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Norte Sonoro 2

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The second installment of Norte Sonoro is out! Check out this mini-documentary (mostly en español) about the process and people involved in both iterations. This is an ultra hip (okay, we mean fairly hipster) project about the intersections of experimental electronic and traditional Mexican music. But what makes this project more than cultural voyeurism is that it is not only about the music, which (as we’ve often seen) can all too easily be repackaged, sampled, and reformulated. Rather, Norte Sonoro investigates what it means to make music in and about a specific place, in this case the Mexican border town of Tijuana.

For this edition of the festival (Check out our review of last year’s ep HERE), Dutty Artz member DJ Rupture selected a wide range of highly acclaimed international producers to come to Tijuana for a week, encounter local sounds, tastes and sights, and create music out of these experiences. Cardopusher (Venezuela/Spain), Poirier (Canada), Psilosamples (Brazil), Sun Araw (USA) and Venus X (USA), joined Los Macuanos, a trio of Mexican producers, who selected the local bands Grupo Estrella Brillante, Fuerza Nueva and Banda Agua Caliente to represent the most typical local styles of music. These local and foreign producers encountered local folk styles including corrido sierreño, indigenous songs, and brass band music- banda sinaloense. From these encounters, the electronic music producers created unique, personal expressions of encounters with difference. This is strange music, about a strange place between desert, debauchery and the promise of escape.

A lot of this mix sounds like wind in the desert, especially “El Último Desafío” by Los Macuanos, and “Cantos Yumanos” by DJ Rupture + Rafi. Some of the strongest music on this EP comes from these producers’ engagement with the traditional songs of Estrella Brillante of the Pai Pai and Kumai indigenous communities.  The above-mentioned “Cantons Yumanos” and  “Tijuana Adventures” by Psilosamples are a good examples. Keeping it odd, Sun Araw takes a highly fractured approach to the material on “SSVV,” while Poirier keeps things moving, dance-floor style on “El Norte Del Sur,” which translates as “The North of the South.”  All in all, a very interesting EP. We look forward to the Oaxaca version that tentatively planned for the next edition of the project.

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