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3ball MTY w/ Jazz Da Playboy @ The Rave

June 21, 2013

Jun. 24, 2013
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Regional Mexican styles arguably make for the most folkloric music on commercial U.S. radio nowadays. That a trio of teenage DJs could have made a major impression in a scene rife with cowboy hats and matching suits speaks to a cultural melting pot more fluid in its contents than much of current English-sung internationalist pop.

3ball MTY, Friday’s headliners on a marathon four-act bill at The Rave, transmute the accordion, bras and woodwinds of norteño, conjunto and other regional Mexican subgenres into electronic dance music that would sound at least as appropriate at a rave as a South Side Western wear shop. If the name Rincon, Otto and Sheeqo Beat took for their group reads like computer code gobbledygook, it is a nod to technology; it’s a texting abbreviation for “tribal Monterrey,” acknowledging both their hometown and musica tribal, the latest Mexican electro-folk hybrid (following tecno banda, urban regional, et al).

After the presentation of a nigh-interminable mixtape chronicling the history of Hispanics in post-disco dance music from ’80s Latin freestyle to present, 3ball MTY came on amid copious dry ice smoke to re-tweek their radio hits (featuring vocals by physically absent chanteuse América Sierra), snippets of ’90s house faves Black Box, Puerto Rican merengue star Elvis Crespo and their kind of pounding dance noise that may have roots in—but certainly transcends—their ethnic musical vernacular. One male rapper, a quartet of guy dancers and two gals displaying less athletic moves added visual engagement to the sonic pummeling.

Three opening acts provided context and stylistic variety for the 3ball assault. Local reggaeton MC/singer Jazz Da Playboy warmed up the crowd with a fairly chaste iteration of the oft-salacious urban tropical music. La Güera Chakaloza y Sus 4 Animales offered regional Mexican fusion of another type than 3ball's, with a Polish-American Chicago blonde Jenni Rivera fan fronting a band apt to infuse touches of disco and hard rock into their trad' sounds heavy on acoustic guitar and a bit of concertina. Afecto Norteño were the most traditional act of the evening, though their remake of Dutch ’70s rockers Mouth & Macneal's "How Do You Do" offered a connection to English language pop while their accordion-and-saxophone tandem attack brought to mind current honky-style polka.

If all that music weren't enough, host radio station WJTI La Nueva Ritmo 1460 AM gave away a few rather pricy prizes, including $1000 in cash, a gift certificate of double that value and a $600 pair of cowboy boots with exaggeratedly long toes, popularized in Monterey’s musical tribal scene. With an advertised start time of 8 p.m. and lights going up at 2 a.m., a long, culturally expansive, unabashedly danceable time was had by all.


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