Band of the Year
NORTEC COLLECTIVE PRESENTS BOSTICH + FUSSIBLE. I really want to give it to Los Fancy Free, but I’m still drooling over Tijuana Sound Machine. Zoe’s Reptilectric is not aging really well, and I’ve never really liked Yokozuna. You can never go wrong with Plastilina Mosh, but let’s not forget their All U Need Is Mosh is their weakest album yet (not a bad album though).
Song of the Year
“BESTIA” – HELLO SEAHORSE! It was probably the indie hit of 2008 in Mexico; the creatures coming out of it are still phenomenally attractive, pop at its finest. “Ja Ja Ja” by Los Fancy Free is great indeed, but I must say it’s feeling old… wasn’t it nominated last year in this same category? I don’t really get the negativity some friends have towards Suave as Hell, “Controlling the Sun” would be my alternate option. “Maten al Criminal” by The John Band is an okay song, perhaps is the sociopolitical theme that inspired voters to put it here. While Plastilina’s “Pervert Pop Song” rounds up a fairly good competition, but where is Bam Bam’s “Sin las patas traseras”?
Best New Artist
JUAN SON. It’s by far the most talented figure; some will argue that he’s not new to the business but going solo means to defragment past lands and build new ones. I had no prior knowledge of Dirty Karma, they’re cool actually but if Juan Son doesn’t take this, my second option would be Bufi, he snaps the rest of the nominees with his music + it will be cool to see somebody winning in a 'high profile' category with a netlabel released EP.
Blog of the Year
ME HACE RUIDO. This is a new category, we’re glad our colleagues are getting some recognition. When TTSO was suddenly shut down, 8106 became THE blog for scenesters looking for great music, thing is, I can finger count the Mexican artists featured and so it lacks the merit to give it an award as the Mexican vein seems to be minimal, same goes for Life Box Set. Andamos Armados is becoming like a cult, kind of a Culture Bully meets Rough Trade, again not sure if it’s an award for any blog, or a music blog. Toni Francois takes astonishing pictures, she takes you whatever she goes and is my runner up for the award. But I must say the real winner should be Me Hace Ruido, I might not agree with MOST of their reviews but they’re building a great database, with plenty of national talents pouring in and out.
Indie Label of the Year
NENE RECORDS. Let me start saying that the snub for The Poni Republic is almost criminal. Three of the nominated labels are part of the Voy a Explotar soundtrack, so I might be biased. Discos Tormento has among others, one of our new favorites Afrodita, in terms of exposure they’re lacking excitement. Discos Intolerancia is giving full support to Los Fancy Free, I’m still confused, isn’t the double-feature Never Greens a 2007 release? The award should slide on the hands of Nene Records, they’re the exemplary picture of how to run a smart project keeping its vision and expanding it, they do whatever they want (or what their resources allow them to). Free music, great response from SXSW and lots of people talking about it.
WELL WELL MR. WHALE, SUAVE AS HELL. Last year’s nominated lineup was fantastic, I must say this time is underwhelming. Yokozuna’s provocative cover fits the music and even puts ideas into my head, is that Jessy Bulbo showing off? Probably not. Twin Tone’s Capello di Mariachi is circular, nice condensation of the colors but also to simplistic to be remembered. I like Los Marty’s music a whole lot more than its artwork, the drawings are not that bad, but the font is just obtrusive. My preference is the pastel coloring in Well Well Mr. Whale, how can I not like a whale up in the sky hiding in between some clouds and rainbows.
Producer of the Year
MARTIN THULIN. Only three nominees this time, someone from Monterrey like Mou (Bam Bam, Mama Burger, XYX) or Bul (Album, Zozaya) should’ve sneak in to round a set of five. Yamil Rezc is getting more and more popular, his work with Subdivision is superb, the jury loves him, his production design for Le Baron definitely brought attention to one of Mexico City’s most demanded producers. But no one would be as deserving as Los Fancy Free’s frontmant Martin Thulin, not only is he responsible for the great production values of his band, but he’s forming a whole squad producing the brilliant Taras Bulba by Jessy Bulbo and Nos Llamamos self-titled debut.
TIJUANA SOUND MACHINE, NORTEC. Nortec for the win! This is probably my favorite category, and I get the feeling they’re throwing every single pop album here since they’re erroneously neglecting pop as a category. You know how much we liked Quiero Club’s Nueva America and Bufi’s Homeless Hero, still haven’t heard anything from Play & Movil Project but looking forward to it has great music around it. I’m not sure why Neon Walrus is in competition, is not a 2008 production, unless they extended the eligibility dates.
Rock Album of the Year
REPTILECTRIC, ZOE. Again, my wishful thinking asks for cheers towards Nos Llamamos, but after much examination of all the nominated albums, Zoe still has it. The best Mexican rock album from last year was Jessy Bulbo’s Taras Bulba, and En Ventura’s Los Gandharvas. Add Los Fancy Free and Bam Bam and we would have our dream lineup. There are some good tracks from Dirty Karma, but nothing special really, Simplifiers has the hype but not strong enough either.
Music Video of the Year
CLAP YOUR BRAINS OFF, NO SOMOS MACHOS PERO SOMOS MUCHOS. Even Kanye West liked the innovative techniques from NSM PSM and director Frank Beltran. It’s magnetically circular, perfectly choreographed and supportive to its rhythm. Austin TV’s animated “Shiva” is the cutest thing, would also make a great winner. Juan Son’s “Nada” is dark and raw, a surprising nominee actually. There’s nothing to get excited in “Maten al Criminal”, we get it, violence is black or white.
Live Act: Plastilina Mosh
Experimental Album: The Versailles Sessions, Murcof
Punk album: Taras Bulba, Jessy Bulbo
Rap/Hip Hop Album: Ai con permisito, Menuda Coincidencia
Best Solo Album: Taras Bulba, Jessy Bulbo
Indie Music Publisher: Marvin