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A native of East Palo Alto, CA, Rios got his start making hip-hop tapes with his brother, but a fateful disco encounter changed all that. “I heard Space, the ‘Magic Fly’ record, and it was very hip-hop to me!” he recalls. “It was very stripped down, very basic.” That French electronic novelty from 1977 paved the way for Rios’ summer of rave. “I didn’t even know this existed. I loved disco and old grooves. Music was my thing since I was young. So when I found house music, techno, whatever, I just got captivated! I still make rap music with my brother, but this was about 1994, and raves were tight!

As a nod to his parents’ background, Rios adopted the Mexican state of Michoacan as his nom de wax, and started building a home studio piece-by-piece. Like mad homebrew studio predecessors from Lee Perry to Giorgio Moroder, Rios subscribes to the theory that if it fits in a track, it goes in – be it a new sound effect or his own singing voice.
It all bodes well for the day Michoacan settles in with a label and concocts the epic LP that right now bumps only in his head. “I like waking up at eight with a cup of coffee, go in the studio, stay in there ’til midnight,” says Rios frantically. “I just get a bass sound, a dope kick going, and start experimenting. I don’t want to get stuck in a certain sound; I change it up. I want to sing more, make fuller songs. I want to have live musicians, make indie-rock-psychedelic spaced-out shit.”


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