Various Artists - "Frontier Life: Banda Sonora"
(Accretions 2002, ALP031CD)
From Aural Innovations #24 (July 2003)
Frontier Life is a feature length documentary directed and produced by musician and filmmaker Hans Fjellestad (see reviews of his new solo and Donkey CD's in this issue). The subject of the film is Tijuana, which Fjellestad seeks to explore beyond the image cultivated by the mainstream media. The diversity of the city is brought to life even in the brief 3 minute clip I downloaded. The shots alternate between sprawling urban landscape, dusty plains, cowboys, illegal drag races, discos, cock fights... it's interesting to watch this and hear an interview subject state that Tijuana has more to do with science fiction novels than the history books of Mexico, and that he considers the city to be a giant laboratory.
The soundtrack to the film consists of contributions by artists from the Tijuana based Nortec Collective and the San Diego based Trummerflora Collective, the latter being made up of several of the musicians showcased on the Accretions label. The artists include Discar, Panoptica, Clorofila, Las Cajas del Ritmo, Latinsizer, Marcos Fernandes, Point Loma, Marcelo Radulovich, Titicacaman (who is actually Marcelo Radulovich), and Hans Fjellestad. There's a stylistic theme across most of the tracks that combine various elements of robotic electro dance, Dub, space atmospherics, downbeat grooves, cosmic jazz, Funk, and all manner of electronic noodlings, both of this Earth and from deep space. Having watched the clip the music does seem to fit nicely and I'd love to see the entire film.
For more information about Hans Fjellestad and the film Frontier Life you can visit http://www.hansfjellestad.com and http://www.zu33.com. You can also download and clip from the film and an interview with Fjellestad at these sites.
The Frontier Life compilation is distributed by Accretions. You can visit their web site at: http://www.accretions.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Accretions; PO Box 81973; San Diego, CA 92138.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz