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Mexican Folk Music Meets Techno? A Chicano Spin On Krautrock

Members of the now fragmented Mexican band Nortec Collective describe their music as “the sound of Tijuana.” They combine elements of their country’s traditional folk music with the stylings of electronic music (Nortec = norteño + techno), and also translate that unique sonic combination through their music videos and live performances. They’re basically a Chicano take on the German Krautrock genre, but unlike the robotic-electronic nature of Kraftwerk, they embody a much warmer and colorful experience enhanced with elements of Latino swing.

Though they’ve been around since 1999 and originally performed as a quartet, they broke off into two duos in 2008—Bostich + Fussible and Hiperboreal + Clorofila. Bostich + Fussible are currently on tour in support of their Grammy-nominated album Bulevar 2000 (released last year), and just performed at the opening ceremony of the Guadalajara Pan American Games last month. Next week they’ll play Brazil’s Eletronika festival.

The unlikely combination of technology and folk music is best exhibited in the video below. Bostich + Fussible take the stage armed with their TENORI-ON sequencers (touch sensitive boxes with 256 LED buttons), but recently they’ve started working with iPads. “We have designed a special interface for the iPad that helps us control all our computers and synthesizers wirelessly and assemble them into the control panel we use for our live presentations," Fussible explained to the Mexican website Moda en La Ciudad. Alongside the sleek digital tools, their accompanying band, equipped with large-scale brass instruments, acoustic guitars, and an accordion honor the traditional side of the norteño genre.