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Nortec: Musical Border Crossing
What is the sound of the collision between traditional northern Mexican musical idioms and contemporary electronic rhythms? One sure answer would be Nortec, a unique musical fusion and performance of a new border musical identity.

By Michael Hanson

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Nortec: Musical Border Crossings from Tijuana and Beyond

What is the sound of the collision between traditional northern Mexican musical idioms and contemporary electronic rhythms? One sure answer would be Nortec, a unique musical fusion and performance of a new border musical identity.

In 1999 a group of musicians, producers, activists, and artists formed the Nortec Collective in Tijuana, Baja Mexico. "Nortec"

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Nortec represents a compelling generational shift in terms of north Mexican cultural identity. With the increasing transnational circulation of new musical styles in Tijuana, traditional genres of northern Mexico such as Banda, Norte

The Nortec Collective exemplify these rich musical and cultural border crossings. Nortec offers a cosmopolitan urban cool that, in retaining prominent elements of traditional Norte
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At a recent show at UCSD

The Nortec sensibility continues to be vibrant and productive, though its core of artists has been somewhat reduced. For those interested, be on the lookout for old and forthcoming work from Bostich (Ramon Amezcua), Clorofila (Jorge Verdin), Fussible (Pepe Mogt and Melo), and Hiperboreal (PG Beas). While members of the collective actively tour nationally and internationally, much of their performative work remains concentrated in, and indeed fundamentally connected to, the San Diego-Tijuana metropolitan region. As such, San Diegans are in the privileged locale to enjoy the musical border crossings of this eclectic, experimental and unique sound collective. For more information visit their official website, www.myspace.com/nortec. For an in-depth treatment of the cultural, political, and artistic context of the Nortec phenomenon see Nor-tec Rifa! (rifa as dominance/excellence): Electronic Dance Music from Tijuana to the World (Oxford, 2008) by Alejandro Madrid.

By Michael Hanson

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