Conservatory trained Amezcua Bostich and tech-savvy Mogt Fussible combine Norteno roots and techno pop to tell the stories of their bustling, notorious hometown, Tijuana, Mexico. Violence, turmoil and danger underlie these tuneful, accordion-laced romps. The bouncy spirit of an old-school borderland dancehall weaves its way into snappy pop constructions that fall into the eclectic Latin Alternative genre category. Much of the music is danceable, but sometimes more in the manner of classic rock n roll, or disco, rather than salsa or Tejano.
Electronic sounds, brass section fills, fierce trumpets, and zesty accordion lines mesh seamlessly in a comfortable fusion of old and new. The lyrics are mostly in English, sometimes just a simple, repeating phrase: “One Night,” “We’re too late” (for love), “I Count the Ways” (to disappear). “We’re Too Late” rolls spitfire accordion riffs over a groove not so far from reggae. “One Night” pairs autotuned vocals and blaring trumpet over a bouncy disco feel. “Centinela” builds a groove starting with bass and trombone, and then unfolds a spoken word tale of dangerous, nocturnal dancefloor romance. Elsewhere, shades of Pink Floyd and Beatles rock color a rich mix of joyously colliding impulses.
Mexico is celebrating a somewhat awkward bicentennial this year, with drug-related violence at alarming levels, and heightened tension along the country’s US border. This duo, born of the groundbreaking Nortec Collective, captures the energy and contradictions of the border region, circa 2010.