Further Facts with Bostich + Fussible
By Ken Micallef
This online exclusive interview accompanies EQ magazine’s January 2011 profile on Bostich + Fussible’s Bulevar 2000.
Bostich + Fussibe (Ramón Amezcua and Pepe Mogt) grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, their music-listening preferences an endless mashup of American pop, Mexican folk, German polka, UK dance and world electronica. Two albums into their career, Bostich and Fussible’s Bulevar 2000 (Nacional) continue to expand the conscious, but now it’s the duo’s fans who are reaping the rewards. EQ spoke with Pepe Mogt somewhere in Mexico.
You worked with a well-known orchestrator and arranger for your new album, Bulevar 2000.
Pepe Mogt: Yes, Alberto Nunez Palacio was our arranger and orchestrator, we played last year with him and a full classical music orchestra, he was also the director. He arranged two of the tracks on the album, with four horn players and a string quartet.
Did you record the musicians at your own studio in Tijuana?
We went to another studio in Tijuana. The string section was recorded with four microphones, and an old analog Soundcraft mixer. From there directly into Pro Tools. It happened very quickly. For the concert in Tijuana with Alberto Nunez Palacio, he arranged eight of our songs quickly. He would just show up with the musicians and the score, and say “Let’s record it.” With the string quartet he had more of a challenge; they are trained as classical musicians, not in doing dance music. So we played the song on piano first so they could hear how the strings would work in the song, then they read the score. But it wasn’t that difficult. Maybe two hours.
What other instrumentation did you use in the studio?
Same as live: tuba, trumpet, accordion, 12-string guitar, and myself and Ramon playing drum machines and keyboards. Though we use the iPad to control the keyboards live. We used a Folio SX console, only for mixing all the signals from the synths and drum machines. Also, I like its EQ channel. We use it only for recording. For live, we use only the Beringer console. They are cheap, but they are made for the road.
What are some of your favorite synths?
The Rozzboz V2, it is a German synthesizer. It’s discontinued, it sounds like the Prophet Five. It has valves inside. It sounds like a Prophet Five, but with it you can only play a small melody and it will sound really weird. It’s a rare synthesizer. We used an old Oberheim too; for most of the bass on the album. That is my favorite synth, I found it when I went to Mexico City 15 years ago. I was out in the country and I found this house with a guy selling synthesizers. He was selling synths that he used to play in an all these Mexican cumbia bands. Like in the 80s. I saw that Oberheim and he sold it to me very, very cheap, like $600. I paid more just to get it back to Tijuana.
Your music sounds international, but you claim strong local roots.
Our music has a strong relationship with our city. Because we are here in Tijuana all of the interests we have we are influenced by American and European music, plus the local sounds of this town. People connect with the music we play, we bring Tijuana everywhere we go and we make it a visual experience. Mexican folk music, Norteno and Tamboura, id didn’t come from Tijuana but is very popular here, it’s from Monterey and other states in Mexico. But the blending of the musics and this sound is very Tijuana. Living here, we grew up listening and producing a lot of electronic music in the '80s. It has a lot to do with that, all these American radio stations that broadcast to Tijuana. Maybe if we grew up in Mexico City, Nortec Collective [the group that birthed Bostich + Fussible] would have never happened. But the blending of these two worlds Europe and the border between US and Mexico, that is the perfect recipe for this music. ?
TIJUANA SOUND CLASH! CHECK OUT BOSTICH+FUSSIBLE'S GEAR LIST
Computer, DAW/recording software
Ableton Live 7 software
Apple iMac computer & iPads
Digidesign Digi 003 Rack, Pro Tools LE software
Soundcraft LX7ii 24-channel mixer
Analogue Solutions Vostok Matrixsynth
Analogue Systems modules
Cwejman Modular synth
Dave Smith Evolver synth
Doepfer MAQ16/3 MIDI analog sequencer
ML ElectroComp 101 synth
EMS VCS3 synth
Future Retro Revolution R2 synth, Mobius sequencer
Korg MS-20 synth, SQ-10 sequencer
Monome 64 MIDI controller
Oberheim 4-Voice synth, Mini Sequencer, Xpander synth
Orgon Systems Enigiser, Modular
Roland SH-3 synth, TB-303 Bass Line
Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synth
Waldorf MicroWave synth
Yamaha Tenori-on digital musical instrument
Mic, preamp, EQs, compressor, effects
4ms Pedals Triwave Picogenerator
Analogue Systems RS310 Reverb/Chorus
Electro-Harmonix Bass Micro Synthesizer,
Deluxe Memory Man delay/chorus
Focusrite Platinum OctoPre preamp
Frostwave Sonic Alienator alias frequency generator
Korg Kaoss Pad digital effect/controller
Røde K2 microphone
Sherman FilterBank QMF Quad Modular Filter
Solid State Logic Channel Strip
Vermona Engineering Retroverb analog spring reverb
Samplers, drum machines
Akai MPC4000 sampling workstation
Roger Linn Design LinnDrum
Roland TR-606 Drumatix, TR-808, TR-909
Vermona Engineering DRM1 drum synth
Alesis Monitor Ones