Chango Unchained: Mexican Musical Duo Lets EDM Loose On The City

January 5, 2015 | Bucky Turco

On my evening commute one November evening, I was rushing to catch the M at the Delancey/Essex Street subway station when deep house music booming across the F train platform caught my attention and compelled me to stop. I descended down the stairs to see two guys sporting Luche Libre masks, one banging on drum pads while the other was twisting nobs and things. People were grooving. The transit system, for a brief moment, felt clubby. I asked the men for a business card. It read: “Chango. Psychedelic smoothie for your ears.”

ANIMAL then reached out to the two musical geniuses who make up Chango, Javier Barquet, 29, and Tony Bojorquez, 33, to learn more about their unique style. They hail from two different regions in the northern part of Mexico — “the desert,” says Barquet. Barquet and Bojorquez arrived in the city about four years ago and now live in Bushwick. “We are in New York to make music and to expose ourselves to the world,” Barquet says. “The hardest part of New York is being away from your family.”

“Chango, it’s a badass monkey,” he explains. “It’s the primal part inside all of us, the animal, the beast that makes you wanna rip your clothes off and dance!”

The DIY beat-makers prop their gear up on a wire shopping cart and the top of the self-amplified speaker they use to thump bass in the transit system. “We used to busk in the subway with djembes and we are always involved with machines and electronic music, so one day we taught we should bring our act to the subway,” says Barquet. “We did some logic, figured out how to get power; we bought a car battery a power inverter and we where ready to go.”

During the past few years, they’ve gathered a modest following on Facebook. “The cool thing about the subway is the connections that you make, the networking its amazing, and the energy of the people is incredible,” Barquet says. “We love performing in public, we love the sensation of being on stage, is one of the purest things on life.”

(Video: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)