Various Artists

Pasito Duranguense Mix

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A compilation of some of the best of the current crop of Norteno outfits, EL PASITO DURANGUENSE (also the title of a popular dance step) is full of the lightning-fast percussion, two-step rhythms, and sheer energy that typify the genre. Kinto Sol's eccentric take on the country classic "Jambalaya," which features interjections by a wacky MC before it breaks into some demented rapping, is a standout. Another highlight is the Chicago band Grupo Montez de Durango's signature "De Durango a Chicago," while the wonderfully named Los Horoscopos de Durango contribute a rhythmically complex yet eminently danceable instrumental track in "Zapateando en Tamaulipas." Both Grupo Montez's "Lagrimas de Cristal" and El Morro's "El Mono de Alambre" incorporate rock rhythms, but the rushing thrill of tracks such as Patrulla 81's "La Brujita" and the tumbling timbale fills of K-Paz de la Sierra's "La Pava" show that, while it's no stranger to gimmicks, Norteno needs no musical stunts to convey an exciting mood.

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