+ Brian Lopez
So if you grew up schizoid on both sides of the border, where’s your true home, hombre? It’s where his heart is and it’s all over the spectrum of a furious fusion of styles like mambo and cumbia, psych and rock, ranchera and mariachi. A caldo xochitl hot sonic Mexican sopa with a strong desert flavor that’ll inflame your senses and fire up your limbs. Tambien, a sound that succeeds in another thing: It makes you forget the agonizing limbo of the current politics for a moment.
Multi-instrumentalist Sergio Mendoza founded his Orkesta as a respectful tribute to the Cuban mambo king Perez Prado and he’s been a figure head of the alt-latino movement since 2009, living and working out of Tucson. Where he first made a name for himself collaborating and appearing with Howe Gelb’s Giant Sand and Joey Burns’ Calexico. The Orkesta excels with a precise execution of its music in both instrumental and vocals and at times it fries you like an Arizona desert scorcher. Their current album dates from 2016, «Vamos A Guarachar!», and it’s an invitation for hot rod cruising and heavy partying. The album isn’t all fast and furious dance tunes though. It offers moods of quiet contemplation and haunting emotional excursions in songs that are performed with fine flowing instrumentals creating a tapestry of aural grace and even sentimentality. All throughout the entire work though the influence of Mexico is abundantly clear. It’s fair to say nobody else sounds like this band.
And schizophrenia has never been this loco.
Orkesta Mendoza is one of the best live bands out there. Their music delves into a myriad of directions, rhythms and moods, big band orchestration mixed with lo fi electronica, vocals en español together with moving instrumentals. «Vamos A Guarachar!» is epic and soulful, it captures that positive spirit of the Southwest
– Joey Burns, Calexico
Our heart goes out to the victims and their families of the earthquake in Mexico.