Nortec Artists Mix Tijuana Folklore Into ‘Bulevar 2000’
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Photo by Nathan Gibbs / KPBS
Tijuana-based Nortec Collective mixes electronic music with the brass, drums and accordion of popular Mexican Norteño music. Their latest album, "Bulevar 2000," is nominated for a GRAMMY award.
Nortec Collective's songs are influenced by both the sounds and complicated stories of Tijuana. Their latest album, "Bulevar 2000," is up for a GRAMMY award on Sunday.
Special Feature Photo Gallery: Nortec Performance
Nortec Collective artists Bostich and Fussible perform on October 13, 2010, at the House of Blues in San Diego, California.
"Tijuana is one border that is very special," said Pepe Mogt, the Nortec artist known as Fussible. He acknowledged the city has problems with crime but feels it's isolated to those involved in illicit activities.
Mogt and collaborator Ramón Amezcua, aka Bostich, wrote the music for the album "Bulevar 2000" while on tour. Being outside Tijuana for much of the past three years, they saw first-hand the type of news that makes international headlines.
News coverage often fixated on gruesome crime stories. Mogt said, "They would say 'six headless bodies found there,' and everyone was like 'Oh. that city is very dangerous.'" But talking with friends back home re-assured him that things were not as bad as they seemed.
The album title is named after the highway Bulevar 2000 in Tijuana. It connects the southeastern part of the city to the coast. Mogt said crime news tended to focus on that area while they were on tour.
Amezcua and Mogt asked Brice Kushnier, Canadian musician of VitaminsForYou, to write the lyrics for the title track. It's a story about someone who is willing to risk his life to cross the boulevard to see the one he loves. Mogt described it as "a fiction story, love story, but it's really of what the Bulevar 2000 was in that moment."
Mogt is optimistic that Bulevar 2000 won't be seen as a dangerous place in a couple of years. "It will be a regular street in Tijuana. It will be a street full of business, full of houses, stop signs, bridges, and it will disappear because it will be another street with no violence."
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