Sound collagists capably meld electronica with traditional Mexican idioms
Formed in 1999 by Pepe Mogt (a.k.a. Fussible), the Nortec Collective has pioneered a hybrid of electronica and Norteño—the most popular form of Northern Mexican music—from its Tijuana home. The crew’s third album focuses on the songs and soundscapes of Mogt and Ramon Amezcua (the latter often referred to as the godfather of the TJ electronic scene), and it’s a hoot. The 15 primarily instrumental tracks are built from processed beats, with standard Norteño instruments deftly worked into the mix. The title track encapsulates Nortec’s combined focus on momentum and contrast, its accordion and trumpet bouncing like kids on a trampoline over a souped-up groove that still comes off as indigenous. “Akai 47” features an accordion that sounds more zydeco than Mexico, while “Rosarito” is dub TJ-style, given extra punch by a heavily treated tuba. And the change of pace, “Brown Bike”—sung in English by Bryce Kushnier of the band VitaminsforYou—sounds like an outtake from Beck’s Guero.