“WAS that a duck being strangled?” I asked Tijuana Cartel’s Paul George.
The group’s latest CD is an hypnotic melding of Moroccan music and Moog synthesiser with a variety of obscure sounds—interspersed with what sounded like a most unhappy duck.
Turns out it’s a shehnai, an Indian version of the clarinet, so given there’s no animal cruelty involved I needn’t feel guilty about dancing to the foot-tapping beat.
The blending of layers of rich intricate, atmospheric soundscapes with laid back rhythms and luscious vocals form an electronic beat tapestry.
Tijuana Cartel fuses music from around the world, but with the heavy influence of the likes of Led Zeppelin and Canadian band Tea Party it’s not your usual world music.
“We like to think we get people dancing with stadium world music,” George says.
At the tender age of 12 he knew he wanted a career in music, after listening to a Beatles tribute band.
“I wanted to make as much beautiful noise as I could.”
Along with Zeppelin, George listened avidly to Pink Floyd before moving into a grunge phase and melding acts such as Chemical Brothers and Massive Attack into something distinctly his own.
The other half of the Tijuana Cartel, Carey O’Sullivan, found his musical passion in high school.
He discovered Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene and started down the route of electronic music, mixed with plenty of heavy metal.
Carey and George joined forces in the late ‘90s and began carting around a guitar and desk top computer.
With Carey playing the beats and George playing guitar over the top it wasn’t long before the very individual sounds grabbed attention and they were performing seven shows a week.
Their latest CD, 24 Bit Guitar Orchestra, is predominately acoustic, marking a return to their earlier music: “We’d been concentrating so much on vocally driven songs that we felt it’d be refreshing to release something with no vocals,” George says.
Percussionist Yoav Mashiach, and WA Afro/Cuban percussionist Daniel Gonzalez will join Tijuana Cartel for its WA tour.
You can catch them at Mojos, North Fremantle, Thursday, September 4, tix ($30) at http://www.tijuanacartel.com