Marco Polo Gutierrez’s musical background is as rich and complex as his own personal history. His project Siete Catorce is at the forefront of ruidosón, a genre hybridizing European club sounds and new cumbia—think Mexican and Latin American dance music left simmering in pre-Hispanic, psychedelic, tribal darkness and served up with all the garnishes Ableton has to offer.
The hypnotically haunting, fun and aggressive style has been turning heads and packing clubs in Mexico for the past three years.
Gutierrez was born in Mexicali but raised in the Bay Area. It was in Oakland ghettos that he went to all-night quinceañeras and experienced hours and hours of the cumbia his sound is rooted in. After his mother was caught using her sister’s passport on the way to visit to a sick relative in Mexico, she was deported and the whole family went back with her.
It was back in Mexicali that Gutierrez downloaded Ableton and began to experiment with electro and house: “first came the teenage boredom, then the isolation; followed by an introduction to raves, a few lessons in desktop mixing, and a period of dancing around genres and scenes before finally finding a sound” (Thump). After being embraced by the Tijuana experimental scene, Gutierrez discovered tribal guarachero and ruidosón and his dubstep/party-focused style began to transform itself. Not long after, the twenty-two-year-old relocated to Mexico City and dropped his EP2 after being signed to NAAFI.
Siete Catorce has quickly scaled the ranks of Mexico’s electronic music elite thanks in no small part to an unparalleled unanimity among his peers regarding his talent. He has performed in every noteworthy festival and event in his native Mexico (MUTEK, Boiler Room, Festival Nrmal, etc.), and has played abroad in cities like Lima, Bogota, Berlin, Stockholm, and San José (Costa Rica).
Siete Catorce’s music simultaneously harbours the liveliness of cumbia, the deep sounds of techno and dubstep, and a certain melancholy fostered by the difficulty of daily life in Mexican society. This mixture makes him a unique, engaging and cutting-edge artist.