Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Mexican Institute of Sound, Pinata

The Mexican Institute of Sound (Instituto Mexicano del Sonido) is deejay, remixer and producer Camilo Lara and “Pinata” is his second album.  As album titles go, “Pinata” is just misabout perfect.  Blindfolded, you break open a pinata at festive occasions and are showered by candy and treats.  Same thing happens with this CD, you break open the shrinkwrap, put it on and are showered by audio treats.  Many people have probably not heard of the Mexican Institute of Sound so they’ll be buying “Pinata” blindfolded as it were and the music is consistently upbeat and hence suitable for festive occasions.  lol, okay, I’m stretching here, but not by much.  “Pinata” is a good time.

“Pinata” is sampleicious with combinations of music that are beyond belief.  Lara samples and combines about a zillion different types of Mexican dance and pop music from the past 80 years with hip hop beats, funk, turntable scratching, rap, Latin and South American musics, sound effects and god knows what else.  Like the shower of candy from a Pinata it’s too much, much too much, and it shouldn’t work.  But it not only works, it works very well because Lara appears to have a deep knowledge of all these types of music and an unerring sense of rhythm and tempo.  Although each track on “Pinata” sounds like it has as many samples as most people would use on an entire album the result never comes across as a sloppy mishmash because Lara has very carefully combined and layered his bits and pieces into seamless and coherent wholes.  This is one of those CDs that continues to produce surprises and discoveries after many, many listens as previously unheard tidbits rise to the surface.  And it grooves relentlessly. 

“Pinata” works as both a prime example of the high quality of indie music coming out of Mexico and Latin America and as a breath of fresh air in the stale atmosphere of the by-the-numbers, mass produced and marketed US major label hip hop where minor variations are lauded as revolutionary innovations and the news is focused more on ridiculous posturing and embarassing behavior than it is on the music.  If you like sample-based hip hop, latin rhythms and music, and are open to  suprising musical combinations, check “Pinata” out.

Listeners might also be interested in MIS’s first album “Mejico Maxico“.


09/03/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

1 Comment »

  1. […] Camilo Lara.  Although it is not as polished or as rich as MIS’s follow-up CD, “Pinata” it is very good.  Lara’s great strengths are a superb sense of rhythm and tempo, […]

    Pingback by Review, Mexican Institute of Sound, Mejico Maxico « Tuned In To Music | 11/30/2007 | Reply

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