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Techno with a Latin touch

Bostich + Fussible: Tijuana Sound Machine
Bostich + Fussible: Tijuana Sound Machine
By The Nortec Collective

Nacional Records: 2008

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This review first appeared in Turbula in May 2008.

The San Diego area isn't known as a hot-bed of top-rank electronica outfits. Not that we don't have some talented locals, but the county hasn't produced electronica's version of blink-182, P.O.D. or Switchfoot. On the other hand, San Diego's twin city to the south, Tijuana, has given the world the Nortec Collective, which has created a unique blending of border music with techno dance beats and become one of the more popular North American electronica outfits.

Really, Nortec Collective's music is a blending of blends. The name "Nortec" is a mix of norteno and techno, and norteno itself is a blending of Central European polkas and traditional Spanish music. Blending into that blend on "Bostich + Fussible: Tijuana Sound Machine" are elements of alternative rock, jazz, Mexican popular music and the avant garde. Unlike many electronica or techno bands, much of the music on the Nortec Collective's new CD is played live on real instruments, atop pre-recorded techno beats and backing tracks.

That combination of dance club-ready beats and live playing, with a strong streak of Mexican and southwestern U.S. influences, are what make Nortec Collective's brand of techno something special.