14 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mexican Institute of Sound—which is actually one person, DJ/producer Camilo Lara—changes things up on Politico. On previous releases, Lara artfully wove together far-flung samples, but the new album features original songs and a live band. One thing hasn’t changed: Lara’s ability to create party music. On the cumbia-flavored title cut, shouts sound out as fun-loving synth squelches tweak the traditional rhythm. “Especulando” rides an insistent groove topped by a variety of keyboard tones and a handful of repeated vocal phrases. “Revolucion!” is a speedy slice of horn-accented garage rock, while the melancholy “México”—one of the best things here—features social commentary. But even that latter song has a perky beat and slicing rhythm guitar. The tropical vibe of “Se Baila Así” gets messed with in playful ways, while marimba runs mark “Tipo Raro,” which has catchy sing-song rapping. Acoustic guitar, a repeating harp figure, and strange keyboards create a woozy dreamworld on “Cumbia Meguro,” while the closer, “El Jefe,” could be a nice spy-movie theme. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mexican Institute of Sound—which is actually one person, DJ/producer Camilo Lara—changes things up on Politico. On previous releases, Lara artfully wove together far-flung samples, but the new album features original songs and a live band. One thing hasn’t changed: Lara’s ability to create party music. On the cumbia-flavored title cut, shouts sound out as fun-loving synth squelches tweak the traditional rhythm. “Especulando” rides an insistent groove topped by a variety of keyboard tones and a handful of repeated vocal phrases. “Revolucion!” is a speedy slice of horn-accented garage rock, while the melancholy “México”—one of the best things here—features social commentary. But even that latter song has a perky beat and slicing rhythm guitar. The tropical vibe of “Se Baila Así” gets messed with in playful ways, while marimba runs mark “Tipo Raro,” which has catchy sing-song rapping. Acoustic guitar, a repeating harp figure, and strange keyboards create a woozy dreamworld on “Cumbia Meguro,” while the closer, “El Jefe,” could be a nice spy-movie theme. 

TITLE TIME
2:52
3:50
2:33
3:46
3:19
3:29
2:22
3:34
0:47
3:40
1:38
3:32
3:16
3:07

About Mexican Institute of Sound

The Mexican Institute of Sound is the project name of DJ and producer Camilo Lara. A native of Mexico City, Lara began working for the Mexican arm of EMI Records while still in his teens, attracted to the industry in large part by the record-collecting habit he'd fallen into at the age of eight. In 2001, Lara left EMI to co-found the indie label Suave Records, which among other projects released the best-selling soundtrack to Alfonso Cuaron's breakthrough film, Y Tu Mamá También. Also around this time, Lara began working on the side as a DJ and remixer for acts like Placebo and Le Hammond Inferno. Returning to EMI Mexico after creative disputes with his partner at Suave Records, Lara rose to the position of Vice President of A&R and Marketing. While working with established bands like Plastilina Mosh and signing new artists from the emergent Mexican indie rock scene, Lara also began working on his own project, the Mexican Institute of Sound.

Signing as an artist with the indie label Nacional Records, Lara released the Mexican Institute of Sound's debut album, Méjico Máxico (Magic Mexico), in 2006. An infectious mix of vintage Mexican pop and dance records from the '20s through the '60s (including samples from classic Esquivel sides) with modern loops and beats, Méjico Máxico is described by Lara as a deliberately sunny and upbeat response to the pervasive gloom of the contemporary film and music scene in Mexico. In 2012, Lara issued Politico under the MIS banner; rather than his usual sample-heavy mélange, it was his first recording of all-original songs played by a live band. He was inspired to write the album after authorities discovered a large cache of the explosive C4 next door to his home that was ready to be detonated. Over the next few years a variety of projects kept Lara busy, including a 2015 split EP with Santiago Casillas from the band Little Jesus, a Morrissey tribute act called Mexrissey, and a 2016 collaborative album with fellow DJ Toy Selectah. ~ Stewart Mason

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