Thursday, September 30, 2010

Black XS & La Blogotheque Present The Plastics Revolution - "Light of Day" (First of Take Away Shows in Mexico)


A few weeks ago our Twitter Timeline was full of little hints from many Mexican bands celebrating the news of their selection for La Blogotheque’s “Black XS Live Sound Take Away Shows.” Among the bands selected are Chikita Violenta, Antoine Reverb, Carla Morrison, 60 Tigres, Natalia Lafourcade, Los Negretes, Mexican Institute of Sound, Lazaro Valiente among others. Some friends of ours tell us Café Tacvba did one too, but it’s kind of a secret. The Paris-based video collective by Vincent Moon has unveiled the first video to be shot in Mexico, featuring Mexico City-based sextet The Plastics Revolution, who we must confess, we had no idea of their existence (La Blogotheque’s magic). This band is definitely interesting, listening to the incredibly catchy “Light of Day” with that Mariachi in Xochimilco is a great way to win our hearts.

Elaine - De verdad, de verdad quiero que te mueras

De verdad de verdad quiero que te mueras, Elaine
The Poni Republic, Venezuela
Rating: 78
By Carlos Reyes

Elaine’s stripped-down protopunk is born and given death in their first and only album De Verdad, De Verdad Quiero Que Te Mueras. The Venezuelan trio that was “too danceable to be punk, and too noisy to be danceable” introduced their galloping noise rock in last year’s Desnuditos EP, promising to come back with a full-length debut, and they did. Unfortunately, this first presentation also signifies the end of the band, which decided to end its course with a sexy and alluring album the band members should feel very proud of. De verdad… is one of the most confident rock albums of the year; they’ve put life and death on the line, crafting an album that rolls around its own inquisitional orbital.

Elaine’s first recordings sound psychotically youthful (particulary "Yes Louis"), not in the realm of bedroom pop, but as kids taking their instruments from a garage to an unsupervised college dorm. They embody the college punk spirit through well-choreographed skuzzy rock that’s grainy enough to shoegaze to, while keeping a girly sexiness to it. Elaine is the beautiful punk girl making honor contracts behind doors; she’s misbehaved, but self-conscious of her seductive wisdom (“Rochelle”). If the album cover isn’t enough to show the band’s glamorous sexiness, perhaps “Puta” will do it. The song’s genuine exuberant drums set up the conditions for a kind of roaring anti-anthem, “puta la madre que te pario.”

What’s fantastic about this record is that although the themes go all over the place, the production is top-notch, it doesn’t get lost in its own cleverness or ambition. “Verushka” is a good example of the band showing good enough cleavage to unveil their noise, it’s funky but glossy. The tracks previously presented in Desnuditos are still the big highlights here, but we can add “Horror Punk” (rockabilly + tropical hooks) to that privileged spot, it’s so fun it’s almost arousing. De Verdad De Verdad Quiero Que Te Mueras has plenty of room to show off its rhythmic abilities, it’s self-destructive when it needs to be, but above all, it’s one of the sexiest albums of the year.

Video + MP3: Plastic Caramelo - "Shake That Chocolate"


It’s been over two years since we featured Plastic Caramelo around these parts; CF was barely starting and cumbia digital was still very confusing to most pop culture blogs from the states. Their off-the-wall hit “Plastic Caramelo” was 2008’s party-starter song every edgy Latin DJ loved to play, but the song never really reached into mainstream despite its massive potential. It was also the first time we were introduced to Glampeta (Glam + Champeta). Our music taste has changed tremendously, but this is one hot band we can’t get enough of.

By now we had added them to the list of one-hit-wonders, but they are back with “Shake That Chocolate”, an essential download from the guys at Generation Bass, who describe the song as “Major Lazor meets Picoteros.” The call-and-response structure of the song should be enough for a second shot at commercial success, this is catchy as hell. There's nothing sexier than a cosmopolitan song that captures a nation's idiosyncratic, and turns it into a real global-pop hit.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Video: Rebolledo - "Fresh"


It's been a banner year for electronic/techno music (otherwise labeled here as "beatz"). We've seen stand-out albums from superstars like Four Tet and Pantha du Prince, to up-and-comers like Mount Kimbie and Actress, not to mention the amazing techno-influenced pop of Javiera Mena, James Blake, and Maria y Jose. But there's still room for some new blood, few of which are hotter than Mexico's Rebolledo at the moment. The first signee to Matias Aguayo's Coméme (get it?) label, the former Playa del Carmen-based DJ has seen his work (both solo and with Superpitcher as "Pachanga Boys") featured on many high-profile compilations, not mention his delicious debut single "Pitaya Frenesi."

His latest video, for the single "Fresh," is a neat little visual exercise, full of ice cream, sunglasses, and, of course, girls. The song itself is a striding bit of confident guitar play and daytime cool. It may not be the biggest banger in the world (though you should seriously go check out that "Pitaya Frenesi" clip), but consider us whetting at the beak for his debut LP next year.

Featured: Lido Pimienta - "Buena Persona"


Featured: Lido Pimienta - "Buena Persona"
Color, Ku De Ta

We’re used to the light-hearted, optimistic Lido Pimienta spreading the love, telling us that music is a calming and healing agent and that we are all beautifully human. We love her for being such a positive presence, but we’re also glad that we get to see a darker side with “Buena Persona,” from her Color LP (soon to be released on vinyl). Unlike the multi-colored warm tones of her other songs, “Buena Persona” is all cold shades of grey.

