Say what you will about the trade agreement with our neighbors to the south, but Mexico sure seems to be giving their fair share where music is concerned. Bands like Los Amigos Invisibles and Plastilina Mosh are coming into their own. And the most recent export, Titan (say tee-TAHN), has stepped across the border to bring us fresh electro-funk groove beats.
Titan’s journey, however, has been anything but romantic. Trying to maintain a unique and oft-kitschy sound in a country largely dominated by pop and rock sounds is a tough proposition, at best. Their struggle to acquire a following with old-school beats and samples over an electronic beat has persevered for nearly a decade. A funky single from 1997, “C’mon Feel the Noise,” finally attracted the attention of several U.S. producers, who eventually brought the Titan sound and debut release Elevator to fruition.
The retro, electronic, and catchy hooks remain beautifully strewn about the record so not to steer the band into a particular “sound” or genre. Their songs are crafted as individuals, not clones. Although sampling is a vital element here, the end result is anything but Will Smith. They mainly use obscure tidbits that blend seamlessly into each composition.
Titan sends you back to a sixties spy movie with “1-2-3-4” then tickles the Tom Tom Club bone with their version of “Corazon.” “Battle Love,” “Vaquero,” and “Sawrite” have the electronic groove and savvy that could surely make the club scene take notice.
Elevator is an album that will embrace you from start to finish. Beautifully diverse and produced, a listen will truly awaken the aural senses. I hope these three amigos are now getting their rightful props at home.