Nortec Collective

Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3

The pulsating border city of Tijuana is known more for cheap and desperate thrills scored by drunken American tourists than for cross-cultural art. The musical fusion that sprang directly from this fertile border chaos is called “Nortec,” Norteño music and techno spliced together—a sonic car accident of Mexican polka, sampled horns, drums, accordion, and electronic beats and effects. The result is sometimes awkward but sometimes inspired. This is the third volume, and one imagines more yet to come from the DJs and musicians of the Nortec Collective. At some points, the CD gets lost in clouds of Echoplex (you can almost smell the marijuana smoke) or devolves into typical disco-trance. The music is at its best when dicing up heavy organic sounds, which at moments comes across as unbelievably cool.