The beginning of the song feels like standing nervously in the middle of an empty church, soft sunlight shining through stained glass. Pimienta’s voice sounds like it’s echoing from the high, arched ceilings of a sacred temple and the cadence of the percussion evokes a solemn procession. Considering the often religious undertones of a phrase like “good person,” the holy space setting of the song’s introduction is perfect. It makes you think back to all the not-so-great things you may have done recently and puts you in the repenting mood. I guess Catholic guilt doesn’t ever completely go away, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve parted with the Church. But, however uneasy it might make you feel, the song is so eerily beautiful that you’ll be spellbound.

El Guincho - FACT Mix 187


We’re still very proud of having one of El Guincho’s 10 hand-made (customed by Pablo Diaz-Reixa himself) tapes for Gorilla vs. Bear’s ‘Gorila Contra Bear Mixtape’, which featured artists from around the world that have inspired him. This time, he made a stunning and revealing mix for FACT Magazine. FACT 187 collects his Iberoamerican influences that go from Ruben Blades to Los Bukis. Click over to FACT for the tracklist.

Earlier this year the Barcelona-based Guinch released the first instalment in his limited edition Piratas de Sudamérica EP series. Recorded at home with deliberately low frequency response then bounced down to the tape, the EP consisted of covers and rearrangements of South American standards and lost classics. This spirit of discovery informs his totally unique FACT mix, wherein he finds incredible, often unlikely psychedelic resonances in traditional music and pop from the Spanish-speaking world, elegantly editing tracks by the likes of Javier Solis, Rolando Laserie and Gloria Lasso into a hypnotic and righteous flow. We also reckon this is the first and last time you’ll hear a Julio Iglesias track on a FACT mix.

Natalia Lafourcade - 14 Días en Japón


If you need any more reasons to fall in love with Natalia Lafourcade, make sure you keep an eye for Natalia’s webseries 14 Dias en Japon, a travelogue documentary of one of her recent trips to Japan. We all know Natalia’s music is universal, but apparently, her sensibilities click tremendously well in that part of the world (no wonder we get so much undisclosed traffic from Asia). Perhaps Natalia’s relationship with Japan would be similar to that of ‘Morrissey and the Mexicans.’ Here is episode #1, it’s gorgeously shot and seriously, the Mexican chanteuse gets prettier every day. It’s so nice to see her promoting her gig, and that guy at the record store is hilarious… “me gusta Luis Miguel.”

Natalia just finished a mini-tour in the states, and is starting to get everything ready to release a new album next year. The 14 episode series (which is actually a documentary) is produced by Mexico’s amazing video project RaRaRa, expect a new episode every week.

MP3: Eddy Núñez - "Agua"


Eddy Núñez is one of the guys from “y los Misterios”, the energetic and ridiculously cool group of musicians that comprise Rita Indiana’s project. The Dominican sensation is about to drop their debut El Juidero next month, but Eddy is already thinking ahead starting his very dissimilar solo project. He just sent us his first demo recording “Agua”, an obscure little gem condensing minimal sparkling electro with Dominican folklore, “una gota de aire y una gota de agua.” Despite its well-kept gestures (a lo Robi Draco Rosa) it’s so meticulously dark it’s almost psychedelic. It's nowhere near the complexity of any of Rita Indiana's songs, but it's nice to see a lonesome layer of what makes the 'y Los Misterios' hybrid so interesting.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Video: Shakira - "Loca" feat. Dizzee Rascal


We started our Shakira “Loca” single review whining about our readers’ biased hate towards the Colombian diva, and surprisingly, we’ve heard nothing but great feedback about this hot single. There’s something strange going on with Shakira’s edgy pop structure, and people are noticing. Last year, “Loba” made it into our Top 20 best of the year list, was the #4 spot on Pitchfork’s Pop Songs Reader Poll, and had Hot Chip and Patrick Wolf inspired by a very weird song with phenomenal disco strings and overall substance. “Loca” is way crazier, but less accessible, especially on its awful translation. As our very own Andrew Casillas puts it, “whoever is translating her songs into English should get fired.” It used to be Gloria Estefan, but I guess Shakira should just fire English-idiom herself already. This video was shot on the streets of Barcelona, there’s not much artistic value to it, but admit it, those gold pants are crazy hot.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Trailer: Café Tacvba. Seguir Siendo


A rock band traveling many places of the world, and on planes, buses, in hotels and dressing rooms, we discover the creative process that brings them together, their friendship, frustrations and the desire of still being a rock band, the most important rock band in Mexico, on the year that they celebrate 20 years of being Cafe Tacvba.

Here is the fantastic trailer for Café Tacvba's much anticipated documentary Seguir Siendo, directed by Ernesto Contreras (whose debut film Parpados Azules is a masterful) and the very promising documentary director Juan Manuel Craviotto (Los Ultimos Heroes de la Peninsula). The documentary has received nothing but positive comments, particularly on its premiere at this year's Festival de Guadalajara. Albarran, Joselo, Quique & Meme are true idols, the idols of a handful of generations. The doc will see the commercial light in Mexico in November 12, through the distribution of Canal 22 and Canana. Here is hoping it gets to the states soon.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Odisea - Odisea


Odisea, Odisea
Oveja Negra, Chile
Rating: 94 ★★★★1/2
by Carlos Reyes


A one man’s odyssey is only as adventurous and transforming as his surrounding. If such backdrop is conditioned with the possibilities of a blossoming soundscape, an individual can march for his own cause and inspire its own revolutions (as imaginary or extraordinary they may seeem). Odisea is the work of an auteur at the peak of musical venture. Odisea is a personal record in-provision of Alex Anwandter’s pop virtuosity, and his relationship with Santiago de Chile’s self-analytical character. The ex-Teleradio Donoso vocalist is no longer apprehensive with the psychology and logistics of a generation’s dance floor flooded in tears (Bailar y Llorar). The man with the hypnotizing vocal highs and extravagant opus styling evokes Michael Jackson on his rebellion to confront Chile’s unforgiving vigilant mechanical eye and vigilantes.

