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Mexican Institute of Sound - Soy Sauce

Mexican Institute of Sound, Soy Sauce

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

CAMILO Lara, aka the Mexican Institute of Sound, seems to be growing in confidence with each new album.

Whereas previous efforts have combined a variety of vintage samples into instrumental tracks, new LP Soy Sauce features almost entirely original songs recorded with a live band and vocals.

And the result marks a definite progression – even though it remains an acquired taste.

Lara has a playful sense of humour that makes his music more novelty than cool. Hence, tracks like White Stripes and Karate Kid 2 reference US pop culture in a fun, not to be taken seriously kind of way.

It’s refreshing, in a sense, not to have too much message-making, and Karate Kid 2, in particular, is a great pop party anthem – loaded with Mexican vocals, a throbbing synth line and a funky shuffle.

Occasionally, though, Lara cuts loose and comes over all cool, with Comite Culificador, parts one and two, emerging as surprisingly hip entries – even though part one lasts just over a minute.

Elsewhere, tracks like Cumbria and Alocatel have a kitsch value that combines some distinctly Mexican instrumentation (trumpets, etc) with some bouncing, urban hip-hop beats.

Lara’s reputation is building to such an extent that Ad Rock, of Beastie Boys fame, even delivers a belated remix of Alocatel, as if to underline the suspicion that Lara may yet be taken more seriously than he ever anticipated (he originally started making music simply for friends as mix tapes).

But while Soy Sauce may not always add up to a success, there’s enough to broaden Lara’s appeal and win more friends. Who knows who’ll be asking to remix him by the time the next album arrives.

Download picks: White Stripes, Karate Kid 2, Comite Culificador Parts 1 and 2

Track listing:

  1. Cumbia
  2. Alocatel
  3. Yo Digo Baila
  4. White Stripes
  5. Hiedra Venenosa
  6. Te Quiero Mucho
  7. Jalale
  8. Comite Culificador Part 1
  9. Comite Culificador Part 2
  10. Karate Kid 2
  11. Reventon
  12. Sinfonia Agridulce
  13. Alocatel
  14. Chiflideur