Travieso Musical

Recordando el Rancho

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One term that is being used more and more in regional Mexican circles is "tecno-banda." The style isn't really a fusion of banda and techno (although tecno is the Spanish spelling of techno), but it is an interesting musical hybrid that combines Mexican banda with club/dance music -- there are definitely parallels between tecno-banda and some of the more modern, club-minded tecno-merengue that has been coming out of the Dominican Republic and the northeastern United States in the '90s and 2000s. One of the Mexican groups that is known for the tecno-banda style is the Chicago-based Travieso Musical, whose Recordando el Rancho also contains elements of norteño and is tirelessly energetic at times. Actually, calling the album's faster songs energetic is probably an understatement -- ultra-fast tunes like "El Adolorido," "La Zopilota," "Flor Morena," and "El Teterete" are downright hyper. They're frantic in a way that traditional banda, even at its fastest, isn't; Recordando el Rancho isn't your father's banda, and it doesn't pretend to be. But for all its club-minded exuberance, this 2004 release is still quite faithful to the sprit of regional Mexican music. The themes and lyrics are uniquely Mexican, and only a regional Mexican album would have a title like Recordando el Rancho (which means "remembering the ranch" in Spanish). This CD isn't recommended to those who consider themselves either banda or norteño purists; banda purists would be better off with something more traditional such as Ezequiel Peña's Viva la Banda, and norteño purists should stick to bands like Los Tigres del Norte or Los Rieleros del Norte. But for those who appreciate the tecno-banda style, Recordando el Rancho is well worth exploring.

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