Wednesday, June 30, 2010

MP3: Y La Bamba - "Juniper"


Portland’s indie folk band, Y La Bamba, fronted by the prolific Luz Elena Mendoza, has created yet another visionary piece with their latest, “Juniper.” The song, about Mendoza losing her Catholic faith, is a poignant and haunting tale told in Mendoza’s heart-wrenching voice. Loss of faith is such a powerful, life-altering experience because it literally changes everything. It is difficult to do justice to such a deeply transformative event, but Y La Bamba does, and beautifully so. In just the first few lines (“My temple has been compromised/ I was meant to rise/ six feet above my bed”) you are already shaken to your core by the raw emotion of the lyrics and vocals. And it only builds from there, so that at the end you have to remember to exhale.

“Juniper” is off of Y La Bamba’s latest album, Lupon, produced by Chris Funk of The Decemberists and due out September 28.



♫♫♫ "Juniper"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Video: El Guincho - "Hindou"



This video is what would have happened if Max from Where the Wild Things Are had gone on a tropical adventure as a pirate instead of to that weird and kind of scary imagination jungle in a wolf suit. It is also way less depressing than the Spike Jonze movie, which makes it a winner in my book. Playing the xylophone with a pirate hook (next big music trend?) sounds far more appealing than crawling into the mouth of a jungle creature, am I right? The island vacation vibe of the song is a perfect accompaniment to the rowing and exploring in the video. And the part where the duck’s feather ruffle matches up perfectly with the percussion? Pure genius.

El Guincho’s Piratas de Sudamérica EP, out July 13, will soundtrack your summer, and you won't even have time to go through withdrawal because his second album, Pop Negro, is due in the fall.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shakira covers the xx at Glastonbury



This past weekend saw Colombia's finest (legal) export, Shakira, play the renowned Glastonbury Festival in England. Amidst a pretty typical Shakira set (anybody wanna bet that she didn't play "She Wolf"? Anyone?), the pop megastar delivered a faithful, yet surprisingly rousing, cover of the xx's "Islands." While the level of Shakira's artistic acumen has become one of Latin music's great argument starters, it shouldn't be hard to see what's so special about this performance. For starters, the contrast in styles: the xx's work exemplified as being very hushed and silently sensual, while Shakira's is anything but deft and unassuming. Yet here, she finds a nice little bridge between herself and the U.K. indie duo, accentuating the song's dance rhythm without overwhelming the original's intentions. Kind of makes me wish I had been there. Instead, I spent the weekend seeing both of my chosen football teams collapse upon themselves. Damn you, Aguirre.

Oh, and congratulations Argentina. No ill will. BUT HE WAS OFFSIDES AND YOU KNOW IT!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

MP3: Quiero Club - "Las Propiedades del Cobre"


If I remember correctly from my (very) limited education in chemistry, copper is a ductile metal, which means it’s a good conductor. It is also quite malleable. These two properties place copper in Group 11 of the periodic table (okay, I had to look that one up), along with silver and gold. Quiero Club’s latest, “Las Propiedades del Cobre,” which you’ve likely heard by now, shares these same qualities with the Group 11 metals. The track carries and relays the heat and electricity of a muggy summer night in the city, while remaining light and soft enough to mold to fit into whatever form you please. It is the kind of song you listen to on an aimless night-time drive when you're feeling infinite (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, anyone?)

Not that there was ever any doubt about this, but now that we’ve heard two songs from the upcoming album, we are sure it is going to be another masterful, dynamic work from the too-cool band that never fails to deliver innovative pop.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Note From Editor



This is a courteous note from your Club Fonograma editor/head writer/whatever I am, to inform you this blog will be slooow in the month of July and a chunk of August. I will be taking a trip down to the place I was born and believe it or not, there’s no Internet! (ok there kinda is, but seriously out of my budget). I don’t have a clue if I’ll be able to survive without a connection since I’m entirely attached to it, but I think we can all live Fonograma-less for sometime. Actually, I’m leaving behind my amazing entourage so they might get into some action, but know Club Fonograma is only our pastime and is hard to find time for it. I will still try to update the site once a week at least, I only ask you not to drop us off your bookmarks, thank you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Alex Ferreira Covers Rita Indiana's "El Blu del Ping Pong"



“El Blu del Ping Pong” is Rita Indiana’s most popular song in the Dominican Republic, it’s special to us as it was the first (y Los Misterios) song Rita Indiana sent us to see if we would consider it for one of our compilations, as you know, we all fell in love with the project since. Fellow Dominican singer-songwriter Alex Ferreira has come with a nice and slower version of the song, adapting it to his melodic attributes (and lovely voice), holding on to the song’s tasteful raw essence, “este corazon hace ping pong pong.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Los Sudacas - Fuera de Juego EP

Fuera de Juego EP, Los Sudacas
Cazador, Chile
Rating: 48

By Blanca Méndez


Not that it was ever alive and kicking or anything, but I thought ska died with the last vestiges of Sublime and No Doubt, when Gwen Stefani discovered Japan and pop music and recruited her Harajuku girls. That’s why I was surprised that Chile’s Los Sudacas were brave enough to attempt to resurrect the genre with their EP, Fuera de Juego. However, their effort was not valiant enough because the album sounds like something your high school buddies might have put together for battle of the bands that one time they decided it would be fun to be in a band even though none of them had much musical experience beyond playing the trombone in the school jazz band. Sure, you stood in the front row and cheered them on, but you knew that they wouldn’t win.

