Whenever I go to a music festival, it's almost an unwritten rule that it is the act that I have never heard of that does the business. In the case of WOMAD 08 the title went to these guys who were playing an unlisted gig on the Sunday night. It was quite late, I thought it was all over, and was on my way way back to the tent when I saw some crazy visuals flickering away in the distance in the Little Sicily tent. I looked at my friends, and our curiosity got the better of us and we drifted moth-like towards the lights.
Glad we did.
Nortec are apparently from Mexico, and their crazy brand of Tijuana Breakbeaty strangeness has to be heard (loud) to be believed. Now we weren't that close to the stage, and my vision was a little blurry, but in the darkness I could just make out two people with laptops, two trumpets, and an accordian. The music that was blasting from the PA could only be described as mental. The rhythms these guys produce have the kind of preposterous skanking bounce that only idiot savants can produce...it just shouldn't work! The crowd who had formed were just jumping about and grinning at each other. This was high-octane barmyness and we were lapping it up.
First thing I did when I got home was order their current release from Amazon, and it doesn't disappoint. There is quite a variety of styles...from the quirky but fairly conventional Tijuana to the outright bonkers. My favourites are the mad stuff... Shake It Up, Rosarito, Mama Loves Nortec, Mi Casita, but the whole album it a goodie.
As a footnote, the album arrived the day before I was due to DJ at Free Rotation Festival. I couldn't resist, and smilingly dropped Mama Loves Nortec into the set..it got a great response and that was the only tune I got asked for the title of. 'Nuff Said.