Upfront 045 / November 30, 2015

Umor Rex

Umor Rex founder, Daniel Castrajón heads up a mix that etches the label's eccentric and forthcoming anthology through 44 minutes of 100% in-house releases. Pure aural hypnosis instigated.

About this mix

With this mix, I’m doing a preview of some titles that will be released in the first semester of 2016, and it’s a good method of showcasing and sampling the different styles that coalesce in the label, and of describing the individual character of each artist. In saying that, this is a good moment to say that in 2016 we have reached our ten years. Umor Rex’s first release took place way back in 2006; after a small hiatus, we came back and have been working continuously since 2010, here in big old Mexico City.

I got put on the spot the other day. Someone asked me: "what’s the deal with this Umor Rex thing? What do you want? How do you define this label?" I didn't expect such blunt questioning. I drew a blank. Some days later, cool, calm and collected, I try to find some concise answers… and drew another blank. See, the thing is, I’ve always been completely empirical with aesthetic instincts, which may or may not change with time. Just act. No theory. I have some notions and preferences, sure, but no master plan, no guiding principles, no words chiseled in hard stone. We like the modernism arts of the fifties, and the electronic avant garde of the seventies. We enjoy some contemporary experiments in sound, digital and analog, and we sometimes place our bets in free-form, out-there stuff. But I don’t really know what Umor Rex is. All I know is how it sounds, and how it should look.

This mix includes tracks from the first collaborative album of Steven Hess (member of Locrian, Cleared, Pan•American, Haptic, and Innode) and Rutger Zuydervelt (aka Machinefabriek); Berlin-based artists Shapes (aka Niklas Dommaschk, member of Phantom Horse) and Oliver Koch as Melfi; the musician and producer hailing from Los Angeles, M. Geddes Gengras; the Chicago trio Good Willsmith; the French composer Alexandre Bazin; and Berlin's Driftmachine.

Daniel Castrejón

Boiler Room says...

For this week’s Upfront, the Mexico City-based Daniel Castrajón has crafted for us a testament of some of the multi-national work he’s lined up for 2016 to be dispatched through his label/publishing house called Umor Rex, consolidating the label’s free-form aesthetic through an almost film-like narrative. From an 8-bit symphonic piece from Paris-based experimentalist Alexandre Bazin to the ethereal chordwork of M. Geddes Gengras’ 03.06.15 – Umor Rex’s Upfront mix serves as a magnifying glass pointing out one of Mexico’s most covert musical conversations with the world.

Joshua Kracer

Joshua Kracer

Joshua curates, hosts, and writes for Boiler Room Latin America.