“Candidato,” the leading track, though not quite as hard-hitting as was it was no doubt intended to be, is actually quite amusing. There are several chuckle-inducing lines, like “voy a pasearme por tu barrio marginal” and “es muy tercermundista como para pedir mas,” that successfully ridicule the disingenuous politician from whose perspective the song’s story is told. And it’s these insincere politicians who come into power all over the globe and who, along with their ambitions, are the true terrorists, according to Los Sudacas. “Ellos son el terror” points the finger at these world leaders and demands they get on their knees and beg for forgiveness. The problem here, as with the rest of the album, is that these declarations that are meant to sound intimidating end up being more comical than anything.

The surf rock-tinged “Los pobres piden al cielo” had the potential to be a thought-provoking commentary on class and religion, but it failed because of poor execution. Instead of truly delving into the matter and addressing the connection between faith and socio-economic standing, Los Sudacas only scratch at the surface with sweeping statements and quick judgments. The song then becomes nothing more than another feeble attack on religion and people of faith. It’s been done so much that it’s boring.

While Fuera de Juego is cohesive and does a good job of sticking to a theme, it’s just not compelling in the least. It seems like Los Sudacas are trying to make bold political statements about ambition, corruption, organized religion, and government sanctioned violence, but it’s an uninspiring and, frankly, lazy effort. And it’s hard to take a band seriously when they have a stick it to the man attitude with a let’s just smoke out behind the gym ethic.

Stream: El Remolón - Pangeatico EP



It’s no secret El Remolon (Andres Schteingart) is our favorite crewmember from ZZK Records, his chromatic vision makes distinct catchy beats and that’s how we like our cumbia. We described his last release Pibe Cosmo as “a journey throughout the American continent” and have deeply enjoyed his B-Sides and Mixtapes, but it’s time for a new proper release, the much-anticipated Pangeatico EP. From one spin alone, this sounds as bouncy as one would expect, and energetic enough to correlate it with these mornings of futbol. The 6-track EP features Fantasma and Boogat, and Fonograma favorite Lido Pimienta, who’s been teaming up with many talented people lately, from his work with Los Espiritus, to Pernett and El Hijo de la Cumbia, to having a small guest appearance on one of the tracks in Javiera’s Mena. We’ll get into Pangeatico in depth later, but so far, we’re loving the artwork, its guests, and the intercontinental vibe in this, looks like a nice EP to follow his stellar debut.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

cinemadosmil: cincuenta canciones



There are good blogger friends, and then there’s Aldo Alvarez Tostado. He is a recent Architecture graduate from Guadalajara and one of my favorite people in the world. Despite having my age (22), he’s one of the most influential people in my appreciation of the arts. We met many years ago through a movie message board and have become good friends over the years. It’s great to know there’s someone out there so in tune with your taste, in both cinema and music. It comes as no surprise that I’m in love with his latest list cinemadosmil: cincuenta canciones, a journey on the decade’s most melodic-cinematic moments, like any good list (in my mind), this is a very personal list from Aldo, but that doesn’t stop me from saying it’s my favorite list, ever. Aldo is currently serving as the managing editor of Mexacriticos & the ACLM (Asociación de Críticos en Línea de México), a project we launched a couple of years ago comprised of professional movie critics, movie bloggers, and cinephiles specialized in Mexican cinema. Find the full presentation of the 50 songs (original or adapted) that comprise this special at Mexacriticos.



50 an inconvenient truth/ i need to wake up
49 la nana/ ayayayay
48 eternal sunshine of the spotless mind/ strings that tie to you
47 la science des rêves/ if you rescue me
46 8 femmes/ message personnel
45 tian bian yi duo yun/ be patient
44 diarios de motocicleta/ chipi chipi
43 about a boy/ silent sigh
42 marie antoinette/ i want candy
41 inglorious basterds/ cat people

40 le voyage du ballon rouge/ tchin tchin
39 the life aquatic with steve zissou/ starálfur
38 (500) days of summer/ you make my dreams
37 school of rock/ school of rock
36 down with love/ here's to love
35 where the wild things are/ all is love
34 stellet licht/ les bonbons
33 les triplettes de belleville/ belleville rendez-vous
32 cold mountain/ the scarlet tide
31 my blueberry nights/ the story

30 o brother where art thou?/ man of contant sorrow
29 billy elliot/ a town called malice
28 i'm not there/ ballad of a thin man
27the squid and the whale/ hey you
26 japón/ anillo de compromiso
25 hustle&flow/ it's hard out here for a pimp
24 les chansons d'amour/ as-tu déjà aimé?
23 wonder boys/ things have changes
22 2046/ siboney
21 a mighty wind/ a mighty wind

20 alfie/ old habbits die hard
19 the virgin suicides/ playground love
18 8 mile/ lose yourself
17 kill bill vol.1/ battle without honour or humanity
16 before sunset/ waltz for a night
15 mies vailla menneisyyttä/ muistatko mon repos'n
14 y tu mamá también/ si no te hubieras ido
13 chicago/ cell block tango
12 inland empire/ loco-motion
11 volver/ volver

10 control/ transmission
09 moulin rouge!/ come what may
08 la mala educación/ quizás, quizás, quizás
07 la graine et le mulet/ guafnohou allama el ghaza
06 hedwig & the angry inch/ the origin of love
05 beau travail/ the rhythm of the night
04 hable con ella/ cucurrucucú paloma
03 dancer in the dark/ i've seen it all
02 fa yeung nin wa/ yumeji's theme
01 mullholland dr./ llorando

Friday, June 18, 2010

MP3: Tomäs Preuss - "La Historia Violenta"



Tomäs Preuss’s hazy voice is a revelation on itself, when you pair it up with a skillful mind that delivers generous heart-warming songs, we got a winner. Preuss works with minimal resources to create great ambience, echoes and barefoot melodies. Late in 2009 he released a charming EP titled Las Llamas Que Incendiaron Mi Casa, a gem to good to stay hidden. Many of you know him already without realizing it, he is one half of Caramelitus, the band he shares with Latin Grammy nominated singer Camila Moreno. Tomas has also embarked in his new adventure, currently recording songs for his new mind-blowing band Prehistoricos.

