The Real Baja

Norte Sonoro 2012: Tijuana Musical Vanguard

A musical experiment in the border

Norte Sonoro 2012: Tijuana Musical VanguardInternational music with mexican flavors. Gerardo Cornejo.
International music with mexican flavors. Gerardo Cornejo.

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The city of Tijuana played host to one of the most interesting musical projects/experiments in its recent memory. In November 2012 NORTE SONORO was held in the city to the delight of music bloggers (From Mexico and Internationally), savvy music lovers and the culturally hip crowd from Tijuana and San Diego.

Norte Sonoro is a two year project that won a grant from the Mexican Government (Conaculta) and last year was held in Monterrey, Mexico. The second year of the event the city chosen by organizers was to be Tijuana. The project was written by Esteban Sheridan and put together by NRMAL. NRAMAL is a music and art promotion and production company based out of Monterrey, Mexico.

The project’s main goal is to bring together music from different countries, backgrounds, combine that with musicians from this area, experiment with sound and making music all based on the sounds native of Northern Mexico ( Banda, Cumbia, Corrido)

VIDEO : Tony Tee presents Norte Sonoro

New York City based DJ and famed cumbia enthusiast, Dj Rupture, served as the event’s curator. His handpicked lineup included :

Brazilian dj/producer PSILOSAMPLES, New York party promoter/DJ/twitter queen VENUS X , Venezuelan Techno dj/producer CARDOPUSHER, French Canadian Latin dj/producer Poirier and LA based lo-fi dub act SUNARAW. The week long project included tourism, group activities, studio time with Tijuana based act LOS MACUANOS and the week culminated with an event at a historic Tijuana Nightclub on Revolution Ave. There will also be an EP with the music that was produced during the week released sometime in 2013.

I have known NRMAL creator and founder Pablo “Beastie” Martinez since the creation of the NRMAL Project. It was not surprising when they reached out to me to host the artists, promote the event and hype everything Norte Sonoro. The musical aspect of it was interesting and the culminating event was great and lots of fun but the weeklong festivities took on a different and maybe unexpected aspect for organizers, artists and me. The week became learning and teaching experience of the day to day realities on border life. It was a hands on look into the clash of civilizations.

The participants were shocked to see the similarities between one people that share the same land. The differences of one people that are divided in a militarized form like no other two “friendly” neighbors on earth are only political and weighed heavily on all participants. Those same people helped me realize many things about the area I was born in that I had never contemplated before. Outsider perspectives only re affirmed and taught me new realities about this privileged and unique area of the world we inhabit. The ability to embrace two cultures that lay side by side in an area divided by shameful walls is unique to us. NORTE SONORO 2012 was the shining example of what life in this region could be. Thank you to all artists, organizers and rising Mexican Hip hop sensation Lil Moni Banks for a fantastic week in my own city.

Follow Tony Tee on Twitter @tonyteefiesta

Video: Gerardo.Cornejo@sandiegored.com

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