Full Tilt Boogie: It’s Undeniable that Lemarroy’s Sound is Becoming Identifiable
“Play the game.”
Inscribed on the hulking stone monument at the heart of St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin, are the words “Play the game.” As a 14 year-old, I gave that idea the (middle) finger and went head-to-head with that century-old institution. I lost.
I wasn’t ready for the rigid structure, the regiment. But Rogelio Lemarroy was.
Growing up in Vera Cruz, Mexico, he came not to SJMA, but the well-known Culver Military Academy in Indiana. In embracing as an opportunity what many (me) saw as a “big problem,” he got the keys to his afterburners early on, lit them up, and hasn’t let them cool. Ever. Achieving captain rank (he was given his own sword), he put in the work, played the game—let productivity, not rebellion, stamp his ticket. Leading the rifle drill team, he captained the tennis team and went undefeated in singles—and got to fire CANNONS in his free time.
That’s pretty much been the pattern: always full-tilt boogie. In 2002, he went to the Junior Olympics for Mexico, partnering with César “the Shark” Ramírez, a future ATP pro and Davis Cup player. And yeah, they won some matches. But the discipline learned early has evolved into a lead-by-example mentality.
“I think they didn't have enough time, so we got put together to play. It worked so well that people starting asking us to play together.”
With EDM now diagnosed as a worldwide virus by the CDC, every Tom, Dick and Jane has a laptop with production software. That can make for a wide, sloppy field to fight, though. So, besides seeing challenges as opportunities and not threats, what’s his secret?
“You’ve got to find a balance between hard work and play,” says Lemarroy. “There are things you have to do every single day, but you’ve got to relax as well. On top of whatever project I’m working on, I always take care of my social media, or at least I am always very involved in the process. One thing I always try to do during the day is 30 minutes of any kind of exercise. And probably the most important one is that I always try to get together with a friend to do something not work-related to get the stress off. That’s always a must in Mexico City for me.”
And the formula works, apparently. Lemarroy took honors at the 2016 World Music Conference for “Best DJ” and was nominated by Nightlife Mexico Awards as “Best Mexican DJ.” Practice makes perfect, although “always a happy vibe,” it’s undeniable that his sound is becoming identifiable.
Take a listen to any of his originals, and you’ll hear the attention given to melody. The meditative prog house vibrations on his 2014 tracks “Sweet Addiction” and “A Deep Night in Mexico” have ramped up a bit with his 2016 collaborations “Leisure” (Jose Castellanos), “Echoes” and “Spectra” (both with Nava). Recently he’s been experimenting with more Latin hues, remixing a slew of Mexican artists and working alongside Venezuela’s Victor Porfidio—a sampling of which will be unveiled at EDC Mexico. Post-coitus, the two are considering a tour though Latin America: Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia. But such a dynamo teaming up? Por qué?
“It started kind of by accident with Nava at Unite to Tomorrowland in Mexico City,” explains Lemarroy. “We were supposed to play as individual projects, but I think they didn't have enough time, so we got put together to play. It worked so well that people starting asking us to play together. Now he’ll come in with a raw idea, and I’ll just start tweaking it and adding to it. We just signed a track to Panda Funk.”
After releasing their ‘90s progressive revisiting of “Spectra” on heavy-wampum German label Black Hole, Lemarroy’s contact list has grown considerably.
EDC Mexico is offering up a superb platter of Latin sounds, from Colombia, Chili, Cuba, Costa Rica, et cetera. And it’s great. But the excellent progressive and Latin vibes of Mexico itself have emerged in full bloom over the last couple of years. To the discerning listener, it reveals itself as a bright, exuberant flower. Kaleidoscopic petals reach skyward to reveal a lusty stamen ready to be milked of its gorgeous nectar by the EDM-loving honeybees of the international set.
And those who attend EDC Mexico this year are lucky, indeed. It is your task to spread the joy offered up by the likes of Bufi, Hector, Erick Rincon, Tini Tun, and—returning to the stage again—Lemarroy himself. Carry it home with you, this precious pollen, to help spread Mexico’s prize.
But before that happens, dig into this exclusive mix that Lemarroy put together just for you and all your amigos.
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