You can currently hear a demo of a song called “Una Nueva Historia Violenta” on their MySpace, I have a feeling the song will be a hit (within our parameters), it’s got that epic feeling that made big hits out of Pedro Piedra’s “Inteligencia Dormida” and Prietto Viaja Al Cosmos con Mariano’s “AV Corrientes.” But before that song has its breakthrough, you need to hear the first cut (part 1?) of the song under his solo project. In “La Historia Violenta,” Preuss sings about guilt as bleakly as David Cronenberg pens his films. It must feel pretty damn cold to think Frida Kahlo is staring at you, in a room full of suspicion “debajo de mis sabanas que empiezan a sospechar de ti.”


Jowell & Randy - El Momento

El Momento, Jowell & Randy
Machete Music, Puerto Rico
Rating: 60
By Carlos Reyes

We value much of Reggaeton’s aesthetics for their campy value more than anything else. When in excess, the ‘blinblineo’ panache goes from the campy to the douchebag (I’m looking at you Wisin & Yandel), but among Reggaeton’s new voices we find interesting characters taking the aesthetics to a whole new level. Perhaps too hipsterish for the average RockEnEspañol aficionado, but if you’ve enjoyed the genre’s most authentic artists (Arcangel, Alex & Fido, Voltio) make sure to give Jowell & Randy a chance. Their music quality is itself decent, but the whole package is quite enjoyable and even reminiscent to the Mad Decent culture.

No genre builds so much drama on the introduction track than Reggaeton; the “Intro” of El Momento is not the exception. It’s a blast pushing play and hear celestial monk music adorn a reggaeton beat and hilarious lines such as “vamo’ a tirarlos para arriba y esperarlos con el P#&!* bien parao” or “tu me la mamaste y de mi flow te enamoraste.” The intro is followed by the surprisingly titled “Goodbye,” an enjoyable groove that fails in becoming great by a few inches, but mostly because its chorus reminds me of Shakira’s “Waka Waka.” Things get immediately better with the dazzling “Suave y Lento” featuring Wisin, Tico and Franco El Gorila, producers Nesty and Victor “El Nazi” Marioso do some wonderful synths here, although almost ruined by Wisin redundant promo towards the end of the track. As entertaining as most songs are here, none of them reach the catchiness of "Siente El Boom," their collaboration with Tito El Bambino.

“Chica de Novela” picks up on what many would consider to be the ideal narrative, Telenovelas. It’s a got a blowy feel to it that makes the song very likable, closer to Los Rakas but holding on its dream-girl adolescent foundation, “vivir con ella es como si hubieran camaras, luces, accion, como si el mundo nos estuviera viendo.” Even more memorable is “Mi Dama de Colombia” a fun anecdote on love at first sight. To many people’s shock, Puerto Rico’s emblematic reggae band Cultura Profetica collaborates in “Solo Por Ti,” the best track in the album and Jowell & Randy’s heart-on-their-sleeves moment. Jowell & Randy won’t change the Reggaeton for the better and are definitely not a sign of hope for the collapsing genre, what they do offer is a courteous distraction from all the crappy albums we’ve been getting lately.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Video: María Rodés - "Desorden"


“Desorden” is the new video of María Rodés, one of Spain’s new indie darlings, and if I may say, its prettiest girl too. Shot in a gorgeous black and white and making good use of the ‘camara en mano’ technique, they score a visual knockout. It’s simple and yet so revealing. She embarks on a self-conscious examination on love’s misfortune, making an adventure out of her emotional chaos, where she is literally in the midst of strings, revealing her persona through charming gestures wonderfully captured by director Nikita Routchenko. “Desorden” is the second single from Rodés’ sophomore album Una Forma de Hablar, recently published by BCore Disc. Grab her also magnificent song “A Lo Mejor” on our latest compilation.

MP3: Bomba Estéreo "Pump Up The Jam"



If you have yet to download your free mp3 of Bomba Estereo’s cover of Technotronic’s “Pump Up The Jam” you really need to, it’s hot. This is part of the Levi’s Pioneer Revival Recording Sessions, which we weren’t even aware of. Other artists participating in this interesting project include Nas, She & Him, Dirty Projectors and The Shins. This is great news for Bomba Estereo who were recently named MTV Iggy’s Best New Band in the World. Also, they’ve been on fire with Mexico’s indie scene lately, who are a bit behind but finally acknowledging the magic of “Fuego” and their stellar debut Blow UP. It’s no secret we sometimes complain about Latin music’s projection as a savage exotic thing, but when it’s done as admirably as Bomba Estéreo does it here, we can’t help to feel proud. Grab it HERE.

