Peligrosa collective celebrates 10 years shaking up Austin’s dance scene

Ten years ago, a trio of DJs decided to shake up Austin’s dance music scene with irresistible rhythms from around the world. Over the next decade, they built on that vibe to grow a mighty collective that now boasts over a dozen members from across the state, a record label and a vibrant monthly residency that serves as home base (and community safe space) for a wide variety of dance fanatics.

Peligrosa at Empire, November 2016. Robert Hein/For American-Statesman

On Friday, they celebrate the anniversary with a party at the North Door featuring championship Nicaraguan American turntablist DJ Craze, Chulita Vinyl Club, and the full Peligrosa crew, including Houston rapper Chingo Bling. If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping (who has?), Chingo will host a pop-up shop with Tamale Time holiday sweaters and much more. There will also be other vendors on site.

We hit up Peligrosa founding member Orión Garcia to talk about the evolution of Peligrosa and what’s next for the local groove collective.

Austin360: What was the original concept for Peligrosa and what were the early parties like?

Orión Garcia: The original concept has held through the years: Playing music some may consider antiquated or folk (mixed) with the sounds of today. We still play the music we grew up with and we still mix it with modern sounds. The only difference is that we have all (moved) beyond the collection of our parents’ music. Our affinity for folk music will never fade, what changes most frequently is the music of today… The early parties were very exploratory. We were creating new sounds  as we mixed records. These days, original songs can sound like what we were creating back then which allows for even more amalgamating, which is how the party stays fresh and innovative to this day.

How long did it take to develop into a real scene and what was striking to you about the way the scene developed?

Even in 2007, people’s desire to hear the music we were playing was prevalent. We were playing traditional music in an unconventional way and HOW we were performing the music is what helped nurture our specific scene….What is most striking is the support we have received from our audience. They could have pulled us off stage with a shepherd’s cane a long time ago, but the fact that they feel included and represented in the sounds emanating from the Live Music Capital of the World allows us to keep an open dialogue which continues to develop to this day.

A-LIST PHOTOS: Peligrosa at Empire, 11.16.16

How many people are in the Peligrosa crew these days and will everyone be at the anniversary party?

I think there are 13 of us now. Every member will be present at the anniversary which is something that happens every 10 years.

What’s the vibe like when you have so many artists in the mix?

I personally love having a lot of artists involved. It’s definitely a family affair. Our performance times get reduced but we get to talk and listen to the people in our community. We have Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christie, New York and Miami artists for the anniversary. I can safely say the seeds of a collaboration between artists will occur at this party. Peligrosa House 2017, our four day South by Southwest party, for example, had 68 performing artists and collaborations from that have been going on all year.

How is the record label going and what’s on the new compilation?

I love the label side of Peligrosa, Discos Peligrosa. I’ve released about five records a year since I started it in 2015 so it’s still a baby. I have the 2018 releases planned and they are in different stages of development. The new compilation features friends and family of Peligrosa who have contributed to our party or label over the last 10 years. I did compile a list of every artist that has played a Peligrosa party since 2007. It’s around 300. It would have been an unfathomable task to curate 300 songs, so consider the compilation a snippet and a peek into whats to come. Here’s the tracklist for the compilation:

1. Dead Stare & Chong-X – El Asesino
2. Sotomayor – A Mi Lado
3. Raka Rich – Tiene El Control
4. El Dusty ft La Diabla – Mi Cumbia Se Respeta
5. Deltatron – Tragic Life Traffic Life
6. MoonDoctoR – Ponto
7. Jefferson D Lion – No Es Un Taboo
8. Dj Chap – PDX Test
9. Royal Highness – Saka La Bukana
10. Niña Dioz – Mierda (Reptilian Commander Rmx)
11. Dave Nada & Orión García – Playa Sin Agua

Finally, what’s next for Peligrosa? You’ve moved to a new venue, will the monthly parties continue? 

We’ve moved operations to The North Door. We will continue our monthly party, which has occurred every third Friday since 2007, at our new home. I’m very focused on Discos Peligrosa. I’m working on a record with Mamis (who will be performing Friday). We just wrapped recording with Adrian Quesada this weekend at his Electric Deluxe studios and I’m super pumped for the record. Another record I’m working on is with Trippy Cholo. Members include Svani Quintanilla (Selena’s nephew), Gio Chamba, Bobby Hinojosa, and Coffee Guzman. (I’m) also working on a Boombahchero compilation (a genre Pagame and I invented) with the half-Mexican/half-Hungarian duo Dead Stare. The first track on the 10 year compilation is a track that is forthcoming on that release. Then there’s Peligrosa House 2018, our free unofficial SXSW parties that will occur at the North Door in March.

I always have a lot going on but most importantly is to set goals and meet them. If we continue down that path another 10 years shouldn’t be a problem.


The Peligrosa Tenth Anniversary party Friday at the North Door is $10 in advance. 501 Brushy St. 8 p.m. doors. More info.

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