Odisea is a confrontational record in its structural form and themes. It celebrates and critiques what the opening piece (and transcending motif) calls “Nuestra Casa de Violencia.” Just from the title alone, you can dismiss the idea of a travel writer approach; this is a hypnotic and rhythmic confrontation to his homeland. The setting of the album is immediately grabbing: disco sequencing ornamented with ambulance effects and gospel choirs. Anwandter claims to wake up to the sound of loud speakers and alarms, he keeps his weapon on top of his pillow, and says that every time he wakes up, he becomes more alert of what he sees underneath, a city, “our house of violence.” He is not spitting on the place, he becomes aware of it. He feels the pain and sees the beauty of the place that’s transforming him.

Just like P.D. James’ Children of Men, “Casa Latina” imagines a dystopian era where dehumanization is almost inevitable. It has the aesthetics of Javiera Mena’s “Luz de Piedra de Luna” but turned into a horror scene: “Bebe, has sido un amigo fiel, no me fragmentes yendote.” The end of the world is a pessimistic thought with endless possibilities to reflect on, Anwandter comes out as a digitalized (but very human) Brian De Palma in his narrative methods of questioning life’s artificial nature through text, and practicing an unrestrained-resolving mode of the medium. “Una Nueva Vida” (Vida Maquinal) is technically, the most accomplished track in the album; it strikes for an epic closure of the album’s three first tracks disco-literally-stringed sequence, “no queda tiempo y una vida maquinal se transforma en violencia.”

Anwandter serves well from a series of motifs to convey his ambitious themes, it’s through these slices of emotional tissue that we can consider Odisea as a conceptual piece. The incredibly catchy single “Cabros” is the most commercially viable song in the album, and the most distant within the album’s context; as Alex confessed himself, it’s a measured transitory song between Teleradio Donoso and Odisea. The title track is the most graphic explanation of the odyssey: it’s an endless dream with things falling from the sky, fathers and sons looking up as technology explodes the South of the globe, “la poca tradicion se transofrmara en condena.” If we follow the album’s narrative arc, it’s hard to not be overwhelmed with “Los Gatitos Hermanos Se Reconoceran Despues de Años?” a very Babasonicos-like track about two brother kitties also living on the dystopian city, and who don’t recognize each other despite their neon sights. “No, no, no, no se reconocen, hasta se olvidaron de ese abrazo en la plaza… ya no somos hermanos.” The idea of an event preventing us from recognizing our own flesh is both, frightening and fantastical.

Odisea doesn’t offer any heroes to save the day other than beauty behind it all: “Nuestra casa de violencia, cosa mas hermosa.” What it does offer us is the heroic, 9-minute epic track “Batalla de Santiago.” The disquieting music not only imagines the setting, it orchestrates the sounds of the city, with whimsical trumpets, agonizing sequencing and even mambo. Anwandter goes from Neon Indian to Perez Prado sweating every second of it as the ultimate face off between an individual and ‘the bigger picture.’ Odisea isn’t completely flawless; within its own extravagance it needs some editorial refining since most tracks are too long, but other than that, this is one of the year’s best albums (in sound, composition & aesthetics), one that should put Alex Anwandter on that exciting new Chilean pop prime, you know, up there with Gepe and Javiera Mena.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Video: El Guincho - "Bombay"


(NSFW, y'all.)

If the intro to this video looks and sounds familiar, it’s because you are a huge nerd and saw the Carl Sagan PBS series Cosmos back in the day. In that series, Sagan contemplates the universe and the place that we occupy in it, just as El Guincho, who would actually make a great educational series narrator, does at the beginning of this video for “Bombay,” which is also the trailer for Nicolas Mendez’s film by the same name. We don’t really know much about that film, but if we can climb into a cosmos exploration vehicle and, by catapulting a tape into the air, be transported into a world as bizarrely beautiful as the one in this video, then we want to go to there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Video: Bigott - "Sparkle Motion"


“You have any idea how super cool you are? – I know baby.” The coolest moustache in Spanish indie continues to promote his latest album This is the Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship. We learned via Jenesaispop about his newest video “Cool Single Wedding”, but in there, we actually found out we missed this much more entertaining clip for “Sparkle Motion”, the album’s most cynical and charming piece. Underneath all that facial hair, Bigott seems like a hysterical intellectual with enough magic to pull out choreography. This is a big twist to his very serious roles on past videos. “Sparkle Motion” succeeds for many reasons, but let’s just quote our very own Andrew Casillas on this one: “Bigott doesn’t see dreams as metaphor for real-life, what’s revealed within each song is a mini-examination of one-man’s carnal psyche.”

MP3: Neoplatonics - "Cosmos"


“We’re just a little three-piece band learning how to play.” This is the humble self-description by Colombia’s up and coming band Neoplatonics. The Medellin-based band had small resources available, but they manage to craft a five-track debut EP that has generated significant buzz around our Colombian friends. Cosmos EP isn’t the most solid debut album we’ve heard lately, but it’s a nice start for a band that might not even realize they’re into something; the title track is enough to see there’s some promising material to work with. Cosmos is a strange little gem reminiscent to the early works of El Otro Yo or Charades; it is also a tribute to American astronaut Carl Sagan, a landmark author and scholar of cosmology and science. “Cosmos” is strangely catchy, particularly because there’s barely any true centerpiece chorus in the track, which makes it that much more interesting.