Video: Emmanuel Horvilleur - "12:30"


Emmanuel Horvilleur is one of those artists that really do take breaks in between albums, so much we rarely see him outside his promotional route. This is why the release of his new album Amor En Polvo feels like a comeback, a very welcomed comeback at least from this side. Those of us following his career are aware of his flirty vocals, the sexy dance moves, and the untamed lyrics. His new single “12:30” might not be as monumental and euphoric “Radios” but it holds up to any of his other great singles. It’s interesting how the song is bolted from a kind of religious curiosity and follows its characters ‘on the move.’ The video finds him rocking the skinny jeans, tight leather jacket and boots; only he can get away with that.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Los Planetas - Una Ópera Egipcia

Una Ópera Egipcia, Los Planetas
Sony Music Entertainment, Spain
Rating: 77
By Blanca Méndez

Los Planetas’ latest album Una Ópera Egipcia, immediately brings to mind Guiseppe Verdi’s epic tale of love and war, Aida. In Verdi’s renowned opera, the Ethiopian princess Aida has been captured and forced into slavery in Egypt, and Ethiopia has invaded to free their beloved princess. Egyptian commander Radames has been selected by the Pharaoh to lead the army against Ethiopia, and he must choose between his loyalty to his country and his love for Aida. While Los Planetas may not bring quite the same level of drama with their latest album, they certainly tell a captivating story.

The opening track, “La llave de oro,” is a bold instrumental piece that sets the stage for the rest of the album, much like a prelude sets the stage for the rest of the opera. With Una Ópera Egipcia Los Planetas continue to be inspired by flamenco, though not quite so much as on earlier albums, like La leyenda del espacio. Here they venture out into the pop and rock styles that have earned them comparisons to Joy Division and Sonic Youth.

“Siete Faroles” is an infectious work of kaleidoscopic pop, rich with all the colors and textures of peppy guitars, buoyant keyboards, a sturdy bass line, and a velvety voice – a guaranteed hit. In “No sé como te atreves,” another crowd pleaser, the band is joined by the ever-charming La Bien Querida. This tune of unrequited love requited too late is a masterfully executed duet and arguably the best song on the album. La Bien Querida also appears on, or should I say sings almost in entirety, “La Veleta,” an electronic track that might be more at home on her album than on this one but manages to adhere, however loosely, to the plot of Una Ópera Egipcia. The inclusion of “Soy un Pobre Granaino” and “Romance de Juan de Osuna,” two songs featured on previous albums (Principios básicos de astronomía and Cuatro palos EP, respectively), may be puzzling to some. It might even seem like a cop out. But the songs fit well into the narrative of the album and help develop its story, which is essential to any opera.

The second half of the album transitions into a darker, more mystical sound. “Virgen de la soledad” features drawn out and enigmatic vocals over the instrumentation of “La llave de oro,” a pairing that is almost disconcerting, yet still intriguing. And the closer, “Los poetas,” is a nearly 10-minute-long echoing electro flamenco declaration of love to God. Perhaps so much longing and heartbreak on the rest of the album led to the realization that God is the only one to love (de todo lo que hay, el amo único”). It’s not quite as poetic as the ending of Aida, but, unlike Aida, the ending of Una Ópera Egipcia is not a definite end, but a possible new beginning. And while the album may not exactly be the grandiose work of art suggested by its title (there are no gold crowns, damsels in distress, or brave armored soldiers here), it is still a story worth telling.

Sneak Peak: Daniela Spalla - Magma EP



Daniela Spalla is one of our favorite Argentinean artists, and the answer to our prayers as she’s the closest performer we’ve encountered that does some truly great R&B within our circuit. There’s something in her graceful voice that brings up much of the genre’s qualities, the mid-tempo heights, the introspective secular, the boldness of every phrase and the vulnerability that they seem to leave behind. While we’re fascinated by the soulful tones and contemporary baggage, her first release is also a pop revelation of a powerful voice will be hearing a lot from in the upcoming years.

She is about to release her 4-track debut EP tilted Magma, her first step towards her anticipated full album debut to be completed in 2011. As an upfront, we’re featuring a very special sneak peak of her album, from which you’ve already heard “Por Hoy Al Menos,” one of our favorite tracks on Fonogramaticos Vol.8. The song features Ximena Sariñana doing her best guest work yet. The track is a high-gloss, high-heeled vindication on commitment, “es todo lo que puedo dar sin pensar en perder.” Every layer here is so well adjusted it almost feels choreographed, unleashed, and romanticized towards those last seconds in the song where both ladies sing “no sostengo tanto dolor,” in a devastating realization of the inessential and side of love.

We’re also presenting another track from Magma titled “Arruinarmelo,” which finds Daniela Spalla at her finest, making circular pieces with a piano foundation, to eventually, crack them open in confident and sexy schemes. This is one very attractive half we’re listening to, catch the full release next week at her official website, Magma will be available for free download.


Mashup: Fakuta ("Virreinatos") / The xx ("Intro")



I didn’t really get all The xx buzz last year, but Gorilla vs. Bear’s Chris Cantalini was right when saying, “if you think you don’t like the xx, listen again.” Now I’m finding myself incredibly attached to virtually every song in that record, and if you should know, no, it’s not because Shakira loves them too. When I heard there was a mashup around combining their song “Intro” with Fakuta's "Virreinatos" by Pablo Muñoz (half of De Janeiros) I must say I was thrilled, and in fact, the outcome is pretty awesome. Fakuta’s forthcoming release is quickly becoming one of our most anticipated debut albums. You can also catch a TV interview/performance featuring the sublime “Armar y Desarmar” here, includes a cameo by Gepe.

New Single: Jessy Bulbo - "Permanentemente"

Mexico’s divided indie scenes between Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City are finally converging to one another, finally blurring the lines of their regions and opening their mind and hearts. But there are certain artists everyone seems to respect, among them, Mexico’s riot girl and critical darling Jessy Bulbo. There’s something in her personality that’s appealing to anyone, her enfant-terrible aura and thorny sexiness are part of an essential portrait in Mexico’s rock. In her last album Taras Bulba, she asked weather she should do a Patti Smith shot, it’s this kind of gesture that make us love her, not to mention she’s been versioning Baby J’s “Levanta la mano si te gusta la marihuana” on her shows lately, mad props for that.

