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Tijuana Cartel


Long time live performance-loving band, Tijuana Cartel, are planning big things in 2014 with singles, an EP and a live album all in the pipeline. TOM KITSON spoke to percussionist Daniel Gonzalez ahead of their appearance at the Rosemount Hotel this Saturday, March 8 and Mojos on Sunday, March 9. Also catch them down south at the Prince Of Wales, Bunbury on Thursday, March 13; Settlers Tavern, Margaret River on Friday, March 14; Clancy’s, Dunsborough on Saturday, March 15 and White Star, Albany on Friday, March 21.

The multi-genre crossing electronic/world music group from the Gold Coast are setting out on a number of dates across regional WA, with a passion for getting up close and personal with their fans.

The live aspect of Tijuana Cartel’s music is something that means a lot to Gonzalez and provides him with his drive to carry on in a career that’s spanned a decade.

“We have such a loyal fan base and that along with selling out shows really keeps us excited,” he says. “Because we can still get people to our shows we continue to work hard and explore a lot of different avenues in sound.”

Never belonging to just one musical style, the band prefers to play music with the aim of getting feedback in a live setting and then packaging what comes out as simply, ‘Tijuana Cartel music’.

“We’ve definitely got deep electronic roots in our music, but there’s also the world music element,” he explains. “Over the last 10 years I think we’ve experimented with different sounds and it’s developed into our own sound.

“At our shows you’re really experiencing something that in this day and age is completely original; it sounds like nothing else and that’s what we pride ourselves on.”

Planning to release a three track EP soon as well as a live album of one of their shows, the band comes up with new directions to take a song in while playing out live – an ideal way to get feedback on their new works.

“We tried the normal process of writing, recording then releasing material but found that we were changing things a lot in our live shows,” he elaborates. “So we started playing our new music live first, and then developing it into a full release from there.”

Inspired by fellow Australian acts like Midnight Juggernauts and World’s End Press, Gonzalez says the breakbeat scene has also influenced Tijuana Cartel and is reflected in their tunes.

“Over the years we haven’t had an intention to specifically create music differently to everything else, but it just kind of happened that way. It’s always been completely in-house, with music to artwork to interviews and even ads coming through one of the band members,” he says.

Soon-to-be-released single, Endlessly is all set to be played on their upcoming tour and the clear point Gonzalez makes, is that the experience of a Tijuana show is the reason he keeps at it.

“We’ve got about 20 songs that are single-worthy at the moment after locking ourselves away in the studio for months,” he explains. “We may have a few collaborations in the works for this year too, but we’ll keep that under wraps for now.”

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