Sonidero City (Bootleg Edition) by Mirjam Wirz


Sonidero City – Sound system and DJ Culture in Mexico and Colombia, by Mirjam Wirz

“DJs as messengers delivering greetings between friends and communiques between rival gangs: Cumbia-rhythms slowed down to accomodate traditional dance styles. Low tones and ludicrously distorted voices. The Sonidero-culture of Mexico’s neighbourhoods is impossible to ignore.” – Jonathan Fischer on Sonidero City, DU Magazine 819 / 2011

The long-term photographic reportage of Sonidero City is an homage to the sound system culture of Colombia and Mexico. From the 60s until today the cumbia DJs / Sonideros of Mexico City have stood behind their sound systems’ mics, sending music as well as greetings across the capital’s streets. While some stack loudspeakers into massive towers, others stick to a modest set-up, spinning their own LP collections on 70s-era record players. They go by names such as Sonido Sensación Tropical, Sonido África, Sonido La Conga.

In contrast, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, giant flourescent-painted speakers called picó spill afro-colombian champeta music through local communities, where the accompanying dance of choice is called “polishing the belt buckle.”

Over the course of three years Swiss photographer Mirjam Wirz visited the living rooms, courtyards and dance events of Mexico City, Monterrey and Barranquilla. The result is her book Sonidero City, a lively visual collection tracing the paths Mexico and Colombia’s sound system culture have forged.

Out of stock



Bootleg Edition (Black & White)

Language: English and Spanish
224 pages
Offset print
200 x 265 mm

Published by Mirjam Wirz & Buzz Maeschi, 2013
Designed by Pascal Alexander & Fabian Stacoff

Note about the Bootleg Edition: International shipping cost and economic disparities made it prohibitive to sell the book Sonidero City to the people who are part of the soundsystem scene. Therefore a copy/bootleg edition of Sonidero City was printed. The book was produced in black and white by a print shop in Mexico City and later distributed to the people appearing in the book in order to be sold as their income at their street market stalls or shops.

Additional information

Weight 520 g
Dimensions 26.5 × 20 × 1 cm