To call this Mexican bands influence on alternative Latin music vital is no overstatement. While they are often lumped into the already hazy Rock en Español set, the rabid shape-shifting of Café Tacuba (often spelled Café Tacvba) renders them splendidly beyond category. Their songwriting is a fiercely original blend of the traditional and contemporary, the folkloric and modern, traversing such territories as hip-hop, funk, bolero, southern California punk, tropicália, Europop, dadaist noise painting, and Mexicanisms such as ranchera, huapango, and polka, with little regard to order or duration of visit. The result is exhilarating pop music that is abidingly eclectic and yet distinctly Mexican. At a given moment, their instrumentation may have nylon-string guitar, trombone and tololoche (traditional upright bass) sitting alongside sequencers, melodión and a drum machine. This last element makes Café Tacuba a relative...
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