Psychogeography: Tropicaza in Mexico City


Tropicaza is a synonym for “waxed” cultural music. As drummer for the band Evil Hippie and Los Fancy Free, the Mexico City-based artist has perhaps one of the most significant and impressive collections of rhythmic musicin the city, gathered across decades. An interesting character he carries a warm hearted energy that is noticeable whenever you meet him in person or observe him performing at one of his gigs. With regular appearances at Yu Yu Club he magically dresses the small space with a special spark.

Having lived in Mexico City for over forty years he takes us to five of his favourite spots.


Since the 1960's Tianguis del Chopo (which we locals call “El Chopo”) has been a space in which rock and metal groups, with politically radical backgrounds, have gathered each Saturday to sell books, records, magazines, clothing and other collectables. The historical background of underground music is spread across many different genres such as metal, goth, punk, grunge and ska making it a unique fleamarkets for collectors. It's a special place, not just as a fleamarket but as a cultural destination with lots of friendly people to talk to, usually a band playing live music and a wild dynamic in between stands. Conversations and negotiations make this a proper experience. Here you will find the unexpected. 


What would Mexico be without taco culture? The small taste-explosions are as important to us Mexicans as beer is to the Germans and Americans the Burger. The variety of taco types, how you can mix them and what makes them special is part of a formula that only a regular eater can define. It gets a bit difficult when a vegetarian is looking for a good taco.

There are various options of course but “Tacos Progresos” is definitely one of my favourites.Very nice and cheap vegetarian tacos that you prepare yourself with two fantastic salsas. Great natural juices and just in front of one of my favorite art pieces in the city, David Alfaro Siqueiros´s mural at the old Mexican Electricians Union Building. It’s very close to Yu Yu Club, so ideally suited for a pre-snack before partying. 


Mexico city is so big but the nightlife is unsatisfying in terms of soundsystems and vibe. Yu Yu with its 100 person capacity space is always a great experience to connect with the crowd. Yu Yu is a small space in this huge city but manages well. The people who visit the club always find many different ways of hanging out, getting to know new people and being close to the music as part of a weekly unique program. This is why it is so necessary to have clubs like this. I always have fun djing there.


The base of Yu Yu is located in the heart of Juarez, one of the pulsing veins of a creative Mexico City. Being next to the booming centre many interesting stores and cosy spaces can be found. We have many book stores in DF but no one likes them as much as one in Juarez, Libreria Jorge Cuesta. Across two floors you can find vintage books spanning all genres, centuries, writers and more. The curved balcony in the middle is open for coffee and snacks in a cosy environment. 


Every weekend hundreds of people get together to dance Danzón, a Cuban rhythm which is extremely popular. Sunday is the most vibrant day in Mexico and in all areas of the city families, elder people, friends and couples enjoy the day outside. Dancing is a main activity in Mexican culture and spreads out over all public spaces – a reminder of a strong dance culture which continues to survive. Plaza De La Ciudadela unfolds in the centre. Next to it is the Mercado de Artesanales where local people sell all kinds of hand-crafted souvenirs and decors in a labyrinth-like bac kalley. 

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