Como Las Movies (Like in the movies) has been occupying a space where traditional Tejano, Cumbia, and Son Jarocho music meet face to face with synth-heavy new wave inspiration. It’s not a dense space with many inhabitants… in fact they may be there by themselves. But their journey to that space is slightly symbolic of a very specific Latino experience in the US, specifically the Southwest.
The meshing of such distinct musical genres isn’t an identity crisis as some would report, but rather a convergence of bicultural upbringing where strong cultural roots clash up against pop culture. The end product of the Como Las Movies sound isn’t a literal combination of all these styles, it’s frontman Nelson Valente Aguilar’s own experience expressed sonically. Take a listen.
In my personal case it is a sentimental affinity for Intocable, Selena, Flaco Jiménez, and La Mafia. All artists I grew up listening to secondhand from my parents in the car or around the house. And it is coupled with my personal love for bands I actively chose to listen to like The Cure, Talking Heads, and Depeche Mode.
It is by far an archetype for the Latino experience in the U.S. of an entire generation, but when I hear hybrid music like this, it makes me believe it has to resonate with a large cross-section of South-westerners (sspecially music heads).