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Creating a scene is no easy thing. But that is what Martin Parra has been doing in the Mexican Underground for the last 15 years. In a world where Djs come and go and clubs have a very short life span, Parra’s name is synonymous with long-term success in Mexico City’s nightlife.
Martin was born in Mexico City, on March 21,1971. Like any child of the 70’s, he is the product of the winds of change and the political effervescence of the times. His father is a painter from the “breakaway generation”. Through his mother, a Chilean, he keeps a connection with that country. He has traveled to Chile and discovered his affinity with the protagonists of its renowned techno scene: he has appeared with Ricardo Villalobos and Dandy Jack.
In Mexico, Martin is one of the most important and reliable names on the dance scene. His unstoppable curiosity for electronic music, in every form, keeps him up to date on whatever’s happening on the dance floors of the world. His longevity does not contradict his cutting edge. To experience a party with him on the decks is not only a chance to dance the night away with the most uplifting beats, but also a fresh update in music. His presence guarantees you’ll be moving your body to the newest and the best.
From the start, Martin felt the irresistible force of electronic music, so he offered no resistance. Among his first influences are Wendy Carlos, Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode. He also discovered science fiction at a very early age, which turned into one of his greatest passions and ultimately led him to a fascination with technology and the concept of the vanguard, the very same things he would imprint on all of his future projects.
One of his favorite movies, 2001: A Space Odyssey, particularly marked him. The “character” of the HAL 9000 computer inspired two of his first important projects: his launching as a professional deejay under the name of Mar-t 9000, and his first efforts as a music producer, Halosol. The Mar-t 9000 times were magical. The name invokes memories from the rave days in Mexico. Under that alias, Martin left an indelible mark in the collective memory of 90’s youth, people who can still hear echoes of what probably were the most glorious nights in the underground dance scene.
It all began in 1992 with the double launching of Martin and Dj Chrysler
yet another emblematic character from the scene in a party in the bohemian Mexican neighborhood of Coyoacan. It was the post acid house era, when house music could be heard on mainstream radio and eurobeat was the new king of the dancefloor. The underground was looking for something new. Martin started to make some noise, pleasing the more demanding crowds with selections of bleep techno, which featured the talents of people such as Orbital, The Orb, LFO and 808 State. It was not long before authentic legions of fans would follow him wherever he’d go and Mexican youth waited for the weekend with increased anticipation.
And so, rave parties were born. With Martin and other DJs lending their taste in music for the sake of the night. Every weekend a new venue; every new venue another chance to feel free. There were no limits. Rave culture in Mexico was born as well, with its own references, names, fashion, favorite music styles and flyer culture. Martin was one of the most representative graphic designers of that epoch. His colorful designs introduced cyberdelia to our country, and became a hallmark of the rave party aesthetic, turning mere flyers into collectors’ items. Martin joined forces with other scene members to create Libido Productions, the first production company to promote rave parties in Mexico. The “Libido nights” were the first “branded” rave parties that launched a tradition of traveling sound system events.
Ten years have passed and Martin is still evolving. The rave phenomenon earned him a name and opened doors for him. The national and international media tell the tale (his story has made it to the pages of such publications as UK’s DJ Magazine and Spain’s Dance de Lux). He regularly appears in local newspapers, radio and Mexican television. He took stronger steps into music production and put Mar-t 9000 to rest, starting a new and more complete phase as Martin Parra.
His place as the most popular deejay in Mexico to date, has turned him into something of a rock star and a talent worth exporting. The worldwide “boom” of electronic music in the mainstream has given him the chance to take his talents to other countries as well as sharing the stage with the world’s most famous Djs. He’s Djed alongside: Van Dyk, Oakenfold, Sasha, Digweed, Deep Dish, Tenaglia, Moby, DJ Hell, Sven Vath, Fatboy Slim, DJ Tiesto, Basement Jaxx and Tiga, to name just a few.
As a producer, he has remixed Mexican pop artists such as Julieta Venegas, Molotov and Moenia. But he has also recorded his own music for labels like Noiselab, Nopalbeat and Imeca. For the latter, and in association with transnational label BMG, he released his first DJ compilation in 2003: Imeca Sessions presenta: Martin Parra, a double CD pack that featured the likes of Ladytron, Gus Gus, Metro Area, Renato Cohen, Chicken Lips , Layo & Bushwacka and Peace Division, among others.
Today, Martin is restless and is already making plans for the future: “My life’s always been spinning around sounds and graphics. Being a popular and busy deejay sometimes keeps me under a lot of stress. In the near future I’d like to develop my personal and artistic side, perhaps through a multimedia project. I’d also like to create a label, or a recording studio to help talented newcomers”.