DJ/producer Camilo Lara's Mexican Institute of Sound has become known for its modern mashed-up approach to the kind of party-shaking cocktail music pioneered by Juan García Esquivel, whose choice vintage cuts, along with those of other Latin American stars of dance floors past, have been sampled for MIS' textured electro-ethnic tracks. On "Mexico," from MIS' latest album, Politico, a sultry intro drops fast into a downward spiral of mariachi horns, breaking into an insistent beat over which Lara laments the cursed state of his country. "A rotten nation with a wounded population," he talk-sings in Spanish. With new music made more for raising fists in protest than for raising hands in the air, MIS joins such hard-hitting alternative prophets of chaos and corruption as Control Machete and Molotov, and nods to the Mexican corrido singers who've been chronicling the politicians and cartels all along. Seductively eclectic mixes and celebratory moments are still present on Politico, but Lara movingly speaks out about the plagues of 21st-century Mexico and beyond, bringing lyrical depth to the music and adding considerably to his strength as an artist. – Judy Cantor-Navas, Google Play
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