In 2012 Tijuana’s Revulab was named “The Heirs of the Nortec Sound” by Remezcla and on their cleverly titled album, Tijuana Mystery Tour they continue to fuse the sounds of Mexico with modern dance rhythms. In the opening track, Fantasy Land you are immediately transported to a futuristic Tijuana where horn samples atop a steady dance loop creates the soundtrack for the start of this voyage that toggles between the past, the present and the future of Mexico.
It’s a sound that is familiar given their obvious Nortec influence but one that strives to find its own identity. This is very fitting for a musical duo from a border town where locals struggle to find and create their own identity in a city that is clearly influenced by its neighbor to the north. Revulab are good at creating dance songs that are laden with samples of mariachi and banda music. My only issue with the use of the samples is that they are used to often and sound too similar to those on other tracks. Revulab shine more when they stay away from these samples or use them in exciting and fresh rhythms like Tilly’s Delight, Stardust Cowboys and Automatic Kids that forge new territory instead of revisiting the musical paths created by their predecessor.
The nine tracks that make up Tijuana Mystery Tour provide engaging sample-laden dance music that will keep you shaking your hips just as if you were on Revolucion Avenue on a Saturday night. Prepare to go on a sonic voyage to Tijuana that will seem familiar at times yet thrilling all at once. I look forward to hearing what Revulab does in future recordings and hope that they continue to expand their samples to incorporate the myriad of folk sounds that Mexico has to offer. For now, enjoy your trip.
You can download their new single below.