♫♫♫ "Cosmos"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Video: Fother Muckers - "Ola de Terror"


“Ola de Terror” is undeniably, the best track in Fother Mucker’s career-best album Si no tienes nada bueno que decir entonces calla. We’ve already compared the vocal palette in this track to a combination of Enjambre, Los Bunkers and Juan Gabriel; yes, this is a piece built on nostalgia. "Ola de Terror" plays fantastically well while driving at night throughout the city, "tanto la belleza como el horror, no han encontrado mas grande motivacion." Their videos are always hard to sell for all those looking for picture-perfect moments, but there’s nothing more fascinating than bands revealing who they are through a clip. For once, it’s nice to see a band from our circuit not wearing skinny jeans. The redundant guy in the introduction makes the whole video be worthwhile: “in simple words it’s a great Chilean band, their sound is original, very simple, and above all, very original.”

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mi Abuela es Jazzista. Fanzine #3


Mi Abuela es Jazzista is our favorite fanzine; from its irrational editorial choices, to its jaw-dropping design and edgy content, this is a total knockout. This publication is leaded by Luis Angel Martinez, the mind behind Piyama Party, so you can already perceive the kind of cool aesthetics and humorous imagery you’ll find here. We love it so much we have actually printed the previous volumes. For its third edition, the fanzine fully submerged into a zoo… “nos encantan los animales, tambien las bandas de rock.” Along with incredible art, this also includes a story, a poem, and five interviews with Bam Bam, Pipe Llorens, Jóvenes y Sexys, Raul Querido, and The Mocks.

♫♫♫ Bam Bam. "Hi-Q"

New Single: Calle 13 - "Vamo'a Portarnos Mal"


After the very disappointing “Calma Pueblo” (worst of the year material), Calle 13 unveils “Vamo’ a Portarnos Mal”, the official first single out of their fourth studio album Entren Los Que Quieran. The Puerto Rican duo has always been a house favorite, but there’s something going on, everything about this album seems to tear us apart, so far, everything has been a disappointment. Both songs only go as far as scratching a bit of metaphoric sense, they’re both militant songs baffled on chaos. See, while we appreciate the ego-centrism of “Que Lloren” or the social-political density of “Pa’l Norte”, Calle 13’s new songs are more concerned about the heroes in them, than the themes they fail to convey.

“Vamo’a Portarnos Mal” is miles better than “Calma Pueblo”, but still minor Calle 13, mostly because of its contradictory lyricism, which is all over the place. The song’s only consistency is its own inconsistency. Residente sings about behaving bad, yet there’s nothing in there that would defy social sense or scare a 9 year old. The music is a bit restrained, but it isn’t the problem; it’s the lack of substance in the lyrics that’s causing our discontent. You know that weird feeling many of us had with MIA’s Maya or Jay Z’s The Blueprint 3? I’m getting the same vibe from Entren Los Que Quieran (even the album title is tiresome).

Seems like we'll be getting a lot of Merengue hybrids this year, first Shakira's "Loca" and now Calle 13, but we get the feeling we will all forget about them when Rita Indiana y Los Misterios' El Juidero arrives next month, that's the definition of something exciting coming our way. Back to Calle 13; I’ll end up this post the same way I did last time, let’s wait for the album, perhaps these pieces sound undercooked in chops.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Video: The Mocks - "Flaunt"


Over a year ago we featured The Mocks’ catchy track “Flaunt”, calling it a pop stardom song that “radicalizes the pop genre while embracing every single posture of its emblematic grace.” The song was given a makeover by the Monterrey-based duo, taking some of its glossiness away and substituting it with slower, subliminal sequencing, and it actually sounds pretty great. The video conveys the song’s ‘rhythm of the night’ vibe, in the best of urban Cinderella stories, “doesn’t matter who you are, not tonight.” Great use the camera, wardrobe, and art direction. “Flaunt” is a cut from the band's recently released (and soon to be reviewed) M is Adventure, free to download at the band’s website.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bimexicano, Nuestros Clásicos Hechos Rock, Varios Artistas

Bimexicano, Nuestros Clasicos Hechos Rock.
Varios Artistas
Nacional Records, Mexico/Mexican Honorees
Rating: 60
by Carlos Reyes

Mexico’s Bicentenario is a big deal, my friend Aldo Alvarez Tostado couldn’t say it better “it’s not about celebrating the ineptitude of our political apparatus or the questionable side of our social movements… Mexico is much more than its failed political record… I celebrate a fascinating, complex, monumental, almost indecipherable nation, Mexico is the motor of my curiosity, of my searches.” If all the events and projects leading to this celebration were in the name such feelings, keep the love coming. Nacional Records’ Bimexicano is a compilation featuring some of today’s most well-known Latin alternative acts versioning classic Boleros and Rancheras.

Bimexicano is not a scattered pop anthology of the Mexican folklore, it’s much more sophisticated; these are songs every Mexican and non-Mexican know. Only half of the album’s lineup is exciting (and only a few get it right), but it’s interesting to see different generations thrown into the mix. Jaguares starts the festivity with a surprisingly refreshing cover of “La Martiniana”, after years of creative decline they’ve managed to sound sober, almost refreshing. Natalia Lafourcade’s version of “La Cigarra” is predictable, but engaging from beginning to end. We never want to bring up Enrique Bunbury, but, seriously? His cult is so scary. The best moment of the album arrives with the always-reliable Los Aterciopelados with a heart-punching cover of "Un Mundo Raro"; they have a masterful eye for dramatization unlike the very underwhelming and gimmick versions by Sussie 4, Le Baron, and Sr. Flavio.

