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Café Tacuba / Cafe Tacuba / Cafe Tacvba

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They have been called everything from Aztec B-boys to Mestizo Punks. Through it all, Caf� Tacuba has been able to dodge one tag after another by coming up with thrashing sounds that boil down to only one ingredient: Originality. Their eponymous debut album "Caf� Tacuba", released originally in 1992, went gold in their homeland of Mexico, but more importantly has been recognized as one of the best post-punk albums of 1993/94 in any country. Their second album Re, released in 1994, was hailed as one of the "all-time greatest rock en Espa�ol records of all time" by the Village Voice. Billboard referred to it as "One of the finest Spanish-language albums of the year.."

Part of the bohemian scene in Mexico City, the group named itself after a popular local restaurant. Some of their first gigs were impromptu jams on the streets and subways of the inner city. The brazen quartet is comprised of Emanuel Del Real, keyboards and programmer; Joselo Rangel, guitar and back-up vocals; bass player Enrique Rangel, and lead singer Cosme, who has been compared to everyone from Mexican screen idols to the godfather of punk himself, John Lydon.

But Caf� Tacuba's music is much more than the noisy angst of frustration. On the album, Caf� Tacuba, Cosme can crank it out with any Clash-clone, as he does on the riveting track, "Pinche Juan", but the group shows an even stranger set of colors on the accordion-crazed, "Labios Jaguar (Jaguar Lips)." It is a tongue in cheek ode to Mexican beauties complete with a "Holiday-Inn Lounge" breakdown. The band's arsenal of sounds switches from polka to techno to Madness-like shouts in a moment's notice. Popular songs from that album were the ballad "Maria" as well as "Rarotonga" and "Las Persianas". Re, with twenty tracks, delivered an eclectic mix of cuts, such as the funk-inspired "El Ciclon", "La Ingrata" and "Las Flores".

Says the enigmatic Cosme, "The music that came to us from all over the world goes through our filter and then becomes something different." The band's international breakthrough came when they were able to serve up their punk d'jour to its originators at the Lollapalooza festival in Los Angeles. The critically acclaimed performance, as well as a stint at '92's New Music Seminar opened the doors to their brand of musical lunacy. This all led them to a smash performance at 1994 MIDEM's first-ever Latin American rock night titled, Viva Mexico!

A couple of recent Tacuba touring highlights include opening shows for Santana in the U.S. and co-headlining with Celtas Cortos in Europe. Wrote one Los Angeles Times critic, "It's a vibrant music with influences ranging as wide as Sid Vicious and Sergio Mendez." Only the unlimited explorations of Caf� Tacuba could bring those two together.

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