Mexican Institute of Sound
Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., March 18, 2011
Mexican Institute of SoundDot Com Day Stage, Austin Convention Center, Friday, March 18
Not content to play to a sparse convention center ballroom of industry folks sitting on their hands, Camilo Lara, charmer and frontman of Mexican Institute of Sound, coaxed everyone to the front of the stage. "Otherwise I feel like I'm at a convention center," he quipped before spending the next 30 minutes making it worth their while. Capping a trio of alt.Latino acts curated by Sala de Espera Radio, MIS unleashed its contemporary electronic take on cumbia, classic Latin, and folkloric sounds. The humble Lara, who doubles as president of EMI Mexico, doesn't take himself too seriously. He called 2006 debut Méjico Máxico "terrible," follow-up Piñata "not that bad," and the latest, 2009's Soy Sauce, "pretty good – for us, at least." Joined onstage by a thunderous kit drummer and a producer manning a turntable and drum machine, the evidence indicated otherwise. "Escríbeme Pronto" flipped the script on classic salsa, while "Yo Digo Baila" had the crowd chanting along with the words written on the front of Lara's shirt: "Yo digo baila, tú dices dance." The receptive crowd earned high marks from Lara: "If I was the organizer of South by Southwest, I would give platinum passes to all of you!"