Nuestros Clasicos Hechos Rock misses substance and barely has any personality between one artist to the next, but the transcendental songs save the day. At the end, these altered reinterpretations work as ideas and good-intentioned cultural leisure.

Video: De Janeiros - "Sambódromo"


Mind-blowing imperialistic new video for De Janeiros’ “Sambódromo”, the third promotional cut out of their debut album Plateado. The Chilean electronic duo comprised by Milton Mahan and Pablo Muñoz make an imaginative, highly-textured industrial sound, one that can be alienating but revealing if there’s an image along. The aesthetics of this video are rusty and gorgeously analog. This clip embalms the screen with outer space imagery and Rio de Janeiro’s extravagant carnival, taking advantage of its costumes, feathers and breasts to make a sci-fi monumental video. Plateado is out now as a free download on Michita Rex.

Chancha Vía Circuito - Río Arriba

Río Arriba, Chancha Vía Circuito
ZZK Records, Argentina
Rating: 73
by Andrew Casillas

Pedro Canale and his Chancha Vía Circuito project is the latest ZZK outpost dedicated to exporting cumbia digital outside of its South American domain. On his full-length LP, the wonderfully titled Río Arriba, Canale continues to propel ZZK’s mission statement of hazy, indigenous-aping/sampling shuffle step, while also expanding the boundaries of the genre outside of the brash-beats of Toy Selectah and King Coya.
Indeed, Río Arriba likely has more in common with indie records like Espíritu Invisible than any of its parent label’s excellent compilations. The dance beats moves at a hiker’s pace; the rubato steeped in a steady groove. Under lesser artists, the pacing would be at a risk of inducing boredom, but Canale still fits his share of grooves in throughout. And the album’s opening trio is indeed some damn fine production work (particular praise going to the remix of “Pintar el Sol,” one of the more beautiful tracks the Club Fonograma world will produce this year). However, after that it becomes more hit-or-miss. Not a perfect record for sure, but something definitely worth the time for those who’ve already come under the spell of cumbia digital.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Featured: Los Espíritus– “Besito”


Feature: Los Espíritus– “Besito”
Unsigned


Los Espíritus, the charming new duo act by Lido Pimienta and Antonio Jiménez (María y José) couldn’t be more exciting. You know they’re two of our favorite artists in the world and we can’t even imagine how good their album will be. They are taking baby steps towards the release of their first EP Aprendiendo a Amar con Los Espíritus, which probably won’t be out until late this year or early 2011. “Pacifico-Atlantico” took our #1 spot on our Midyear Best Songs of 2010 playlist and we still can’t stay away from it. Their less elaborated song “Besito” has been circulating around some corners of the web, we figured it was time to feature it considering how good it is.

“Besito” is inconsistent, raw and sweaty, just like puberty should be. And in fact, Los Espiritus’ main premise is that of sexual awakening, and the romanticism of first love. Adolescence might be the backbone of “Besito”, but it goes further in detail by complementing the novelty of a first experience through religious rebellion, “nunca voy a la Iglesia aunque sea pecado, solo quiero mi besito pequeñito en mi ombliguito.” Another knockout by these two visionaries, by far, one of the best new 'bands' out there.

♫♫♫ "Besito"

Video: Delorean - "Real Love"


“Aside from “Real Love” sounding really, really cool, it shows a density and cohesiveness that shows the band’s growth from Ayrton Senna.” The most blissful and glowing chill-wave band from our circuit released a fantastic Single-EP of “Real Love” the second cut out of the mesmerizing Subiza. The video features the song’s radio cut (2 minutes shorter), which loses some of the intensity of the original’s halfway quiet sequence; still, this song chills our summer with all its watery-distorted disco strings. The clip helmed by renowned music video director Ben Chappel starts as a picture-perfect moment with playful hipsters and their dogs, until the animals take over in the canniest and bloodiest way. Subiza is out now on True Panther (USA), Mushroom Pillow (Spain) and Arts & Crafts (Mexico).

La Reina Morsa - ¿Donde Están Las Jugueterías?

¿Donde Están Las Jugueterías? La Reina Morsa
Cazador, Chile
Rating: 75
By Carlos Reyes


Breakthrough Chilean band La Reina Morsa crafts a cold picnic full of emotional empathy in their debut album ¿Donde Están Las Jugueterías? (not be confused with ¿Donde Jugaran Las Niñas? or ¿Donde Están Los Ladrones?). The album parallels an outside excursion, with a voyage around a winter house; both worlds converged through animalistic motifs and adolescent coming-of-age themes. Hence the irony of the album title, La Reina Morsa is on the search of the place that will house their loopy ideas. Just like they do in their cunningly titled “Sentemonos en el pasto a esperar que las hormigas nos vengan a comer.” Before you assume this is some kind of extravagant tribal adventure, know this is closer to an emo girl’s fantasy of her future: isolated, dreamy, and transitory.

Although an extremely young band, La Reina Morsa skips the conventional pop melodious first record, a la …and the Jellyfish Parade (Hello Seahorse!) or Bruno EP (Jovenes y Sexys), this is a darker and a much more experimental record. It lingers between its own composition and confusion, not every song is functional, but every piece has unprecedented charm. The wonderful (if misguiding) single “Fiesta Pequeña” is the band’s great first impression. It’s a bit too upbeat to set the tone of the album, but it unveils the set of notions they bring into the table; imagining domestic setting with outside wild visitors. They get away with such feral terms by embedding tropical season to a very melancholic base. La Reina Morsa succeeds not because of an extraordinary execution, but for the choices they make.

