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Camilo Lara's happy funtime Mextronica (that's Mexican music combined with of-the-moment electronic beats and synth sounds) has reached a kind of apogee on this third full-length CD. The style-hopping is more frenetic than ever, from the self-explanatory album opener "Cumbia" to the rockabilly guitars (courtesy of Café Tacuba axeman Joselo Rangel) of "Hiedra Venenosa" and the staticky, distorted beats worthy of Mr. Oizo on "Comite Culificador." There's even a full-on mariachi band -- Los Carreteros del Bajio, whose booking info is included inside the digipak -- trudging through a melancholy Spanish-language take on the Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony," translated as "Sinfonia Agridulce." Each of Lara's three albums has featured vocals more strongly than its predecessor, and this one is almost entirely rapped and sung. The rapping (presumably mostly by Lara himself, though the credits are unclear save for pointing out a few guest appearances and a remix of "Alocatel" by Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys) is decent, but the singing is almost comically lackluster, particularly on "Sinfonia Agridulce." Most of the tracks get in and out relatively quickly and painlessly; the only exception is "Yo Digo Baila," which takes a relatively thin idea and pushes it past the five-minute mark, dragging the album down early. It's a good thing cuts like "White Stripes" (not about the Detroit duo) and "Karate Kid2" are there to keep things light and entertaining. Other artists like Kinky and Nortec Collective are plowing similar traditional-meets-modern grooves, but Lara and his Mexican Institute of Sound, which has blossomed into a full live band, seem to be having more fun than anyone on their scene right now, and that lightness of spirit translates to disc more often than not.
Performance CreditsMexican Institute of Sound Primary Artist
Pat C. Vocals
Camilo Lara Keyboards,Various,Group Member
Joselo Rangel Guitar
Paty Cantú Vocals
Paco Vazquez Drums
Maria Paula Vocals
Holger Beier Keyboards,Various
Technical CreditsMick Jagger Composer
Richard Ashcroft Composer
Keith Richards Composer
Pat C. Composer
Camilo Lara Composer,Programming,Instrumentation
Gian Paolo Morábito Engineer
Aldo Lugo Audio Production
Karim Gonzalez Audio Production
Ad Rock Remixing
Holger Beier Composer,Programming,Audio Production