At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the Nor-tec phenomenon emerged from the border city of Tijuana, and through modern Internet technology quickly conquered a global audience. Marketed as a kind of "ethnic"...Read more
At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the Nor-tec phenomenon emerged from the border city of Tijuana, and through modern Internet technology quickly conquered a global audience. Marketed as a kind of "ethnic" electronic dance music, Nor-tec samples sounds of traditional music from the north of Mexico, transforming these sounds through computer technology used in European and American techno music and electronica. Mostly middle-class artists in their thirties, and with few exceptions all from Tijuana, Nor-tec musicians tend to avoid the mainstream music industry's channels, distributing works instead through the underground, global means of the Internet, enabling a loyal international following to grow rapidly. Perched on the border between Mexico and the United States, Tijuana has media links to both countries, with peoples, currencies, and cultural goods -perhaps especially music- from both sides circulating intensely within the city. Tijuana's older residents and their more mobile, cosmopolitan-minded children thus engage in a constant struggle with identity and nationality, appropriation and authenticity.
Nor-tec music in its very composition encapsulates this city's struggle. It resonates with issues felt on the global level, while holding vastly different meanings to the variety of communities that embrace it. In Nor-tec Rifa!, Alejandro L. Madrid crafts a fascinating account of this music and the city that fostered its birth. With an impressive hybrid of musicology, ethnomusicology, cultural and performance studies, urbanism, and border studies, Nor-tec Rifa! offers compelling insights into the cultural production of Nor-tec as it stems from ortena, banda, and grupera traditions. The book is also amongst the first to offer detailed accounts of Nor-tec music's composition process. Read less
About the author: Alejandro L. Madrid
Alejandro L. Madrid is a musicologist and cultural theorist whose research focuses on the intersection of modernity, tradition and globalization in music... Read more
Alejandro L. Madrid is a musicologist and cultural theorist whose research focuses on the intersection of modernity, tradition and globalization in music and expressive culture from Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2005 Alejandro received the prestigious Casa de las Am ricas Musicology Prize. He is Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In this brilliant study of a local culture's transnational dynamics and dimensions, Alejandro Madrid reveals how radical changes in contemporary commerce and culture are imbuing old identities,...Read more
In this brilliant study of a local culture's transnational dynamics and dimensions, Alejandro Madrid reveals how radical changes in contemporary commerce and culture are imbuing old identities, borders, and boundaries with new meanings. George Lipsitz, author of Footsteps in the Dark The Nortec Collective stands astride the US/Mexico border creating an art of hope and adaptation. This music represents all that is possible along the new frontier, and it has fomented a movement of art and film and literature that is unique in the world. Alejandro Madrid's masterful study of this brilliant hybrid stands as one of the important texts in the history of the new, shining, borderlands. Nortec sings, 'Tijuana makes me happy.' This work makes us happy to be alive. Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil's Highway and The Hummingbird's Daughter Alejandro Madrid is an amazing thinker. His fresh theoretical insights are synthesized from a broad base of knowledge and disciplines. This work will appeal to anyone interested in border studies and contemporary societal trends, as well as those with an interest in contemporary music and activism through music. Brenda M. Romero, Associate Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology, University of Colorado Alejandro Madrid has brilliantly captured Nor-tec's burst into the twenty-first century. This is an innovative book that effectively balances traditional with virtual fieldwork, musical analysis with a cultural-oriented approach, and theoretical reflections with empirically grounded investigations. Madrid's critical mind and analytical skills meet the ingenuity and eloquence of the Nortec Collective. Helena Simonett, Vanderbilt University, author of Banda: Mexican Musical Life across Borders Nor-tec has spawned audio imitators, Volvo ads, t-shirts, and indie films, popped up everywhere from art installations to MTV and HBO, and now Tijuana's first-next-big-global-thing finally has its own full-scale scholarly book that lends a critical ear to border beats. With a focused and serious mix of theory, interviews, and lots of listening during long nights in Tijuana clubs, Madrid has done the music and the scene a great service by unraveling its histories and dissecting its meanings for fans and scholars alike. Josh Kun, University of Southern California, author of Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America Read less