Hippie Dance Takeover: A Ritzy 10 Years Of Topazdeluxe
Rebolledo is a man of many talents. Not only is he half of Pachanga Boys as well as a producer in his own right, he's also a business man, owning his own bar in Monterrey. In the next installment of our Hippie Dance takeover, Rebolledo sits down with Superpitcher to tell him where it all began.
Superpitcher: Your partner at Topaz is Juan Pablo aka “Champis”. How did you meet him?
Rebolledo: I met Champis in 2003 in Monterrey, Mexico when I was a university student and DJing was only a hobby for me. Since it was so hard to find gigs I had to create them on my own, taking my own equipment to bars and playing for free. Those were tough times and I often thought of quitting. Andres, a classmate and close friend told me about a friend of his who wanted to throw a Halloween party and asked me if I would like to join the team. This friend was Champis, who is my partner at Topaz and runs it day to day.
SP: You first had your own bar in Playa del Carmen right? How did it come about that you and Champis opened Topaz in Monterrey?
R: That is actually a long story, but in a nutshell, Champis, Andres and I travelled to Playa del Carmen where by a fluke of luck and destiny, I had the chance to play a set at the iconic (now closed) club, La Santanera. That opportunity opened a door for me and a few months later I became one of it's first residents. After living in Playa del Carmen for a few years, I wanted to create a space with what I believed would have the perfect atmosphere and the perfect music so I managed to open it in 2006, off the grid. I called it Corvette Ninja. It was a great little underground place with a retro racing atmosphere but sadly it was not earning enough money. Champis came to visit, often saying we should open a place in Monterrey. In 2007 he told me he found a good location and I made the painful decision to close the doors of Corvette Ninja, returning to Monterrey to embark on a whole new adventure that would become Topaz.
SP: It’s not a known fact, but you are a very talented industrial designer. You took charge of the interior design of Topaz. Can you tell us about the now famous environment you created there?
R: It’s an eclectic mix actually. The place is filled with found objects combined with custom designed coloured lights. I knew I would be spending a lot of my time in that DJ booth, so I turned the full back wall into record shelves and brought my whole collection there. Scouting through the city for stuff for the bar, I ran into a big old TV that I thought would work perfectly well as a DJ booth table. So we bought it for next to nothing and brought it there. The space was looking like a living room from another era. We put together a basic sound system with some elements I brought from Playa and some other stuff from flea markets. The booth monitors were a pair of old wooden Cerwin Vega hi-fi system speakers. What our humble project was lacking in technology was compensated for with a whole lot of soul.
SP: Topaz became a success with some big names playing there. How did you manage to survive over the years, even through some tough times in Mexico?
R: At Topaz music was always our main focus so rather than having a crazy number of guests, we would invite regular ones to perform, creating the Topaz sound, which had no particular genre, but was fun, futuristic, disco. Champis and I were very happy with the results and would every now and then dream about the “impossible”. “Imagine if we could have some Kompakt guests"… “Imagine if Michael Mayer would play here one day". Our dreams soon became true when Tobias Thomas visited as one of our first international guests and then there was no turning back. You came a few months after and Matias Aguayo and some of the Cómeme crew came too. We luckily managed to survive the recent drug cartel related criminal period in Mexico. There were a few rock bottom times when we almost had to close our doors. However, when things in the city calmed down and it was safer to go out again, we adopted the slogan “Vamos a Bailar", (let’s dance) and the motto “Recuperando la Ciudad” (taking back the city). Our contribution to the city was to encourage people to keep on doing what we and they, did best – to enjoy music and dance.
SP: Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary this year! You’ve come a long way.
R: Thank you. We are grateful that almost 10 years later people still trust our taste and visit us every weekend. People like Tim Sweeney, Eric Duncan, Lovefingers and us have helped define the Topaz sound. Friends like Saschienne or Jennifer Cardini have become regulars and new people in town like Man Power have become residents.
Rebolledo's 'Mondo Re Alterado' is due for release 30th June on Hippie Dance. Visit the 'virtual store' THIS WAY.
Check out the TOPAZdeluxe bar HERE.