Jessy Bulbo is close to finishing what will be her third solo album, once again, produced by Mexico’s best rock music producer Martin Thulin (Los Fancy Free). Her single “Permanentemente” is already rhythmic on its title, it also happens to be a delicious cerebral piece about everlasting moments, structured on a shot-reverse-shot fashion. It’s round all throughout, perhaps not as round as something as “Comal” or “El Sexo Sin Amor”, but as round as any song will be this year (it’s so round we can actually hear her catch a breath, brilliant). I might sound totally off and many of her fans wouldn’t agree, but this song is very Michael Jackson-like, one of those rare songs to shoegaze at the dancefloor.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Video: EL CHAVEZ - "Monterrey"


We learn via ZonaIndie (Argentina's ultimate Indie guide) about this one-band band El Chavez, founding member of Arbol. He is releasing a solo album titled Moron City Groove, and judging from first single “Monterrey”, he’s into something. The colorful video (directed by Fernando Radl) really makes up for the thrilling groovy-cumbia song. He’s already got us dancing to this hot tune and we would love for this to go wildly mainstream, it’s got such potential. “Hoy no se como mis pies siguen bailando este ritmo.”

Fuck Brooklyn, Fuck Her or the Terrorists Win

Fuck Brooklyn,
Fuck Her, or the Terrorists Win
Delhotel Records, Mexico
Rating: 77
By Carlos Reyes

Unabashed electropop that sounds like rock; it’s the latest well-heeled step forward from Monterrey’s Fuck Her, or the Terrorists. The duo comprised by Roberto Polo (Mr. Racoon) and Roger Camara (Bul) finds two of Mexico’s most interesting personas working together. They have so many bands under their arms, but this sure seems like one of their dearest projects; in fact, we could call it a superband, one that’s miles better than the underwhelming and utterly awful all-star projects such as Los Odio and Los Concorde. Fuck Brooklyn is the duo’s second EP that follows their impressive self-titled debut. While the record doesn’t provide an immediate anthem (and anti-anthem) as spirited as “Hipsters,” the new EP is full of awe-inspiring tracks that are as interesting as the band’s name.

Nothing more anthem-striking than to name a song after you, the opening track “Fuck Her, Or The Terrorists Win” is a nice introduction to their melodic flair and vocal juxtaposition, in addition of having one of the best lines in a song this year “you know that payback is a bitch, you better fuck her, or the terrorists win.” The duo features guest vocals from Baby Vargas in a couple of tracks, most notably in “Bounce Back”, where her bubbly intervention twists the electro piece into something closer to hip hop, resembling to last year’s We Come In Piece by d3NdRON. “Circumstance” rumbles in circles, perhaps a bit too obvious at times, but pushes its condition forward with weird, but efficient lyrical styling.

I argue FHOTTW sounds like a rock band, mostly because I find Rock to be complicated and contradictory; although this album is not the hardest thing to digest, my pop sensibilities struggle to recognize and allocate much of their bytes. Nonetheless, these guys bring the house down in something like “Hummback”, the catchiest song here where they prove to be in absolute control of timing and speed. Perhaps the best track in the album comes with the magnificent closing track “Heaventaken”; its structure is anything but nonlinear and yet so cohesive and surprising, it’s the minute where each part really exceed their talent.

Fuck Brooklyn’s download is currently on standby; the album will be liberated once it gets enough subscriptions, sign up here.


Video: Pocz & Pacheko - Zarbak


If you haven’t been following Jovenes y Sexys on Twitter, you really need to. Not only is Cheky the owner of a well cultivated Afro, he is also one of the most reliable tastemakers out there, one of our music soul mates. MusicMondays prove to be something worthy to look forward to when something like this next video is thrown to us, it’s amazing. We don’t know much about this band (duo?) except that they sound good at least in this video. But let’s be honest, we’re just digging this for the awesome spoofy recreation they’ve done to the viral “borrachitos” video, you know, the one breakdance/duranguense clip of two crazy guys dancing to “Un Rayo de Sol” (Oh Oh Oh!). There’s a bunch of spoofs for it, but this, along with the classy adaptation in Los Macuanos’ “Mi Burrita” are definitely our favorites.

Pernett feat. Lido Pimienta & Quantic Cover New Order's "Blue Monday"



This is a very special version of New Order’s “Blue Monday” by the always charming and full of layers Pernett in collaboration with fellow Colombian Lido Pimienta and Quantic. The dancehall anthem gets a twist on the hands of this Colombian genius, who keeps expanding his horizon so extraordinarily that he might just be the most creative guy in Tropical music today. Just like the dazzling Fonograma-featured “Perikitus!” Pernett continues to make “watery delicious fireworks.” This time it’s 7 minutes of steamy landscape accompanied by Lido’s emblematic soothing voice.

