David Estrella chats all things Audionik and contributes mix to our Label Spotlight series...

There are few individuals pushing Mexico’s discerning underground scene forward quite like David Estrella. A native of Baja, he heads up the Audionik party and label. On the label side, they’ve hosted music from an array of clued-in heads: think Priku, Franco Cinelli, Okain and Steve O' Sullivan. They also host an edit series called Replik which has been really well received on Bandcamp. From an events perspective, they work under the LOSH brand, and have featured the likes of tINI, Floog, Priku and Arapu; proof if needed that they’re a collective on the up. Yet there’s far much more to Audionik than just international acts. We caught up recently with David, as he gave us the lowdown on the party, the label, and what’s coming next… 

Hi David, great to catch up with you today. How’s your year been so far? How’s your summer been? 

It’s been great so far, so much studio time not really going out so much, getting new ideas and preparing for what’s next.

Let’s rewind a bit and chat a bit about your history in electronic music. Does Guadalajara have a history of electronic music parties?

Yes indeed. Guadalajara has one of the most solid scenes in Latin America talking about Electronic music, all kind of styles doing great things for years now. 

Parties such as Sunday Sunday in CDMX are really putting Mexico on the map internationally. What’s your take on the current scene in Mexico? Is there reason for optimism or were things better before?

Mexico city is on fire right now, I haven’t seen it like that before that I remember; so much talent and passion in there, people are exploring new ways and open to new music, it’s becoming a great scene and we’re super proud! 

How supportive is the local government about parties etc? What are some of the hurdles you need to overcome to run parties in Mexico?

From my personal experience, the government is always an obstacle. We have to consider that expense into any event, and considering we are barely attracting people to our idea; that expense can be the cause of a negative result. That's one of the reasons we decided to move our events out of the city. Otherwise, if you want to throw an event at a club in, say Guadalajara, it is almost impossible talking about permissions and legal stuff.

A lot’s talked about ‘Tulum being the new Ibiza’. What’s your take on the Tulum scene? Do you feel it’s all manufactured or is it good for the scene in Mexico as a whole? 

For me, it’s more like Vegas than Ibiza; nothing against that, lots of people love it, but if you go through the years it's been the same line up every time, also it’s so expensive!

Let’s chat about your own events. You’ve hosted everyone from tINI to Floog to Priku and Arapu. What do you look for when you’re booking an international act? Is there a genuine appetite for this type of sound in Guadalajara or is it something you’re trying to push?

Definitely this is something we are trying to push forward, this is what we believe in from the bottom of our hearts, we have a great passionate crowd but is still small, so we are building a scene step by step, Guadalajara has a massive scene and great clubs but they are not involved in this kind of music yet.

Can you tell us a bit about who’s involved in the parties and their individual roles?

A great family with so much talent, including great producers like Mike.D, James Bott to outstanding DJs like Ricardo Olachea and Milo to passionate visionaries such as Jorge, to female members key of the crew. It’s a whole crew where everyone has something to offer.

Every promoter goes through a period of difficulty. What’s been yours and how did you overcome it?

Currently we are crossing through this period. We noticed that last years we were making events and parties every month and not keeping in mind our scene were new and not that big so far, so we started to make intelligent decisions against passion. 

Similarly, what has been your most special time in music to date? Was there one time where you thought ‘yes, this is why I’m doing this’?   

Not sure exactly when it was, but definitely when I see people loving my music it’s a great reminder.

You’ve also been running the label for some time now. What’s been your personal highlight there to date?

My personal highlight on the label was when we had our first sold out after one week out. I didn't expect that!

Can you tell us a bit about who’s involved at the label exactly? Who does what? I gather it’s very much a group effort? 

At the moment Mike.D is doing some A&R stuff on the digital side, and Ricardo Olachea and myself are keeping the vinyl/digital tasks.

How conscious are you that the label also represents Mexico and the Mexican scene? 

I am aware that people out of Mexico identify the label as something symbolic on the minimal scene in Mexico; even more than people around here as the scene in Mexico is still developing, definitely there is some other labels doing great things as well.

What is the ultimate aim for the label? How far do you want to go with it? 

I strongly believe that the label still evolving and I am looking forward to see what is next, for now we are launching a new sub label.

Are you pushing vinyl too? Is that important to you? 

Yea of course! At the beginning the label started as vinyl only. After some time I decided to bring the label as digital as well cuz there is so much good music out there and sometimes vinyl press takes time which makes it difficult to keep up. Also, there are plenty of DJs that don't play vinyl anymore. So, yeah, I’ve been pushing vinyl because I love it and I have a big love for it and for the people who play it, but hey, in the end good music is good music - doesn’t matter the format.

What was the motivation behind starting the label and parties in the first place? And can you talk us through your future plans for it?

My biggest motivation behind the label and events was back in the day around 2008. At that moment there wasn’t much happening with this kind of sound in Baja; my hometown. There were great parties there, but not with this sound I’ve found out about and came to love. When I got involved with it, I lost my mind and wanted everyone to listen to it.

What do you think constitutes success for you as a party and label?

I don’t think I’ve had success yet, but things are going good, persistence is key I guess.

What’s next for you - professionally and musically - that you’re really excited about?

Not a big fan to talk about future plans, but we’ve teamed up with people we respect to make something insane in town, also releasing a new label this winter and of course our next vinyl from the man Floog! 

Keep up with Audionik on Instagram, Bandcamp and Soundcloud 

Keep up with Losh MX on Instagram 

Keep up with Sonoma Music on Soundcloud 

Listen to the mix that David has done for our Label Spotlight series below...