writeup by Jack Roland
interview by Ian MacKenzie
Here with us today on DHA is Hector; Mexico’s champion whose name is highly respected and well-centered within the underground house and techno scene. Effortlessly balancing a will to experiment with an unwavering commitment to the founding spirit of house, his ease and relaxed approach is hard to come by in such a saturated industry.
In contrast to the Trojan Prince, Hector’s career was initiated by patience and dedication. The sirens of overseas music lured him from Guadalajara to London; where he would later find himself visiting many locations in Europe and shaking hands with both Anja Schneider and Loco Dice, both of whom would later give him jobs on their esteemed labels Mobilee and Desolat. Placing himself within the center of action is a trait that has helped Hector forge many friendships, supporters, and alliances worldwide.
Hector produces for a range of labels, collaborating with both well-known artists and newcomers. Most notably, he maintains his peak status by performing at top festivals around the world like BPM, Awakenings, Time Warp, DEMF, Kazantip, Hideout and Sunwaves, alongside club sets for Tokyo’s Womb, Space Miami, Fabric London and New York’s Output.
While his break-through method appears as an opportunity seizing one; he’s an artist who stands on the periphery, balancing his career with an organic intention. Hector has pulled together some of the most underrated producers and DJs; formulating the Vatos Locos crew – best known as “the crazy ones”. This crew came to age by throwing the maddest of shows at Mexico’s BPM Festival. Vatos Locos is a family affair, one that strips down the egos and follows a democratic approach serving one purpose: to rock the vibe.
Brought together in communion with this years upcoming BPM Festival, this interview covers everything from his first involvement with BPM, Vatos Locos, his natural go-with-the-flow attitude, and more.
“We’re not in a rush, it has to be the right time and feeling.”
How did you first get involved with BPM?
I was invited to the 2nd year of the festival because they didn’t have any Mexican DJs playing. Nitin and Craig, the guys who run all the bookings, contacted me. At that time I was living in Berlin and working for Desolat. I was not really expecting anything from the festival but I came down and the guys really, really, took care of me. At the end, I became part of the BPM family. I missed 3 flights, because they wanted me to play the after party of the after party, and since that day I will never forget how I became part of the family.
Last year was the first time they offered me to do my own thing. It was a complete success and this is the anniversary of that. It’s a really nice development as this is my hometown, my house, my friends, my everything. Now, doing my own thing is something that means a lot to me and I have all the family from BPM to support. The Vatos Locos crew – these are my friends who we’ve hung out with in Ibiza and Berlin so it’s not necessarily that Vatos Locos means Mexican people, it´s just platforms for me to get all my friends involved and have fun.
BPM doesn´t seem to have a focus on headliners.
It should be like that. The headliner to me is irrelevant; it’s about the music that is playing and the vibe – you’re in the Caribbean! You are in venues that transmit being with your friends and having fun, the Jungle, the beach parties, the hotel rooftops… That´s what is important! You´re just enjoying it with your friends – that´s it. Last year I saw parties go until 1 PM. They were great: Innervisions, Desolat, Paradise…
What have you seen regarding the growth of BPM and Playa del Carmen?
A lot! Places like this (Palm Hotel) were never here before. This to how Tulum is now, Playa del Carmen was really like a hippie place. There were never hotels, big clubs just like Tulum.
Playa has got more business, more hotels, and it´s getting ready for a different type of tourist. We have a motorway now. The same thing happened to Ibiza. I was there 15 years ago and they didn’t have a motorway. BPM is bringing more people every year, so of course adapt. It’s also good for the Mexican tourism economy.
Tell me about your event.
We’re doing our party on the 17th of January, this is going to be the 1st year anniversary of our party. We have a really good special guest. We have BE-AT TV that is going to be streaming live and we have the guys from Ibiza Global Radio also streaming live. We have all my boys Chad, Randall, David, and Hito will also play, she is awesome.
What can we expect from Vatos Locos in 2016?
We have our projects but our concept is: we’re not in a rush, it has to be the right time and feeling.
This BPM we are launching the record label. We did a 2-part vinyl with all the artists from the crew. We have 10 tracks. 2 are exclusively digital. That’s the next step from our Vatos Locos parties. Now we go with the label, music from all the artists on the label and friends. Putting out the right music to suit the label is now the most important.
Is there a specific Vatos Locos style?
No specific style. I want to put out music that I enjoy playing. I recently made a mix out of the 10 tracks from the first release and I had so much fun doing it. It´s 10 people, 10 different personalities, but when they make the music, it´s bomb. We don´t have any rules and that´s the good thing about VL Recordings.
Hector and Various artists ‘ Vatos Locos Forever’ is out on Beatport now.