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Mexican Institute Of Sound - Pinata

Mexican Institute of Sound, Pinata

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

I HAVE to confess, I wasn’t aware of The Mexican Institute of Sound’s critically acclaimed debut album Mejico, Maxico – but if the quality of its follow-up Pinata is anything to go by it’s well worth checking out.

The brainchild of Camilo Lara, Pinata is a wild clash of musical landscapes, combining everything from cumbia, cha cha cha and danzon to baile funk, hip hop, electro and cut and paste beats.

What’s more, it features several guest artists, some of them known outside the Latin music world such as Chris Frantz (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club), Fantastic Plastic Machine from Japan, Babasonicos from Argentina and Mexican legend Cafe Tacuba.

It pretty much hooks you in from the moment Lara drops the impossibly infectious Escribeme Pronto, a lively, seamless blend of baile funk horns and hip hop beats, scratching and samples – not to mention doorbells and “bon jorno” greetings. It really does put a smile on your face, while conjuring images of Latin American dancing in your mind (no doubt aiding your feet and hips to get jiggy with it).

The slick beats and mixture of styles is continued on El Microfono, another kooky but cool concoction of hip influences, while further highlights come in the form of the A Girl Like You, featuring some sultry vocals from Pat C and a well-known sample, and the pop culture referencing A Todos Ellos, which trades cool name checking with chic beats and organs.

Fun, too, is the dub-brass mash-up that is Belludita and the blip-laden La Kebradita that brings things to a suitably satisfying close complete with samba-style conclusion.

Don’t let the fact that you haven’t heard of The Mexican Institute of Sound put you off – this is a gloriously kooky diversion from the mainstream that’ll leave you pleasantly uplifted. And that can only be a good thing.

Download picks: Escribeme Pronto, A Girl Like You, A Todos Ellos, Belludita, La Kebradita

Track listing:

  1. Killer Kumbia
  2. Escribeme Pronto
  3. El Microfono
  4. Para No Vivir Desesperado
  5. La Kebradita
  6. A Girl Like You
  7. A Todos Ellos
  8. Hip Hop No Pares
  9. Katia, Tania, Paulina Y La Kim
  10. Belludita
  11. Mi Negra A Bailal
  12. Lala Meda
  13. La Kebradita [Le Hammond Inferno Mix]