v/a: Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980​-​1989 (Dark Entries, 2021)

November 15, 2021 at 8:09 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

v/a: Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980​-​1989

Dark Entries’ latest compilation sheds light on underground synth pop and new wave produced in Mexico during the 1980s. Most of the tracks were actually featured on a 2005 CD compilation (Backup Expediente Tecno Pop), aside from 2 exclusives, including the previously unheard proto-acid synth odyssey “Las Cucarachas” by El Escuadrón Del Ritmo. Some of these songs recall Spanish electro pioneers Aviador DRO, who coined the term tecno-pop in 1979. The first songs on the album contain tinny, uptempo drum machines and melodramatic, new romantic-style vocals, with Syntoma’s “No Me Puedo Controlar” being a particular highlight. Then there’s a sample-crazy industrial track by Artefacto, who changed the “c” to “k” and collaborated with Sascha Konietzko of KMFDM, and later ended up founding the Nortec Collective. The self-titled track by Cou Cou Bazar predicts a lot of the hypnagogic pop stuff that came into vogue around 15 years ago. Volti’s Crammed Discs-issued “Corazón” is more disco-friendly, verging on freestyle, while Nahtabisk’s “La Dama De Probeta” is off-the-wall synth-punk. Década 2’s “Alfabeto (Cold Version)” is a New Beat-ish stomper, and the release ends with a stunning, dub-tinged darkwave tune by Silueta Pálida. Lots of fascinating material on here, and like the best of these compilations of obscurities, clicking around on Discogs and YouTube links will lead you down several rabbit holes with tons more to discover.

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