Video: Club Comfort - "Jazzin' in the Replay"


New flat-out gorgeous video from Club Comfort, one of Monterrey’s best under-the-radar bands for their newest single “Jazzin in the Replay.” This is the first cut from their forthcoming album, it the impressive Brujita Pop, which we included on our list of Delhotel Records Essentials. If this is the first time you’ve heard of them and yet feel so familiar with the band you’re in the right track, it’s part of the Casa Buenaventura collective, home of 60 Tigres, Fuck Her or the Terrorists Win and En Ventura, they all share the dynamic lead voice of Roberto Polo, aka “Mr. Racoon” (who looks great in a dress here). Last year Delhotel published a special Remezclado album with remixes from Sr. Amable, Album, White Ninja, Mercey Hot Springs, among others. An awesome video (by directors Marcelo Quiñones & Gabo Garciandia) for a song we suspect we’ll be listening to a lot this year.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Featured: Las Acevedo – “Chaka Chaka”



Feature: Las Acevedo – “Chaka Chaka”

Unsigned, Dominican Republic


Las Acevedo is the project Anabel Acevedo and Cristabel Acevedo, two gorgeous sisters from the Dominican Republic making fun, unsuspected and unrestrained music. With only a couple of months of the duo’s formation as a band, the young duo are already starting to create huge buzz on the island, where they have built an audience for their simple and whimsical songs. It’s always exciting to find projects that seem to pop up out of nowhere, that’s part of the charm of Las Acevedo, who by region, would fit into the Dominican Alternative scene (if there is one), next to artists like Rita Indiana (who they say to be huge fans) or even singer-songwriters like Juango Davalos and Alex Ferreira. Las Acevedo are fairly distinct to their peers, that adolescent and picnic-ready characteristics should be enough for hopes of internalization.

The duo started the project composing and singing in English, something common all across Latin America with Indie-Folk-Pop bands. They recorded some very pleasant demos like “The Weather Smells Like Oranges” (from Fonogramaticos Vol.8), a song as wonderfully naïve as it is catchy. But just like Mexico’s Hey Chica! or Venezuela’s Jovenes y Sexys, they have realized sweet melodies are also achievable in the Spanish language. Their latest song and now official first single “Chaka Chaka” it’s by far, their finest moment yet; from the calming and well adjusted harmless lyrics, to the generous blend of pop and tropical layers, this sure seems like a solid starting point for the Acevedo sisters.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Audiovisión, Gepe



Audiovisión, Gepe
Quemasubeza, Chile
Rating: 94
By Carlos Reyes

Daniel Rivero better known as Gepe is today’s leading man in that very special and continuously surprising Chilean indie scene. So many times regarded as a pupil of Chilean icons Victor Jara and Jorge Gonzalez, he proves to be as essential for our generation in his latest album Audiovision, the work of genius. Starting his career with Gepinto, already a cult classic, means to have a massive weight under his shoulders, but Gepe’s miraculous abilities are subdued to his sensibilities, not only are his songs sincere, they speak about the man and the people and the land around him. If he had already shown flexibility in his two previous albums, his latest continues that breed of epic and sophisticated chants, those slices of intense rush that find themselves at a privileged spot in Gepe’s vision of high pop-art.

Gepe exposed a whole new group of Latin-American youth to Chile’s folk by diligently embedding it to the sprawling songs in Gepinto, he later redefined his own notions (and nations) with the risky and ultimately brilliant Hungria. The new album carries on with the two principles, balancing folk and dancehall in unspeakable manners, keeping the descriptive detail he is known for, the observational study of music form we’ve been celebrating about the new Chilean song. The way Gepe expresses affection by setting up a step-by-step structure is mind-blowing. The opening piece “Amigos Vecinos” shows as much generosity and motivation as a community’s call for action. The song describes the friendliest scene, people popping up (to claps on loop) owning a place or a cause, “cuando un lugar ya no es tu lugar sino de todos los demas, tu cara se pone feliz,” sure sounds like the nicest way to show appreciation to anyone answering your call or showing up to your concert.

Audiovisión isn’t much about finding space for exploration, it’s already there; it’s time for the songs, it’s about the songs and for the songs. It’s a splendid ride that feels so close from encountering true definition of the dimensional purpose of the song as a format. “Por La Ventana” serves as a suggestion to let the window of your room and yes, the heart and the mind open, let it be the escape for the dirty laundry we painfully carry and take advantage of the ventilation it provides to sing “alto, sigo, me voy, y ahora me siento major asi.” But what truly makes this single special is the embodiment of Gepe’s personality revealed in this one song; it’s a platform of Gepe the folk-agricultural man, the modern disquieting kid, and the hip hop enthusiastic in him.

Songs like “Alfabeto” and “La Bajada” are well condensed in bundled strings, resembling the timeless “Namas” and its topics on domestic gratification, all while embracing pop music elements with turbulent, collapsing clutches tracing back to Phil Spector. “Estado de Vista” is like a beautiful response to “Por La Ventana”, a front-end piece with politically striking lyrics, it features wonderful guest vocals from fellow Chilean chanteuse Fakuta. The anticipated Javiera Mena-Gepe reunion is becomes reality in “Lienza”, their sublime “Sol de Invierno”, this time they go straight for a smoky suspension that lifts them up to a height where they’re talking about transforming, transcribing, and repairing whatever is preventing them from catching the boat, “y es que siempre viaja solo, como una sola gran idea.” One of the album’s peaks comes with a reconstruction of “Victoria Roma,” a track from his last release Las Piedras EP. This time he gives the track motion and a lot of depth, enough to call it romantic travelogue. “Ayelen” is equally touching, devastating and features what’s probably Gepe’s most subtle moment yet.

“Salon Nacional de Tecnologias” is beyond stunning; it’s an immediate anthem we can actually hear light up and run its course through ageless techno. Gepe’s voice and chromatic strings have rarely been this handy in capturing a nation’s commonalities with its region (la region Sureña). The idiosyncratic of this song hallows in the best of celebratory music, when you add Jorge Gonzalez (my idol) to such eventful track, they really own the key to the arts. Like “Salon Nacional de Tecnologias”, Audiovisión is monumental in celebrating the collective pyramid of audiovisual arts (“que algo se borre o se vuelva a entender”) and humanizing it to the point of singing about its optimum freedom “no es mision de algunos, es parte de todos, es amor de alguien por venir.” I wouldn’t dare to say this is Gepe’s finest hour just yet, but it’s yet another knockout from a guy clearly ahead of his game and yet so in tune with his generation, Gepe "de estilo internacional."

