Tag Archives: Orkesta Mendoza

The Best Albums of 2016: #60 – 41


If there’s one thing we learned since we launched Bandcamp Daily this past June, it’s that the world of Bandcamp is enormous—encompassing everything from emo in China to cumbia punk in Tucson, Arizona to just about everything in between. So narrowing our Best Albums of the Year down to 100 choices was a daunting task. This week, we’ll be sharing our picks, 20 at a time, until we arrive at the top spot on Friday.

More “Best of 2016”:
The Best Albums of 2016: #100 – 81
The Best Albums of 2016: #80 – 61
The Best Albums of 2016: #40 – 21
The Best Albums of 2016: #20-1

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“It’s The Sex Pistols Meets Pérez Prado”: Inside Orkesta Mendoza’s Riotous Cumbia Punk

Orkesta Mendoza
Orkesta Mendoza. Photo by Josh Harrison.

Orkesta Mendoza’s adventurous second record ¡Vamos A Guarachar! paints a vivid portrait of Latin American folklore. It takes listeners on a celebratory journey, one where mestizo-infused genres like boogaloo, cumbia, chicha, and mambo intersect. “It’s like a little road trip of Latin America,” Sergio Mendoza boasts. Mendoza is the founding member of the Tucson-based ensemble, who embrace their Latino roots while showcasing an impressive musical range. “It was really hard for everyone to tell where the album was going, because there are a lot of different styles,” explains the 35-year-old bandleader.

Mendoza grew up between the first and developing worlds. He was born in Nogales, Arizona and raised in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico—two hinterland towns separated by a 45-minute drive, and divided by the US-Mexico border. The borderlands are a particularly diasporic, transnational region known for their rich cultural hybrids, which emerge as a result of the Mexican and Latinx immigrants who settle there in the hopes of crossing over to el otro lado (as the locals call the United States). Music from North America, Mexico, Central and South America intertwine and influence one another there—a cultural and geographical phenomenon that impacted Mendoza’s artistic development.

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