“Frighteningly original, refreshingly cool.” —Rolling Stone__
Viva Nortec, la nueva frontera de la música! Made up of DJs, graphic artists, and filmmakers, Tijuana’s Nortec Collective delivers some of the freshest electro-ambient music in North America. Nortec Collective performs Saturday, December 8, at 8 pm in the Walker Art Center’s William and Nadine McGuire Theater. Riffing and ripping traditional norteña and ranchera music, Nortec DJs and live musicians fuse frenetic beats, deep bass, loco samples, and Tijuana brass for an infectious collision of style and culture, roots and revelation. Presented in conjunction with the Walker exhibition Frida Kahlo, on view through January 20.
The Nortec Collective is comprised of five artists: Fussible (Pepe Mogt), Bostich (Ramón Amezcua), Panóptica (Roberto Mendoza), Clorofila (Jorge Verdín), and Hiperboreal (Pedro Gabriel Beas). The group formed by the different individual projects that create Nortec music. As a complement, there’s also a “Colectivo Visual,” a group of designers and VJs who present the visual side of Nortec’s live shows. The term Nortec is a conjunction of Norteño (“of” or “from the North”) and Techno, but mainly describes the collision between the music, style, and culture of electronic music with those of norteño and tambora, two music genres indigenous to the North of Mexico. These styles are caracterized by their use of accordions and double bass (norteño); tubas, clarinets, horns, and pumping bass drums (tambora); and quirky use of percussion and polyrhytmic snare drum rolls. All of these elements are used to create a sound that is very Tijuana.
Nortec originated in 1999 when Pepe Mogt began experimenting with samples of old banda sinaloense and norteño albums and altering them on his computer or filtering them with analog synthesizers. Inspired by the percussive and angular grooves of the tambora and norteña music he experienced at a family social event and through contacts in recording studios located in Tijuana’s notorious Zona Norte red light district, Mogt compiled tracks of isolated instruments from multitrack recording of tambora and norteño demo recordings that had been abandoned at the studios by the bands that recorded them. He began to burn these tracks onto CD-Rs, which he would later distribute to friends under the condition that they make a new track using the material. Among these local musicians was Roberto Mendoza, his ex-band mate in Fussible who coined the term Nortec to describe their new sound. Those first raw tracks were compiled onto the Nor-tec Sampler, the first release from Mil Records followed by The Tijuana Sessions Vol.1 and The Tijuana Sessions Vol. 3.
Tickets to Nortec Collective are $22 ($18 Walker members) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.