Flute-toting techno shaman Estrada conjures Rancho Shampoo.
Amid playing with Mexicali hardcore outfit Los Nuevos Maevans (actually just some dudes Milli Vanilli-ing a pre-recorded ’80s punk play-list — seriously), Guillermo Estrada went on a spirit quest and re-invented himself as flute-tooting techno-shaman Rancho Shampoo. The cosmic mischief-maker dropped his debut El Vuelo del Golondrino LP (“The Flight of the Baby Swallow”) last May.
Joint-released by Mexicali label Indian Gold Records and Tijuana’s Static Discos, the album conjures a cyberpunk peyote powwow at the behest of La Indian Gold Orchestra — Rancho Shampoo’s backing supergroup of Baja experimentalists from projects such as Fax, Maniqui Lazer, Trillones, Letters From Readers, and punk-rock prankster Julian Gonzalez of Los Nuevos Maevans (itself named after a Mexican brand of shampoo).
“It was on one of my trips to purgatory that I could begin to make music with the flute, which I inherited from my ancestors,” Rancho Shampoo says during our interview over Facebook message.
An 11-minute YouTube mockumentary, “Panocha: Cerro Sangrado,” explores the tongue-in-cheek mythology of the small Tecate mount, which is crisscrossed by an access road, crowned with radio towers, and cut short to the north by a rusty border fence.
“Cerro Sangrado is a Tower of Babel in the cosmos which is situated in Baja California,” explains Shampoo, now a resident of El Cajon. “That is why I’m going. Because there, all the souls are released to the Cosmos and those souls return to the Cerro like a boomerang.”
- Sunday, March 9, 2014, 8 p.m.
- Bancroft, 9143 Campo Road, Spring Valley
- Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 8 p.m.
- Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
Donning a long-haired wig, a ceremonial staff, and mysterious vernacular, Rancho Shampoo has created an elaborate persona of living performance art, not unlike Kumaré or Ziggy Stardust before him. But when he’s not summoning psilocybin soundtracks of flute, field recordings, hypnotic drums, faraway saxophone, primal post-punk bass lines, and circular chants, Estrada produces historical video documentaries, having studied the field at the Autonomous University of Baja California.
“There are too many melodies for the heart,” Shampoo says, “but few that thrill the soul and the spirit. That is why we gather Rancho Shampoo y La Indian Gold Orchestra.”
Do the trance dance at the Bancroft on March 9 with Habits, Batwings, Prayers, Late Nite Howl, and a DJ set from Hot Nerds. Also, March 12 with Vampire Slayer, Schem, Machino, Al-B, and Mnstrpsy.