You'll be hard-pressed to find a more inventive, perplexing sound than "nortec," the hybrid of Mexican norteno music and techno beats perfected by the Tijuana-based Nortec Collective. The group introduced its sound on 2001's Vol. 1
and further hones the oddball hybrid here. Tijuana Sessions Vol. 3
showcases trippy beats, legit norteno rhythms, and playful vocals. It's an unlikely, sun-kissed soundtrack for late-night/early-morning chill-out sessions. Early tracks "Tijuana Makes Me Happy" and "Funky Tamazula" have an energetic, party-up vibe, and "Don Loope" is a percolating mix of cumbia rhythms and adventurous vocal loops. "Autobanda" even artfully straddles a bossa nova banda groove, and it works. Later on, Vol. 3
lapses into post-party states of trance and slow-dance, creating thoughtful sonic atmospheres that would be at home well outside the Tijuana borders. Through it all, the Nortec Collective keeps feet proudly planted in their Mexican metropolis, but this is definitely not your abuelo's norteno music. --Joey Guerra
After the critical success of their debut, Tijuana Sessions. Vol. 1, Tijuana's dance/electronica leaders Nortec Collective are back. These five musicians created and perform a style called Nortec - a fusion of norteno ("from the north") and techno, describing the collision between the style and culture of electronic and Mexican music. Nacional. 2005.