Un Rêve Explores the Contradictions of Mexico City

Lead Photo: Art by Esaú Jiménez
Art by Esaú Jiménez
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I was tempted to start this text by writing “There’s something exciting coming out of the Mexico City music scene.” Not that’s it’s inaccurate to say that. In fact, I didn’t write it because there’s never a time when that isn’t a true statement, since we’re talking about a cosmopolitan city that connects millions of people and has strong cultural roots that keep branching out and recombining almost by the minute. There’s always something going on in the Mexican capital, music or otherwise.

DF is a city of contradiction. Its inhabitants love it and hate it in pretty much equal amounts. There’s the chaos that comes from being one of the most overcrowded places in the world, but there’s something engaging and magnificent about it. Sometimes feelings and even the landscapes themselves shine through the darkness. Here’s where a few artists have taken it upon themselves to make music in a different way, one that I can’t help but think portrays the contradictions of their surroundings. They play music that’s abstract yet accessible, melodic and textural, and based on digital instruments that try to summon a warmth that can be felt through sounds. It’s a style of music that mixes slowcore melodies, ambient drone, and vanguard electronic styles to create fresh sounds for those willing to go a little further from the established pop rules.

Acts like Missing Human have made inroads with this type of sound, so it’s a pleasure to find other exponents willing to explore similar territory. Un rêve is another artist who has been active lately, giving us a very organic take on the nascent genre that’s radical without being confrontational. Un rêve debuted last year with the album Por La Hierba Que Besa Mis Tobillos Cansados, released on the up-and-coming OTONO label, an offshoot of the Otoño En Hiroshimablog. Por La Hierba… is one fine slice of gentle defiance that’s well worth your time.

Although the record in question has been out just a few months, Un rêve is not ready to leave things as they are, and has now uploaded a brand new track. “Abandonment” sticks to the more ambient part of the project’s sound but it well could be a good introduction to it. It has all the trademarks that make Un rêve so compelling. Listeners craving for music to disappear to should follow this artist closely. What we have here is a talent that with time could become a worldwide cult hero.