Mexican Institute Of Sound

Ha ha! The album opens with the repeated sound of your doorbell….just to unsettle you, before beginning a trudge with screams that sounds like some o Scratch Perry’s wilder dubs. Track two is the single you’ve been hearing on the Orange adverts (with the same buggy doorbell sound). An off-center, wobbly, dubby salsa shuffle. Combining Latin beats and dance mixes, this is a pretty cool release. Of course the hall marks of live Latin aren’t feasible – a band following the pace of the crowd, working ever faster till the tension between never wanting it to end and needing it to end to spare your body becomes palpable. The third track is a rap over a head-nodding beat.

The Mexican Institute Of Sound is a one man band. Camilo Lara assembles some musicians and works samples and found noises in his studio at home, before Holger Beier produces and polishes the thing. It really is a strange assemblage, full of electronic sounds alongside organic dance and snips, blip, kicks, samples and bleeps. It sounds like the product of an obsessive in his garage, endlessly reworking and re-listening, adding a bit here and there, like an improvisational cook working up a new recipe that he can never write down.

Elsewhere, flatbeat meets cumbia worthy of seventies New Yoricans, The Fania Allstars. Or a clanging bell punctuates a walking bass with a swivel in its hips. A Todos Ellos is, like it says, a list of inspirational music figures read to a swinging beat! Hip Hop Pares fuses hip-hop and latin in a way that makes it clear it is about the hips. Some tracks are heavier and some have dance clichés, like scratching, but they add an element of cool. Right the way up to final track, La Kebradita, it fuses the Puerto Rican sounds I love from the seventies with modern beats and an ‘outsider’ sensibility. This album has the making of a cult about it, being the work of one of those wonders, a real original. Run, don’t walk, to the shop, buy it, slap it on the turntable and swagger with a swaying beat for the next few days.

Ross McGibbon