For all its roughneck reputation as a backwards cultural wasteland with a taste of the wild West, Tijuana does have its saving graces. The phenomenon of the four-man Nortec Collective has certainly shined a light on Mexico’s northernmost metropolis, helping to recast the city as a cutting-edge hub that’s abuzz with sonic innovation and creativity. DJs Ramón Amezcua and Pepe Mogt—known together as Bostich+Fussible—are two of the group’s more prolific firebrands, and their debut as a duo, Tijuana Sound Machine
(Nacional), is a border-crossing retro-futurist mix of Latin and Anglo styles that epitomizes their home turf.
“Tijuana was a border town without a real identity,” Amezcua explains. “In all of the Republic, Tijuana was like an island. We were an isolated city.”
As the first in a series of new Nortec-related full-lengths slated for release this year, Tijuana Sound Machine continues to build on the electro-norteño outfit’s border aesthetic and multi-tiered approach to making and marketing music. Even the disc’s cover art—a vintage cruisemobile stripped down to the rust-colored primer—provides a visual link to the duo’s live performances, where the road trip theme is transmitted via large-screen projections. And when it comes to Tijuana, things aren’t always what they seem.
“It’s a conceptual trip conjugated by the images of places that have influenced us in some way,” says Mogt, a chemical engineer who once worked on face-cream formulas for a living. He refers to Bostich+Fussible’s live sets as an interactive experience. “When you go to the concert, the car that you see on the CD cover is the same one you will see at the show, and that car is going to be moving along in that world full of objects and landscapes that we see.” Then the voyage goes from being symbolic—with visuals of scenery and landmarks in Baja California—to outright cinematic. “Suddenly you see a yellow submarine, but it’s from Tijuana, of course. You will see characters that are very emblematic of the city. And we will continue to move from one place to another in
conjunction with the songs that we’ll be playing until the car stops and the show is over.”
Amezcua and Mogt have veered slightly off track from the course set by Nortec’s two previous albums. Both Tijuana Sessions Vol. 1 and Vol. 3 (the second volume never quite materialized) sa