Nortec Collective / Various Tijuana Sessions Vol. 3

As artists continuously look for new ways of making electronic music still relevant and exciting, there is a small group of Mexican artists (Kinky, Los de Abajo, Café Tacuba) who have been garnering rave reviews north of the border with their cocktails of beats and indie rock garnished with lots of horns and local, Latin musical styling and instruments. Hot Mexican label Nacional Records are at the forefront of making sure this stuff is heard, and their latest release from Tijuana-based Nortec Collective is a fun, sometimes silly, but relevant homage to a city where there is no last call. Straying away from the more overtly techno music that overwhelmed the first Tijuana Sessions album five years ago, the band still keep the beat, but only this time fuel it with dirty, spaghetti western horns on "Don Loope” and "El Fracaso,” circus-themed music that recalls those crazy Latino television shows on "Tengo La Voz,” and Parisian café music on "Olvídela Compa.” Tex-Mex cowboys Calexico also turn up for a stab at space-age dub on "Esa Banda en Dub,” and "Tijuana Makes Me Happy” recalls other Mexican oddballs Plastilina Mosh and could be the new anthem for border-running, fist-pumping, underage-drinking American jocks, albeit most likely before they find out their parents’ car was ripped off. Like the city, this album is pure debauchery, but without the hangover. (Wandering Soul/Hazmatic)