Video: Modular - "Playa Biquini"


I watched this video a few weeks ago and it keeps hunting me when I least expect it (and I mean, when I least expect it). Modular is a daring Argentinean band under Spain's Elefant Records, something you’ll recognize in the first 10 seconds of the video. “Playa Biquini” from their album Fantasias de un Robot Psicodelico is freaking addictive, perhaps annoyingly, I don’t know. My encounters with the song on a regular basis are starting to follow me like the keyboard cat follows misfortune. This part cocktail, part bossa nova, and part robotic trip feels like a futuristic concept on getting a tan in the future, all while sounding retro and embracing the science-fiction premise.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Fader's Pitch Perfect Mixtapes, Includes New Song by Rita Indiana



We've been linking to The Fader a bit too much, but they're on fire lately, they're currently featuring an amazing series of mixtapes powered by the increasingly global-minded site in association with Nike Sportswear. Every continent got its own mixtape and they seem like great sources to catch up with global pop. Mixtape #1 is dedicated to South America, “a land of beautiful extremes,” and in fact, the music here is wild with appearances from mostly Cumbia acts such as El Hijo de la Cumbia, King Coya, Choc Quib Town and Systema Solar.

The other mixtape concerning our circuit (#5 North America) features three ClubFonograma-approved artists including Los Rakas and Toy Selectah. But we’re particularly excited to hear a new Rita Indiana song titled “Poderes,” it’s not at the level of mind-blowing landmarks she's getting us used to, but it's still damn great. We’re glad to finally get something new in this very quiet year for this Dominican visionary, after all, 2010 is supposed to be her year. “Poderes” will be published on an EP by Rita Indiana (no ‘y los misterios’), due on Dutty Artz in the upcoming months and produced by renowned producer DJ/Rupture.

Hear the rough cut of “Poderes” in the following player and download the Pitch Perfect mixtapes here. "La montra llego con los poderes."


Video + MP3: Los Massieras - "Boogity Boogity Boogity"


We might have found Thelematicos’ debut alienating and underwhelming, but we pretty much love the rest of the Discoteca Oceano catalogue, including Los Massieras, even if there’s so little material from them to really judge. They have released a 12-inch sampler titled Bananamania, one that has caught the attention of media all around, including privileged attention from Pitchfork and The Fader. Their single “Boogity Boogity Boogity” has put them on the map with a refreshing dance jam; it’s a celebration from beginning to end and an exemplary tune on wax-cleaning spirit. Pitchfork has premiered a fantastic video directed by Gerson Aguerri, who also directed El Guincho’s colorful “Palmitos Park.” Grab the MP3 via The Fader.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Single: Andrea Balency Trio - "Una Linea Va"

Last year, prior to recording the sublime Defensa EP, Juan Manuel Torreblanca couldn’t hold his contentment when the up and coming Andrea Balency showed up with a jaw-dropping cover for his long-time revealed “Parece Navidad.” In the following months, Balency appeared as a guest musician of our dear visionary to eventually, become part of one of the hottest new bands around. The gorgeous singer has an album ready to release and is ready for her own project to breakthrough, the Andrea Balency Trio. “Parece Navidad” is such an important piece to the Torreblanca and Andrea Balency Trio projects, an inevitable bond they share that now finds a place in an equally stunning new song titled “Una Linea Va.”

Andrea is the owner of a gifted voice and a natural ability to own words, and utilize them to dispatch her feelings to incredible places. If like us, you agree Balency’s heartbreaking line “que me quema los ojos y me quiebra los pies” is one of the year’s most beautiful layers, than you’ll love every second of “Una Linea Va.” A track about self-remorse and the agonizing fear of love, to feel love, “quiero cegarme y no ser.” The song reaches monumental value when Torreblanca’s calming back vocals show up to in to reinforce the mutual soreness love leaves behind when the line (of living in uncertainty) goes on.

La Blogotheque Presents Fernando Milagros


Few artists can claim to be featured on the astounding Blogotheque, hundreds have found their way to do similar videos through inspired projects, but Chilean composer Fernando Milagros gets the real deal singing “Avenida Peru” in the latest episode of Les Concerts A Emporter. Actually, I can only think of one other Latin artist on La Blogotheque’s archive, and that’s El Guincho breaking his head with “Para Que Celebren Todos” at the Villette Sonique Festival in Paris. Fernando caught our attention recently as he made a cameo appearance in Gepe’s “Por La Ventana” video, reason enough to build our interest. This chapter was shot at Valparaiso by the amazing Vincent Moon capturing “songs built around a journey”, make sure to watch parts two and three here.

Featured: Kali Mutsa - "Jauja"



Feature: Kali Mutsa - "Jauja"
Unsigned, Chile

Kali Mutsa is the strange, poignant and out-of-this-world project of Celine Reymond, a popular Telenovela actress in her native Chile. Inspired by past lives, myths and ghosts, this talented and gorgeous artist has made one of the most intriguing characters we’ve encountered in a while, a sort of gipsy in the running to become a pop star. Her songs are full of mysticism; sometimes anecdotes of distant souls and sometimes recollections of rituals, best of all, the songs sound amazing. Also, I think we just found the year’s most eclectic breakthrough.

