Haydeé Jiménez and Jonás Romero
  • Haydeé Jiménez and Jonás Romero
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Turn it up!

Turn it up!

I first met her three years ago at a Chinese-Mexican pop-up dinner that her brother was hosting in Tijuana. At the time, Haydeé was living in Berlin working for global collaboration platform Rockajoint. She moved back to Tijuana in the summer of 2014 and not long thereafter began booking shows at 1250, a volunteer-run, all-ages venue (now defunct) on Calle Sexta.

That Halloween, Haydeé attended a show nearby at La Terraza. The show was overbooked. The bands got into a brawl. The venue kicked everybody out. After exchanging some words, the venue allowed the only remaining performer to play for 20 minutes. That performer was Charmaine’s Names, a weirdly sexy, one-man ’70s dad lounge act from Los Angeles. Haydeé ended up hosting Charmaine and his friends for the weekend.

“I took them around,” Haydeé recalls. “It was Day of the Dead. They helped me find my grandmother’s headstone. We just bonded. I was impacted by how nice they were.”

A few months later, the crew invited Haydeé (who plays experimental music as Hidhawk) and some friends to perform at the house of L.A. duo Puppy for Baby.

“Puppy for Baby was tying everyone together and creating this octopus of people, just showing us how they get down,” Haydeé laughs. “People were dancing. It was very organic. There were artists and academics and hardcore partiers. Everyone partied together. That’s when the Circuit started — the back-and-forth exchange — and it’s been growing ever since.”

The following month, Haydeé reciprocated with Because We Love You Fest, held at the Comida No Bombas house. That’s where she met Derek Housh, a 22-year-old San Diego musician who was in the process of going completely bonkers for Tijuana.

“He said, ‘That’s the best damn noise show I’ve ever been to!’” Haydeé recounts. “I didn’t even think about it as a noise show. Yes, there were a lot of noise acts, but I didn’t really consider that when I was booking them. They are noisy, but I’m attracted to the fast rhythms, the textures, the ethereal moments, the room filling with sound.”

Nevertheless, the two were so giddy that they soon conspired on their first Borderland Noise Fest. Starting at 1250 with a potluck prepared by Derek and Haydeé’s mothers, the fest continued with a foot-tour to several venues around town before settling at Moustache Bar for the main event, which included fringe artists from Tijuana, San Diego, Tecate, Mexicali, and Los Angeles. Haydeé even plugged me in to the Circuit to play an experimental set together as Dágmar Midcap.

“It’s always organic,” she says of their events. “It’s never premeditated. It’s based on movement and goodwill. We’re like kids playing.”

The fest was followed by a Borderland Noise pre-party for All My Friends music festival. The showcase, held at La Caja Fuerte, was the first to feature local designer Jonás Romero’s found-object stage design — an aesthetic that would become a staple of Borderland Noise’s events.

Since then, Derek has moved to Portland with his punk band On Drugs while Haydeé has continued booking and hosting friends of friends from the Circuit at emerging spaces throughout Tijuana and San Diego. She’s toured with the Circuit and TJ friends to Joshua Tree and L.A., thrown a second Because We Love You Fest with guest curators Sin Onda, and recently returned from connecting the Circuit across Mexico on the Family Vacation Tour with Charmaine’s Names, Darcy Neal (L.A.), Al-B (Tijuana), and Jonás, who free-sourced stage decor along the way.

If the Circuit is made up of wires branching throughout the West Coast’s major cities and beyond, Haydeé’s Tijuana apartment is a crucial node.

“It’s great to host and connect with all these artists, who I respect immensely, on a horizontal level,” says Haydeé, who (fittingly) studied International Relations.

“Noise is something that’s not wanted. In terms of genre, I think we’re reclaiming the word, somehow. Noise is the primary material to make anything else, to make the unwanted wanted. But what I love about noise is all the beautiful things that surround it. This community and all the people. Noise is at the center.”

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