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South by Nortec

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Although electronic music has become well known, the field is usually packed with artists from well known Western countries while artists emerging from lesser known scenes bang out great material at copious rates while being unknown to audiences that could really value their music. Tijuana's Nortec Collective is one such act and my focus here because their sound has a keen potential. I may be biased, but I tend to believe in underlying meaning even if it is manufactured.

My point that I am laboriously moving toward is that in my curious travels in this big world, a chance encounter brought me into contact with one of the members of a group he called the Nortec Collective. It was '02, I had been wandering the Western side of the European continent and found myself in Madrid in early spring. It just happened that at the hostel I was staying at there was this Mexican guy named Roberto (though I'm uncertain through the haze of time) whom I had befriended in my solitary adventure.

When traveling alone, friendships form easily (and dissolve as well), histories are invented and realities inverted in the lens of the tale told. So everything is what it is...until you need to depend on something...but that's another tale. This cat was cool and though I did not know him very long, I and some others did band together one day to explore the city however. I can't remember what I saw that day other than that I had talked the entire time about music with Roberto. Though I wish I could remember the conversation I do still have the cd he gave me which turned out to be excellent and unlike anything I ave ever heard, like marching band music reorganized into an electro-funk jam, music to be resplendent in, brash and brassy it was some excellent stuff, like the cats were smoking something else in those tubas, locked into beats I have never encountered again....

Until I started running into their records years later...they had gotten even better. I too was happy to have been there early and imagined myself an original fan...their music was mine in a way that discovering an artist early seems to do. And the only thing better than being early is to share that... check these videos out and decide for yourself....



Nortec Collective is set to release Bostich + Fussible | Tijuana Sound Machine May 6 via Nacional. This album is their follow-up to the critically acclaimed and industry lauded Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3, which crossed over onto CMJ's Radio 200 as well as charted on Triple A and New World. Although Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3 relied more heavily on vocoders, synths and drum machines, Tijuana Sound Machine looks to bridge the gap between acoustics and electronics. The group scored songs in the HBO series Big Love and NBC's Friday Night Lights, along with movies Fast Food Nation and Babel, and they've even landed in the video games FIFA Scocer and FIFA Street 2.


Guru Amrit