When Bostich + Fussible (Ramón Amezcua and Pepe Mogt) were growing up in Tijuana, Mexico, their music listening was serious sound clash: Local mariachi bands, American pop, Germany’s Neu! and Kraftwerk, even Hot Butter’s 1972 smash, “Popcorn.” Two albums and many stadiums tours later, Bostich and Fussible’s Bulevar 2000 (Nacional) continues the mash-up. Combining screwball two-beat polka with a variety of ancient and modern synth melodies and the playful brass and accordion of Mexican Norteña, Bulevar 2000 seriously explodes expectations.
“Most of this album we recorded on the road,” Mogt says from Tijuana. “When we got back to our studio, Modular 3, all the road recordings were processed with vintage gear using spring reverbs, pedals, delays, and old analog synthesizers. We mixed high-tech software with really low-tech gear from our studio.”
B+F’s unusual gear includes Melodyne DNA Editor, Monome 256, Yamaha Tenori-On, Percussa AudioCubes, EMS VCS3, ARP 2600, Orgon Systems Enigiser, Future Retro Mobius, Analogue Solutions Vostok, Roland TB-303, Electro Harmonix Bass Micro Synth, 4ms Pedals Triwave Picogenerator, LL Electronics RozzBox V2, Analogue Systems Modular Synthesizer, EML 200, and Oberheim Four Voice.
“Using Melodyne DNA Editor, anything we recorded on the road sounded great,” Mogt explains, “because you can move the sample around, move the notes, and it’s polyphonic, too. Also, we use Percussa AudioCubes for Ableton Live, arranging loops; it lets us create a song very quickly. Later, we edit everything in Pro Tools.”
The Monome 256 and Yamaha Tenori-On look like toys, yet perform like fully adult sequencers. “They are like random generators, but you can prearrange parts of the melody as well,” says Mogt. “For example, in the Tenori-On, you can create a melody, and then you can take the melody you created and the Tenori-On will start creating random variations of the same notes.”
Performing live, playing synths, and controlling a brash Tijuana folk band, B+F invented modern working solutions. “We used the [Apple] iPad’s wireless capability to control all the synthesizers,” Mogt says. “We designed an interface app that looks like a mixer in Ableton Live. It has volume control, sequencer control, and that connects to the computer on the back of the rack of synths. The app is made of two apps together called Oscillator; it lets you design your own interface. The iPad sends signals to the synthesizers and everything goes to the computer. It’s like a MIDI controller for everything. It lets us move on the stage without wires. It’s perfect for what we need to do.”
Want more? Read interview extras with Pepe Mogt HERE.