Soundtrack to: Mexico
I think it is all a matter of love: the more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is. After a break from blogging and listening to anything remotely current, I decided to document the musical discoveries from my trip across Latin America. Our first stop was Mexico, and each song holds some nostalgic aspect to it – soundtracking our journey from the Caribbean coast to our last stop, Mexico City. Quite quickly we abandoned the monotony of our ipods and sought to immerse ourselves in the rich musical history of the country. Without making reference to the North American influence or Pitbull, here’s what we listened to by chance, by recommendation of our local friends and the help of a little intoxication.
Francisco y Madero
A project out of Guadalajara, that mixes sounds of traditional music with contemporary electro-folk.
Also the name for a popular sandwich in Guadalajara (a city which happened to be one of the most creative and inspiring places I visited during my whole trip), Los Amparito are an electronic folk group inspired by the sounds of Mariachi. A project that began in 2010 and is continuing to make music, Amparito have been equated to Beach House and Panda Bear (by the real bloggers). Folk law sounds that are spacey and psychedelic.
Listen to more here.
Speaking of Mariachi – for those not acquainted with it, it’s a performance developed out of 19th century West Mexico, characterised by string instruments, trumpets and narratives of rural life. Typically portrayed in Western culture as a group of terrifyingly smiley men wearing oversized sombreros and undersized trousers, (as it is sometimes the case), its importance within Mexican culture is not to be underestimated. There was no local I met that didn’t value the meaning behind the lyrics, and regard it as a key aspect of their upbringing and culture. We had our first experience of the Mariachi band in a restaurant in Guadalajara, where we enjoyed their singing, incredibly skilled and intricate guitar playing, and some lessons in how to dance. One of the easiest ways to broaden your Spanish vocab, too.
Miguel Aceves Mejia
Just to reiterate, if you ever visit Mexico, going to a restaurant or bar with Mariachi entertainment is a must. Skilled musicians with infectious energy and their performance nailed and perfected. We also had fun trying to work out if some members were incredibly coked up or just insanely happy.
No entry regarding Mexican music would be complete without Louis Miguel. Look at his white teeth.
And finally, as far as I could gage, here is Mexico’s equivalent to Crazy Town – Butterfly. Dropped at our first experience of a local house party.