Mexican Institute of Sound offering a new lesson
The group delves into politics with its most recent album
Posted: September 18, 2013
Camilo Lara of Mexican Institute of Sound.
Mexican Institute of Sound is back with a concert sponsored by United Islands. The group mixes electronic music, punk and hip-hop with the traditional cumbia sound from Colombia. They will be at Roxy this time Sept. 25, after appearing at Palác Akropolis last year.
Camilo Lara said that the previous Prague appearance was wild. "It was unreal! The concert was very punk. We really liked that, even if people did not understand what we were singing they were dancing like crazy," Lara said in a furnished interview.
The group shot to fame with their 2006 debut album Méjico México, and their most recent album, Politico, is inspired by the turbulent situation in Mexico, where there is a lot of violence related to drugs. Police found two tons of C4 explosive in the house next door, Lara said, adding that Mexico City, where he lives, is not a bad as the rest of the country. "I walk, ride my bike, walk the dog in the park," he said.
He says that his approach is hard to classify. "Well ... I think my music is , as they say, left handed. When I play with rock bands they say I play electronic. When I play the electronic festivals they say I play cumbia. I played at cumbia festivals and everyone there told me that I play rock, hip-hop or anything else. Just not cumbia. So it's difficult. Maybe it's just dance music, regardless of the mold," he said.
Where: Sept. 25 at 9
Tickets: 290 Kč in advance; 390 Kč at the door
He also said that there are musical connections between polka and a similar kind of Mexican music called banda. "Polka and banda are like cousins," he said, adding that he has discussed the connection with many people.
He also DJs. Playing with a live band isn't a career change. "I always did both. I enjoy both. It's a different experience," he said.
He added that one of the main differences between Europe and America was that in America there was an obsession with pigeon holing bands into categories, while Europe has a more open attitude. "And it does not matter if you play at a World Music festival, hipster or latino event. In Europe, I feel it's just music. And I love it. And a Mexican audience? They're crazy, you know, just crazy Mexicans," he said.
And for him, the capital is the place to be right now. "Culturally, Mexico City is experiencing a wonderful time. A lot of creative people from other cities [have moved there]. So if you are into culture, Mexico City is the right place to live." he said.
The group's most recent video was shot during student demonstrations. The situation has not improved, he said. "Currently we are in the dark period of our history. So I think that the only positive thing you can do is create a strong cultural community that emerges from civil society, and not from the government," he said.
Raymond Johnston can be reached at