Ojos Suaves [Soft Eyes] – A look at Mexican Sound System History


Ojos Suaves [Soft Eyes] is a concise history of the Sonidero movement in Mexico recounted through the eyes of José Ortega, “Morelos”. As an independent distributor of tropical music, Morelos travelled to Central & South America sourcing the records which fuelled the Sonidero sound system culture taking Mexican neighbourhoods by storm in the 70s and 80s.

Music investigator, curator and DJ, Carlos “Tropicaza” Icaza along with Swiss photographer and artist Mirjam Wirz accompanied Morelos as he retraced one of his many journies through Mexico, recording and photographically documenting his exchanges with legendary sonideros in each city. The result is an investigative yet intimate compendium about this fascinating musical subculture told by those who lived it.

The podcast, introduced by Mirjam, describes her personal memoirs from their travels with Morelos taking place in the cities of Leon, Monterrey and Puebla. In each of these Mexican cities, we hear the voices of several protagonists of the book, narrated by Carlos. Tropicaza curated the mix which helps tell the musical story that underpins Morelos, his recollections and the wider Sonidero scene.


Sonido Carlos

El Ranchero

Sonido La Cotorra

Ojos Suaves [Soft Eyes] is available in paperback both in Spanish and English. It was edited and published by Mirjam Wirz in collaboration with Pascal Alexander and Fabian Stacoff in 2018, based on research by José Ortega “Morelos”, Carlos Icaza and Mirjam Wirz in 2014-2016.