. Rebolledo’s DeLorean vibes soundsystem is revealed (also known as the C.A.R. or “Consciousness Amplifying Rides” project). It’s “designed to blend together in a way to create a journey that can go from dark places to futuristic landscapes and hyper-action moments.”
“I was born a dreamer…” Rebolledo explains, “it’s a life full of expectations, not easy to fulfill completely. It’s a life that takes you to many places, but at the same time makes you miss many others…sometimes I’m feeling down, sometimes I’m lost, sometimes I’m found.”
And from there on out the scene is set for a dynamic, unflagging interpretation of Rebolledo’s internal narrative, guiding us to the Hippie Dance Church of Rebolledo with nine cinematic takes on dance music and the emotional phases of club euphoria.
“Here Comes the Warrior” links stretched-out synth anecdotes and filtered vocal touches over rolling drums, while “Discótico Sinético” is a study of building out a distorted melodic narrative. “Life is Strange, Life is Hard, Life is Great” reminisces most closely to early Kompakt. “Spacer Rainbow Woman” is exemplary of the album’s knack for allowing for a loose structure while tying in familiar, repetitive elements and samples throughout the tracks, adding in a driving bassline to lead into the pounding house beat of “Fears Come True.” Rebolledo repeats, “I don’t want to be afraid to say I love you,” and each repetition drives home the sincerity of his dance floor confession.
“A Numb Gas to the Future” is a similar interlude to that of “Spacer Rainbow Woman,” as if, just as in the normal course of a party’s trajectory, Rebolledo is guiding us between peak-time energy and the more subtle builds that bookend those moments. “POW POW” is another dispatch from the Church of Rebolledo’s mutant gospel feel, lending a rock grunginess to the drum kit quality, while “Discótico Estático” is a window into his open-ended, improvisational recording process over a thumping beat. “Dance Warrior Dance” ties back into the same set of pre-sets and sample banks from the opening moments of the journey in “Here Comes the Warrior.”
Mondo Alterado is available on Hippie Dance now.