Some names pop up when trying to figure out her seductive music, from Bonde Do Role and Bomba Estereo, to M.I.A, Valentina Fel and Gang Gang Dance. “Jauja” extracted from Fonogramaticos Vol.8 is the perfect dose of numinous aura and its inevitable luck to become part of the music idiom. Some could argue “Jauja” is a purifying voyage, others will see it as the ultimate tribal dance jam, either way, it’s hard not to fall in love with the song's dusty and magnetic field. Kali Mutsa is currently working on new songs for her debut album, so far so good.



♫♫♫ "Jauja"
MySpace

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Video: Adanowsky - "Me Siento Solo"


Adanowsky is doing a fine job desensitizing his past life as ‘El Idolo’, this time with the very contrasting, shot in black and white video for his superb new single out of Amador “Me Siento Solo.” No better way and place to show fame anguish than by walking through Hollywood’s Walk of Fame singing “me quiero ir de aqui, lejos de mi,” in a deeply painful tone. Those layers of hair that are starting to take over his image say as much as this beautiful video directed by Adanowsky himself and Marc Edouard Leon. While he had an Elvis Presley vibe on the video “El Idolo,” this time he has reached a new height.

New Single: Juanes - "Yerbatero"

Juanes’ new single “Yerbatero” was sent out today to start the on-fire promotion of his latest album. Just as a clarification, we don’t hate Juanes, it’s more of a resentment many of us have towards the industry for filling up our FM radios with what they claim is the ultimate ‘Latin rockstar,’ when we all know he isn’t. He fills the rock-alternative quota with utterly underwhelming songs, not as terrible as Mana per say, but still, a boredom. You didn’t see it, but our staff deeply disapproved of Andrew Casillas' decision to include “A Dios Le Pido” on our Songs of the Decade list, only to find ourselves admitting the song’s unavoidable virtues (plus Un Dia Normal is quite good). But I challenge Mr. Lawyer Casillas to defend “Yerbatero,” it’s awfully bad.

The Colombian star will premiere his single today at the South Africa FIFA World Cup, as if Shakira (and her WakaWaka) wasn’t enough. But see, Shakira is like a goddess, even with such a laughable song she is a better musician and a charmer, something Juanes lacks on every level. As mean as I might sound, it won’t level up to the ridiculous raves this song will be getting in the upcoming hours, example, Latin Gossip: “WOW WOW WOW… it’s amazing, everything we expected and more! Totally Juanes! Totally rhythmic! Totally it!” Sorry for making you read that, but hopefully you get what I’m saying, the balance is off.

Sure, we could act cool and oversee the song and just not talk about it, but this is a Latin Pop music blog, we must speak up. If anything, this song comes to reaffirm Juanes’ sharp sensibility while picking up Colombia’s folklore, something done cleverly in "La Paga" but that sensibility doesn’t go too far when you barely have a template to work with. When trying to be catchy, Juanes falls into the toxic exoticism. Juanes is particularly misguided outside the Santaolalla circuit, something truly noticeable here at the hands of English producer Stephen Lipson. Perhaps not as awful as “Odio Por Amor,” but still painful, this is anything but uplifting, self-remedy ain't for you Juanes.

Video + MP3: Los Rakas - "Soy Raka"

Fader has premiered the highly demanded (and splendid turf) “Soy Raka” by Panama’s hottest act, Los Rakas. They’ve been caring their buzz through every underground outlet on the book, it’s nice to finally see them breakthrough into the pop-culture blogs they clearly belong to. It’s also refreshing to see how well adjusted they seem to be around the Latin Alternative movement, something remarkable considering very few urban artists can make it work (Calle 13, Tego Calderon). The video is technically flawless, but its content has gathered some very heated debate from some of Fonograma’s favorite people like Josh Kun and Toy Selectah who seem disappointed for the song’s chorus “tengo mi pistola y diente de oro”, specifically because such line is shouted by kids. They got a point, considering kids catching up to the catchy tune won’t get the metaphor (gun=mouth), but as their publicist Natalia Linares points out, it’s not so different to those gunshots on MIA’s “Paper Planes.” Catch Los Rakas at this year’s Latin Alternative Music Conference & grab their also amazing track “Abrazame” on our latest compilation.

♫♫♫ "Soy Raka"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

María y José - Mega Calorón Mix

In an effort to keep your summer fresh and full of aural goodies, here is the latest mix from Fonograma favorite María y José. It’s the perfect transition to move away from our Midyear playlists, which we confess were a bit too distracting and strong to write content around them. So while we let these lists sink in for a minute, give yourself a treat with this Mega Caloron Mix (Guaracha Cosmica) from the guy who might be making the year’s most exciting music, from the luminous Espiritu Invisible to the equally moving Kibose EP. Perhaps the most precious minute in this mix comes with Los Espíritus and a very raw demo of a song we’ve been digging lately “Besito en el Ombliguito.”



Mega Calorón Mix
María y José- Calorón Samba
María y José- Playa Triángular
DJ Mouse- Pompi Cadera (DJ Erick Rincón Remix)
María y José vs NT89- Duro Poopa (Mexicanos Al Grito de Jump Mashup)
Lewis Cancut- Get Low (Chico Ye Remix)
Los Espíritus- Besito En El Ombliguito
DJ Erick Rincón & DJ Asa- Todos A Bailar
DJ Sheeqo Beat- Alarma
Lucid-Night Go
DJ Antena- Con La Mano Arriba Todos
??????-??????
WILDLIFE!- Jumbie (Toy Selectah Cósmico Guarachero Remix)
Munchi- Sandungueo
Chico Ye- Rayo Lazer (Reggaeton Mix)
Sandro Silva- Told Ya (DJ Melo Moombahton Edit)
Isa GT- Pa' Las Mamacitas (Sonora Remix)
??????-??????