La Reina Morsa may seem delicate, but they play so much around it’s hard to read their influences. It’s difficult to know where they’re going, and that’s exciting. “Mandarinas y Limones” captures the band’s ability to be all over the place (techno, country & a wall of sound) and still deliver thoughtful, heart-warming pieces. The instrumental pieces aren’t very stimulating, but “Caballito” is a clever samba and a cousin of Calle 13’s “La Jirafa.” Lyrically, the most fascinating track is the secular “El Arca,” a modernized revision of the Noah’s Ark mission not only for animals, for indigenous people too. A solid debut for a very likeable band that just might save us from the flood some day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Video: Big Max - "Por Detroit"


Big Max’s video “Por Detroit” is like “Where The Hell Is Matt?” a la Mexicana. We just found this clip over at our friends at Le Touch and think is one of the coolest things to emerge from the whole Mexican Bicentenario celebration. The video might not be intentioned for the big party but it’s truly fitting, especially as it actually shows Mexico’s daily people & settings. You may choose your favorite setting, but Bob Sponge with a moustache and a sombrero was the true highlight, not to mention the Patrick mascot was probably Barney a few years ago. “Por Detroit” is included in Big Max’s soon-to-be-released Jurassic EP.

El Guincho - Pop Negro


Pop Negro, El Guincho
Young Turks, Spain
Rating: 85 ★★★★
by Blanca Méndez


One of Coco Chanel’s most well known pieces of sartorial advice was “when accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.” And, while Chanel was one classy lady, and her aesthetic an impeccably refined one, I am firmly in the more is more camp. I am that friend that, even when already wearing a gold Picasso jacket (yes, I actually own one) and gargantuan amber ring (yep, have one of those, too) will ask if you have more gold necklaces to layer around my already weighted neck. I will always take opulence over simplicity, and I thought El Guincho was a kindred spirit, at least in his musical sensibility. But with his latest, Pop Negro, it seems that our favorite Canary Islander has taken Chanel’s advice and opted for a more polished production. Unlike the wonderful chaos of the decadently thick layers of Alegranza! that was more Anna Sui than Chanel, we get a cleaner, more organized sound with Pop Negro, making it his most accessible work to date.

First single, and album opener, “Bombay” sets the stage for this change of pace with a sound more subdued than what we’ve become accustomed to. The smooth oohs give the track a warm doo-wop feel, while the lyrics and keyboards give the whole song a pleasant underlying melancholy, best encompassed in the latter half of the song in which El Guincho sings, “Solo yo te pido que te quedes en donde puedas alcanzar lo que quieras conseguir. Y en cambio tu me pides que me quede donde puedas vigilarme hasta que te canses de buscar.” In your wardrobe, “Bombay” would be a long-sleeved mini-dress. “Novias” is more like the resort wear collection. It’s probably a swimsuit or brightly colored maxi dress. The cuckoo clock chirps in the background of most of the song would have been incredibly irritating under any other circumstances, but here it merely adds to the song’s child-like, light-hearted feel and is a testament to El Guincho’s impressive ability to layer sound and percussion in surprisingly pleasing ways. The man knows what he’s doing. He’s also great at making repetition not only interesting, but an integral part of the music.

In “Ghetto Facil,” which starts with the repetition of enigmatic line “caballo negro en tu cara,” the most powerful part of the song is the declaration “eres mi chica de oro con tus labios de oro que iluminan todo.” And while this is not one of the repeated elements, I could listen to that line over and over without growing tired of it. The most effective use of lyrical repetition, however, is without a doubt, “eres un ladron en mi habitacion” in “Soca del Eclipse,” the funkiest and darkest song on the album. It would be the leather jacket or pair of stiletto boots in your wardrobe. “FM Tan Sexy” is obviously the LBD. Near the end of the album, we get a taste of the chaos of yore, with “(Chica-Oh) Drims.” The endearingly clumsy and awkward song is like an Arrested Development-era Michael Cera before he became a cliche. Or maybe more like Sam Weir in Freaks and Geeks. Either way, it’s not quite enough to satiate my thirst for cacophany.

While the album was evidently meant to be more put together, and it succeeded in that mission, my main issue with it was its lack of narrative. It’s trajectory was a very straight, marked path that, despite having a clear route, didn’t seem to have any particular destination. In this, Pop Negro failed where Alegranza! and the more recent first volume of Piratas de Sudamerica (which I would have liked more time with before the release of a new album), succeeded. Even though Pop Negro is not the sartorial equivalent of a multi-colored, multi-textured, heavily accessorized Claudia Kishi or Clarissa Darling wardrobe that I had hoped for, it is still a masterful work of psychedelic pop in that it manages to remain clean and sleek even with all the layers of percussion. It’s an exercise in restraint that would make Coco Chanel proud.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Video: Carla Morrison - "Compartir"


If you follow our Links Bonitos (found at out left column) you’ve probably already seen Carla Morrison’s video for Mientras Tu Dormias' first single “Compartir.” When I first watched the video I thought it was cute without anything really amazing about it, except that it was shot in just one cut. As you can see, I changed my mind quite rapidly. There’s just so much emotional depth in this four-minute sequence; particularly in the way the camera swings from one side to the other, providing its own sense of space and freedom. But above all, it’s just really nice to see Carla’s circular motion embracing the sunset of her native Tecate. “Cada paso que das afirmas mi amar.”

