THE DEAL: The Nortec Collective is four artist/producers Fussible, Bostich, Clorofila and Hiperboreal. Real names: Pepe Mogt, Ramon Amezcua, Jorge Verdin and Pedro Garcia Beas. From beautiful, dangerous, deadly Tijuana they fuse trad Norteno music with post modern electronica — a total culture clash between modern and mariachi that surprisingly works.
THE GOOD: The album is sinuous, smooth and kinetic. Usually, it works, sometimes not, but at least they take chances. The recording is toe-tappy, good listening with dance-y favorites like title track "Radio Borderland," "Punta Banda," "Bulevar 2000" and "Must Love" all with trad horns and accordion meshing nicely with high-energy electronics. It's as if the original German accordion and oompah influence in northern Mexico many years ago finally paid off, came alive and landed in modern Tijuana. Other knockouts include "One Night" and "We're Too Late" with their odd retro feel and the sad, hypnotic, talky "Centinela."
THE BAD: The only misfire is "I Count The Ways" — ironically, the first song released as a single — too orchestrated, too smooth, too disco-y.
THE VERDICT: Enjoy their bi-national approach to a truly Mexican sound. Mostly sung in English, it's a treat seeing how they combine influences. Not Mexploitation, but a novel mix of new and old.