Friday Night: DJ Erick Rincón and 3BallMty at El Chaparral

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photos by Marco Torres
​As we walked up to the entrance of El Chaparral Houston on Friday night, we immediately felt out of place. The doorman gave us the "what the hell are you doing here?" look. We certainly could have blended in better had we not left our pointy boots, oversized belt buckle, and undersized cowboy hat at home. But we showed up that night to experience one thing and one thing only: Tribal Guarachero, also known as "Pointy Boot Music". And we were not to be deterred. (Actually, the PR group for the club was very gracious and accommodating, allowing us to enter "El Chapa" with minimal hassle).
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The undisputed king of Tribal Guarachero is a shaggy haired 18-year-old DJ named Erick Rincon. He and his fellow tribaleros DJ Otto and DJ Sheeqo Beat form the Colectivo 3Ball Monterry (3BallMty for short), an energetic trio of young producers and remixers who were just signed to Universal Music Latin Entertainment.

The Tribal (pronounced 'Tree-BALL') movement has grown strong in the last two years, originating in Mexico City, migrating to Monterry, and finally crossing the border into the Southern United States, border fence be dammed! By Rincon's own admission, the largest Tribal showcase he has ever experienced has been at Far West Discotheque in Dallas.

The genre itself is a trance-like combination of cumbia, techno, and pre-Colombian drum beats. It pulls you in with it's fun rhythms and holds on tight until you are drenched in sweat from dancing. Think of it as the Mexican Dub-Step, only with less bass and more high-pitched synthesized keys.

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The MC announces that Thursday nights at El Chaparral are being reformatted as Tribal Thursdays, with cash prizes awarded to Tribal dance groups who win the weekly competitions. Three dance groups give us a spectacular sneak preview, jumping and shuffling to the bouncy, repetitive beat.

With a couple of CD-J's, flanked by a beat machines on each side, 3BallMty gets to work. The crowd splits in two, half at the front of the stage, and the other half on the dance floor. The dancers move in a counter-clockwise circle, fueled by a passionate intensity that runs in their Mexican blood. The three DJ's alternate fluidly between the main and auxiliary music makers, all the while laughing, raising the roof, and meticulously stringing together tracks with an expertise that seems way beyond their teenage years.

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