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Los Macuanos Poised for Primetime

Tijuana ruidoson pioneers are set to release their debut album, "El Origen," this week on Nacional Records



    Tijuana, stand up for Los Macuanos because they have been officially signed to the coveted Latin Alternative indie label Nacional Records! Not only are they the first ruidoson artists to be signed to the label, but they're set to release their debut album, El Origen, on Nov. 18.

    Canyon Cody from the label says, “I’m excited about this release. The record is really good” -- and he's right. It's a well-oiled and masterfully constructed 13-track compilation highlighting the evolution of the band's sound, hence the title El Origen. Reuben Torres of Los Macuanos says, “This is material that's mostly been floating around the internet for years, but has never been released 'properly' so it's good that it'll finally be able to reach a wider audience.”

    Vice Magazine has called the trio "the Mexican Kraftwerk,” which is a heavy crown to wear -- but one that they can clearly handle. Los Macuanos are Tijuanero innovators in EDM, and the inventors of ruidoson music during the city's tough post-9/11 years. And they've solved the problem of how to revive a dead music scene while still keeping the roots of cumbia and norteno music. It's just the best of both worlds: being Latino, and a futurist.

    The term 'ruidoson' was coined in 2008 by Moises Horta, bassist of Los Macuanos, while talking on MSN chat with Tony Gallardo of Maria y Jose. Ruidoson is made up of two Spanish words: ruido (noise) and son (roots). For Los Macuanos, the sound embodies two musical movements: L.A. noise and traditional regional Mexican music. It truly is a genre that flexes its bicultural muscles. For many ruidoson artists, their feet are grounded in two places: Tijuana and the U.S., making their music even more textured.

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    The trio is on the rise. The group has already been featured on NPR, PRI/BBC’s "The World," MTV Iggy, and have recently had two songs featured in Indio Beer ads. Their track “Ritmo de Amor” is now the theme song to Seattle's cutting-edge radio show on KEXP. Being signed to Nacional is a big thing, as they are the home to celebrated artists: Bostich + Fussible, Ana Tijoux, Aterciopelados and Manu Chao, to name a few. And this gives the ruidoson trio a platform to reach a much wider audience than they have ever had before.

    “Our music has mostly been nestled in the world of niche blogs, among a few shrewd listeners,” Torres explains. “Nacional offered us the opportunity to take it to a wider audience, to people that maybe aren't as up to date on the sorts of micro-trends that brew all the time online. It'll be interesting to see what'll happen to those sounds when they leave the ether.”

    Yes, it's going to be very interesting.

    Dita Quiñones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino and Hip-Hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter.