Dr. Shenka of Panteón Rococó is a Mexican Ska Rebel

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Josue Rivas

Luis Román Ibarra also known as Dr. Shenka may not be a real doctor, but he can surely prescribe the perfect dose of consciousness and revolution through his voice. The vocalist of Panteón Rococó grew up in the harsh streets of Mexico City, the largest city in the world. Back in the day him and many of his peers on the streets used ska as a way out of the streets and as a form of expression. So as a youngster, forming a ska band was inevitable for Ibarra.

Since then, Panteón Rococó has toured all over the globe, making them ambassadors of a unique blend of sounds only passionate musicians can produce. Although the journey hasn't been an easy one Dr. Shenka and his banda have remained faithful to the philosophy of moving forward even if their own government attempts to shut down a soon to be musical revolution. The Panteonés stopped by La Naranja selling out The Observatory in Santana last Sunday and we got the chance to chat with El Doctor.

See also: Panteon Rococo - The Observatory - Aug. 4, 2013

OC Weekly (Josue Rivas):For those who have not heard the music of Panteón Rococó, how would you describe your sound?

Dr. Shenka: Well, I think it is a blend of a lot of kind of genres of music you know, throughout  the 18 years that we've been playing we've learned the value of plurality in music. We entered the ska movement in Mexico City in 1995, but I think with time we started to play our own music because we started traveling all over the world. We discovered a lot of new music and cultures that we learned from. At this point I believe Panteon's music can be described as something like "ska-rebel" music, something like that. Because in our sound we have ska, we have Punk,Son Jarocho and even a little of Norteño. In our case I think it is music to party to, dance to, and to create consciousness about some of the things happening in Mexico.

In your music the idea of resistance is important, what are you referring to when you speak about resistencia?

When we talk about resistance we mean many things. In Mexico, to play rock is a very hard task. On top of that, to write revolutionary lyrics and make a career out of it becomes a dangerous task. Most of the musicians in the band are from working class backgrounds. In this case we feel like we have a responsibility to say something with our songs. I feel the people find a sense of identification with us because we are singing about their problems which were also our problems at some point.

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