Video + MP3: Los Niños Estelares- "Alegría Doctor Alegría"


Dr Lacxos has been a loyal ClubFonograma reader since its beginnings, and ever since he launched his tumblr DrLacxos De Este Lao, he’s been a great source of content (especially from his native Dominican Republic). Lately, he’s head over heels with Los Niños Estelares, which he calls his favorite Puerto Rican band. Let me warn you, these guys are hilariously demented, in the most bizarre way. Band members Dario Constain Reyes and Fernando Castro-Alvarez are like the clown cousins of Residente and Visitante, they even look like them. This video is only a chapter of what they got to offer, intrepid humor that actually works. This is no joke, towards the end of the clip I found myself appreciating the creative exaggeration of the music, lyrics and aesthetics. Think of them as a Tropical fusion of Calle 13, Tosh.0 and Flight of the Concords. “Ricardo Alegría atrapó a Héctor Lavoe cuando se tiró del edificio.”

Emmanuel Horvilleur - Polvo de Amor

Polvo de Amor, Emmanuel Horvilleur
Sony, Argentina
Rating: 69
By Jean-Stephane Beriot


Horvilleur’s latest album might have a Telenovela-sounding title (or is it too close to that toxic powder?), do not fear, it’s a harmless pop record, “musica para sentirnos mejor.” The former member of Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas makes effervescent pop seem like something easy to accomplish, he is one of a few authentic pop stars that once in a while show up on TV or Radio. He also has the moves of a showman and enough sexy appeal to cause a few girls and boys to faint.

The Argentinean eccentric singer released a phenomenal pop record in 2007 titled Mordisco, which let me tell you, was more brave and edgy than “Abarajame La Bañera.” Horvilleur is influenced by great Argentinean rock legends, European pop, but mostly from black artists, especially the dynamics of a young Michael Jackson or Prince at its prime. Polvo de Amor is uneven and lacks a sense of discovery, there’s barely anything new here, but the album manages to be engaging and uplifting. The colorful disco show opens with “Michael” a post-mortem anthem evoking Jackson’s moonwalk, “mis piernas no paran de bailarte como si fuera Michael en luna llena.” The single, along with other tracks such as “Destino Caprichoso” and the title track are prove Horvilleur’s lyrical style really does catch up to the legend’s midnight disco fury.

The promotional single “12:30” is full of irony fantasy imagery. “Los pies los usa para bailar,” the upbeat piece isn’t kidding around, it makes all kinds of suggestions involving religion and origin; from a crying neon saint to a giraffe using lipstick, all in the name of dramatizing the approaching dance at midnight. The slower songs are very stuffy and too conditional to work, but “Amor Loco” featuring Brazilian singer Ana Cañas is a nice boy-meets-girl track in the best of Miranda! It’s hard to appreciate a pop-disco album after listening to Javiera Mena’s groundbreaking Mena, but Horvilleur’s burnished pop is worth worth a while.

MP3: Las Señoras - "Digitación Alternativa"


Las Señoras is a virtually unknown punk band from Madrid currently promoting their 4-track EP Digitación Alternativa. They’re so underground they don’t even have a MySpace. This could very well be the first of many new bands we like who build their careers on the much more convenient Bandcamp platform. Having said that, we don’t know anything else about them except that they’re an exhilarating all-girl band that rocks hard and loud. Just because they’re all girls doesn’t mean they’re jumping into the lo-fi trend, this is a true punk band making some mind-blowing ramshackle songs. The title track is a piece powered on frustration, it’s trashy yet wistful. If I ever reach a moment of madness where I feel I need to bang my head against the wall, I want Las Señoras’s digitalized sonic hysteria to escort me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Video: Los Massieras - "Rumores"


Spain’s Los Massieras released their first release Boogity Boogity Boogity 12” earlier this year to acclaim from Pitchfork, The Fader, and virtually every edge-pop publication on the web. The duo is back with another EP titled Better Than Italians, out now through their label Discoteca Oceano. Their video for their hit “Boogity Boogity Boogity” was mystical and uncompromisingly glossy, their new video is equally glorious but has even more pop substance to it. “Rumores” is a cover of singer and TV personality Raffaella Carra’s classic “Rumore.”The cosmic clip, directed by Mario Campos, features Natalia Ferviu “making the jaws drop and the slap chop!” Los Massieras take the catchy tune and reorder its chops, creating one truly amazing audiovisual voyage.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Single: Alexis y Fido feat. Daddy Yankee - "Rescate"

Puerto Rican duo Alexis y Fido is a house favorite; there’s simply no other duo in Reggaeton with such high-caliber beats, lyrical sovereignty, and charm. We like them so much we included three of their songs in our CF’s Best Reggaeton Songs list: “El Tiburon” (#21), “Eso Ehh!” (#16) and “5 Letras” (#4). Los Pitbulls or ‘Los Reyes del Perreo’, as they’re commonly called, go beyond the average landscape of Reggaeton. They set parameters and don’t settle for anything less than upbeat rapture.

Their new album Perreologia will be out soon and they just unveiled its first single “Rescate” featuring Daddy Yankee. The song is slower than most of their singles and it’s nowhere near the intoxicating highs of their great pieces, but it soothes the thirst of people like us, who actually enjoy the Reggaeton beat. “No es lo mismo tener un hombre en tu cama a que tu te mates solita,” oh yes, Alexis y Fido along with Yankee claim to be the saviors of a lonesome woman ‘suffering’ self-satisfaction.

Alexis y Fido, still more exciting than 90% of Latin rock bands out there.

