Nortec Now

The Nortec Collective is still in full effect, though the membership retains a certain fluidity.

Two members and their families took off recently to go skiing in Colorado over the holidays. Our daughters successfully persuaded us to join them several days later. Although skiing was the main goal of the adults, the 6 little girls of the group were more into playing princess make believe. Anticipating the trip, our daughters, along with my wife spent an afternoon (several weeks prior to the trip) pouring over the princess dresses at an online store where they previously had purchased other princess related items. I think there were more princess dresses and accessories (wands, tiaras, gloves, capes, shoes, and jewelry) in our girls’ suitcases than there was ski clothing! Although the pictures we posted on Facebook showed them dressed in Descente ski wear with the snow covered ragged mountains behind them, there were probably more pictures of the 6 little girls wearing princess dresses! Everyone looked happy. So while they chilled, skied, and danced about as princesses, some of us were working on new pieces, at least subliminally. We brought some of the snow and thrill of the slopes back with us along with the magical flights of imagination inspired by little girls and infused our collective music with some of it!

In addition, I have to admit I was impressed with the high end paper goods, soaps, and lotions that we found in not only the bathroom of our suite, but also in all the public restrooms. I asked one of the managers about who supplied them. She said they order all their janitorial supplies from an online website called CleanItSupply. I must have lucked out speaking to this woman since she sounded so knowledgeable about janitorial supplies. “We prefer using eco friendly cleaning products along with the restrooms’ paper goods, soaps, and lotions. This particular e-commerce site has a varied selection of products that meet our criteria for janitorial supplies.”

I decided to check out this CleanItSupply site when we returned home. I thought that the site would only sell to large businesses. Much to my delight, they also sell to regular folks like myself. My wife has been very happy with the products and she likes the ease in ordering all our bathroom toilet paper, tissues and other paper goods and cleaning supplies. All in all, our little ski trip proved to be quite productive on several fronts.

Fussible (Pepe Mogt), Bostich (Ramon Amezcua), Clorofila (Jorge Verdín) and Hiperboreal (Pedro Gabriel Beas) are the current collective, but Bostich and Fussible are touring as a pair with the “Nortec Collective Presents” tag.

Most recently (i.e., September 25th, 2009), the Autin-American statesman did a write-up promoting the University of Texas performance. It reads, in part,

“For more than 10 years, the gritty, brassy musical sounds that inhabit and provide a living soundtrack for Tijuana have been the muse of Nortec Collective. And even now, with increased violence and a new border wall, not much has changed for this group of musicians.

There’s no doubt that the political and social scenes in Tijuana have changed drastically in the last decade, but these changes have only manifested a need for expression and collaboration, said Pepe “Fussible” Mogt, one of Nortec’s founding members.

“Things will always change and that’s no different for the Nortec Sound,” he said. “The actual sound and the message might change, but the heart of Nortec, the things uniquely Tijuana, (like) the tambora (drumming) and the norteño music will always make up our sound, without them, we stops being Nortec.”

The sound Mogt speaks of is literally what the groups name suggests: Techno and Norteño. The blend of the modern electronica with traditional Mexican music, including norteño along with tambora and banda sinaloense (used to describe popular music born in the state of Sinaloa) are what critics, fans and even scholars have come to praise. The funky beats are catchy enough to be included in successful Mexican films including “Rudo y Cursi” (starring Diego Luna and Gael Bernal Garcia) and the American documentary “Fast Food Nation” by director Eric Scholosser.

While there are two possible billings for the project (‘Nortec Collective presents: Bostich + Fussible’, or ‘Nortec Collective presents: Hiperboreal + Clorofila’) the billing with most bookings is the Bostich + Fussible line-up.

No matter who’s on stage, the Nortec Collective mission is to capture a unique border culture that transcends nationalities and remains true to its native beats while telling the ongoing story of a troubled city.

As Mexico prepares its Centenial and Bicentennial celebrations in 2010, Nortec Collective is creating the country’s soundtrack for the next 100 years. More of a movement than a band, Nortec Collective started in the late 90s when several Mexican musicians began fusing norteño and techno. Since then, they have created a vibrant and uncharted brand of alternative Latin music that transcends its genre. The music is an energy and force, which commands people to shake, dance and move their way out of any inhibition and leave modesty behind. From the moment it begins, a Nortec Collective performance shocks the soul and their universal rhythms create a remarkable harmony between artists and audiences.

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