Since releasing its first record in 2012, Mexico City collective NAAFI has continually found timely and exciting new forms through which to engage global club culture, whether it’s programming residencies at influential online radio stations, curating museum discussions about regional club styles, or releasing some of the most hyped bootleg compilations in recent memory. They’ve done so much, in fact, that it can be hard to take a step back from whatever current endeavor they’re focused on and get a sense of the organization’s big picture, which is something that Smirnoff Sound Collective’s new Tribes mini-documentary succeeds in doing by providing an intimate snapshot of the collective.
In the documentary, Alberto Bustamante aka Mexican Jihad reminds us that for all the critical discussion, at the end of the day, it’s “the party as a place where all this community and all this music actually manifests.” This sense of belonging is clearly communicated, particularly in the coalitional relationships between NAAFI and the affiliated HiedraH, Salviatek, and Svntv Mverte crews on issues such as politics and Latin American identity, which in many cases strongly influence their approach to nightlife. Summing up the crew’s ethos, Paul Marmota expresses himself succinctly at the film’s conclusion: “There is no reason not to feel proud about where you come from,” he says. “On the contrary, take advantage of where you came from and take it further.”
Bustamante recalled the night filming the documentary for THUMP via email. The best part was hanging out together,” he said. “We have been friends for a while and interacted with each other separately, but this was the first time we all played together, it was a real Latin summit. I keep smiling when I think about that night.”
In case you missed the first episode of Tribes, journey from Brooklyn to Mexico City with Discwoman, an influential collective and booking agency showcasing women, femme-identifying, and non-binary talent in electronic music.