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Tijuana Sessions Vol. 3

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 25, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

Amazon.com

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
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 25, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nacional Records
  • ASIN: B0009VI4B2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,793 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The sound of this album is fresh and quirky, danceable, and most important of all, very Mexican. The combination of sounds are brave, but work well- tambora and tuba banda beats meshed with electronic and other sounds. I also enjoy the cultural incorporation of voices and comments into the songs...

Being that I partly grew up in Tijuana, while listening to this music, you really do feel like it is representative of the sights and sounds of our crazy city. I am glad to see recognition being given to some of the talent that this dynamic, unique region has to offer.

Live, these artists are totally recommended...
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Let me start out this review with two overwhelming generalizations, both of which, of course, have many exceptions. First, I really enjoy electronica music. Second, I don't care for Mexican music. Now, having said this, you can imagine my mixed feelings about reading a review (in the Wall Street Journal, as I recall) about an album of Mexican electronica by Nortec Collective entitled "Tijuana Sessions, Vol 3." The review was quite laudatory. My curiosity was piqued. I couldn't resist ordering the CD.

"Tijuana Sessions, Vol 3" is a delightful CD, without question. It's good listening right from the first spin, and it's one of the most unusual and creative albums I've ever heard. The music is unique; nothing I've heard compares. The musical program is done in techno style and has all sorts of strange sounds against a throbbing bass and drums background, but most of the tracks also have horns, guitars and accordion parts. It's a strange mix. Imagine a good British techno band, but with a heavy reliance on traditional Mexican instruments. Don't think of it as traditional Mexican music, but rather think of it as a distantly related cousin. Good stuff. It's festive and danceable throughout. Fun listening. Humorous. Lyrics are done in both English and Spanish, but the reliance on the lyrics (with one exception) is so small that language presents no barrier to the enjoyment of this wonderful music.

The best track, in my opinion, is the first, "Tengo La Voz." It's simply delightful and a great way to start a disc! Some of the other better tracks include "Autobanda," "Dandy del Sur," "Bar Infierno," "Revu Rockers" and "Tijuana Bass." I burned out on "Tijuana Makes Me Happy" after the third listen and would regard it as the weakest track on the CD. Otherwise, all of the remaining tracks on this 15-song CD are worthy. This is great stuff! Try mixing it in with other types of electronica. Good listening!

Gary Petersonn
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Format: Audio CD
Pulling a Wilbury, the techno-musicales the Nortec Collective, after several under-the-radar solo releases, have released Tijuana Sessions Vol. 3. The first "Sessions" deconstructed everybody's favorite Baja border/drinking binge/accursed town, creating a sound that was at once turismo and commentary. On this second (I mean third) volume, they've almost turned into...Los Amigos Invisibles?! The turismo is still there...check the buses and the camcorder in the CD art. But on the most pro-TJ song, and I do mean song, "Tijuana Makes Me Happy," English lyrics, female backup singers, happy accordion, and beats introduce an explicit party vibe. What's the message?

The Nortec hombres have always mixed it up, and I don't just mean the Mexican signifiers and techno that have made them famous. Here, as on Volume One, two different strains of norteño come together: banda, the brass-band style originally from the Mexican state of Sinaloa, and 'true' norteño, the Mexican hermano to Texas conjunto based on the accordion and the bajo sexto. Nortec certainly knows the power of each style and samples the strong points: the beautiful fart of the tuba and the face-smacking snare of banda (the track "Autobanda"), and the lilting accordion and polka offbeats of norteño (the track "Olvídela Compa"). The result is post-Baja, where signifiers meet, dance, and chill out together. And when I say post-Baja, I also mean post-Alpert and the TJB; Nortec member Bostich puns a track title "Tijuana Bass."

Now the border mashup hits a new stride, and adds new sources. "Funky Tamazula" brings wahwah guitar. "Almada" almost takes the horn lines to Prado-style mambo.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Early in the summer of '05 I started listening to this disc and by the end of summer I was hooked. I must admit the first listen was rough for me only because I was turned off by "Tijuana Makes Me Happy," however it is catchy and I think most young people will like it. The Nortec Collective have taken their time to avoid the sophmore jinx with a lapse of four years since "Vol.1." The result is a polished sound that is equal to or better than their first release. The cohesive organic sound may be the result of taking the musicians into the studio and working around the electronic elements as opposed to just using samples. This is good stuff much like spicy food that you keep putting salsa on in spite of the burning pain; it feels so good you just have to have more, mas y mas, it is all good and just gets better and better. The tambora and electronica elements still make me think of the bar scene in Star Wars at times but afterall Tijuana is like a scene from Star Wars with quirky and kooky characters who live there and are visiting. The music on this disc will make you shake your head in approval and take you across the border. Some of the highlights include "Revu Rockers" which is an uptempo song that takes you on a southbound sojourn with metallic and jazzy forays along the way. The simplicity is mixed with the complex to create a different sound uniquely reflective of the geographical loation. "Esa Banda en Dub, which features Calexio is a perfect mixture of old and new to create something totally different like a jazzy Clint Eastwood movie set in the future badlands of the southwest desert. "Bar Infierno" is a jazzy interlude that has tangoesque world beats that are international in depth. "Funky Tamazula" is like a walk down a dark street in Tijuana amongst the street life cabaret.Read more ›
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