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Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3

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Album Review

The third compilation from the loosely organized Nortec Collective (whatever happened to volume two?) offers four years of development from the debut, and that's apparent in a greater cohesion of sound. Where the debut offering sometimes seemed to graft Mexican elements onto electronica and dance music almost as an afterthought, here everything is more integrated, as with Hiperboreal's "Dandy del Sur," where village banda meets spaghetti Western. Sometimes it's plain goofy, such as with Fussible's "Tijuana Makes Me Happy," with its silly English lyric, and sometimes it triggers odd associations — Bostich's "Tengo la Voz" brings to mind Herb Alpert with its trumpet rather than anything more rooted. It's notable that this time around, rather than appearing on the major Palm Pictures, it's on the Mexican-based Nacional label, a good home for this music, which overall succeeds in offering the listener 21st century Tijuana. Not everything is good — Clorofila's "Almada" seems to get stuck in a monotonous groove, for example — but some are superb. On "Colorado" Fussible seem to channel the spirit of Talking Heads, while "Narcoteque" from Clorofila and Calexico brings Brian Eno to mind. So, like any compilation, it's a mixed bag. But the unity of spirit brings it all together, and the good far outweighs the mediocre.

Biography

Genre: Alternative and Latin Rock

Years Active: '00s

Comprised of a small stable of producers who fuse traditional Mexican music with contemporary electronic music, the Nortec Collective debuted in 2002 on Nacional Records and proceeded to garner a respectable following, especially among critics. Based primarily in Tijuana, the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, just across the border from San Diego, CA, the so-called nortec movement took shape in the late '90s. At that time, producer Pepe Mogt began fusing cutting-edge electronic...
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Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3, Nortec Collective
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