Friday, September 10, 2010

CONVOCATORIA: FONOGRAMATICOS VOL.10


Let me have your attention, please. As you know, next month we’ll be releasing our 10th volume of Fonogramaticos, those compilations we know you love. To celebrate such occasion, we’re making an open invitation to any artist to participate with a cover of a song that has defined our blog and our compilations for the last 2 years and a half. (See list below)

As you also probably know, Club Fonograma doesn’t make a dime from the compilations or our daily content, so we can’t pay the bands for any production cost or their valuable time. But for a blog that truly cares about music, you’r participation would mean a lot to us. Part of the charm of our compilations comes from our openness to include unmastered songs and demos; you’re welcome to submit tracks with any sound design/value.

This will be a very uncomfortably complex and unusual situation for us, considering we get hundreds of submissions every month specifically for our compilations. There will obviously be dozens of covers that won’t make our compilation, and we'll feel bad considering these songs will be made especially for us, but we must be selective. For this reason, we’ll give preference to those artists that have been featured on our compilations before, only because we know we can rely on their talent (although not even them have an assured spot). But of course, we’ll be open to consider any artist that has yet to be included.

The following is a list of ClubFonograma-approved songs to cover. But the list isn’t set in stone just yet, let us know if you want to cover something else, but know that these are the songs that define us. Please, if you’re interested, send us an email, tell us what song you want to cover and any info you think we might need. Take a chance! We don’t need 100 versions of “Bestia.”

The songs must be finished by October 4.

List of songs:
Email: carlinhosreyes@gmail.com
  • Aias. “La Truita”
  • Algodon Egipcio. “El Sonido Ensordecedor”
  • Anita Tijoux. “1977”
  • Anntona feat. La Bien Querida. “Tu Hueles Mejor”
  • Anti. “Corazones Legendarios”
  • Arcangel. “Chica Virtual”
  • Astro. “Maestro Distorsion”
  • Bam Bam. “Sin las patas traseras”
  • Banda de Turistas. “El Rogadero”
  • Bigott. “She’s My Man”
  • Bomba Estereo. “Fuego”
  • Capullo. “Merequeteke”
  • Capullo. “No Conectado”
  • Carla Morrison. “Lagrimas”
  • Carla Morrison. “Valentina”
  • Ceci Bastida. “Controlar”
  • Ceci Bastida. “Cuando Vuelvas a Caer”
  • Delorean. “Stay Close”
  • Denver. “Lo Que Quieras”
  • Denver. “Olas Gigantes”
  • El Cuarto. “Las Cosas Han Cambiado”
  • El Guincho feat. Julieta Venegas. “Mientes”
  • El Guincho. “Bombay”
  • El Guincho. “Novias”
  • El Medio. “Que bueno que nadie piensa en mi”
  • Emilio Jose. “Ti”
  • Esteman. “No te metas a mi facebook”
  • Fakuta. “Armar y Desarmar”
  • Franny Glass. “Hoy no quiero verte nunca mas”
  • Furland. “Quiero Ser Un Color”
  • Gepe feat. Jorge Gonzalez. “Salon Nacional de Tecnologias”
  • Gepe. “Por La Ventana”
  • Hello Seahorse! “Bestia”
  • Hello Seahorse! “Universo 2”
  • Javiera Mena. “Al Siguiente Nivel”
  • Javiera Mena. “Esquemas Juveniles”
  • Javiera Mena. “Hasta la Verdad”
  • Javiera Mena. “Luz de Piedra de Luna”
  • Joe Crepusculo. “La cancion de tu vida”
  • Jovenes y Sexys. “El Reloj”
  • Jovenes y Sexys. “Suerte”
  • Juan Son. “Nada”
  • Julieta Venegas. “Bien o Mal”
  • Julieta Venegas. “Lento”
  • Julio Voltio. “El Mellao”
  • La Bien Querida. “9.6”
  • La Reina Morsa. “Fiesta Pequena”
  • Lido Pimienta. “Mueve”
  • Lido Pimienta. “Progreso”
  • Linda Mirada. “San Valentin”
  • Los Amparito. “Las Miradas de Magaly”
  • Los Amparito. “Por Medio de la Lectura”
  • Los Espiritus. “Pacifico-Atlantico”
  • Los Punsetes. “Tus Amigos”
  • Los Rakas. “Abrazame”
  • Los Rakas. “Soy Raka”
  • Maluca. “El Tigeraso”
  • Manos de Topo. “Logico Que Salga Mal”
  • Maria y Jose. “La Tierra Sagrada”
  • Maria y Jose. “Violentao”
  • Matias Aguayo. “Minimal”
  • Napoleon Solo. “Lolaila Carmona”
  • Natalia Lafourcade. “Azul”
  • Odisea. “Cabros”
  • Orlando. “Solo Dios Sabe”
  • Pau y Sus Amigos feat. Bufi. “Fiesta Permanente”
  • Pedro Piedra. “Ayayay”
  • Pedro Piedra. “Inteligencia Dormida”
  • Pedro Piedra. “Sol Mayor”
  • Pernett. “Perikitus!”
  • Pilar Diaz. “Pinata”
  • Pipe Llorens. “Dame Un Besito”
  • Pipe Llorens. “No quiero ejercicios de concentracion, quiero pastillas”
  • Piyama Party. “Fan de Carcass”
  • Prietto Viaja Al Cosmos Con Mariano. “AV Corrientes”
  • Protistas. “Videocamara”
  • Quiero Club feat. Jorge Gonzalez. “Minutos de Aire”
  • Quiero Club. “Las Propiedades del Cobre”
  • Quiero Club. “Musica”
  • Rey Pila. “No.114”
  • Rita Indiana y Los Misterios. “El Blu del Ping Pong”
  • Rita Indiana y Los Misterios. “La Hora de Volve”
  • Rita Indiana y Los Misterios. “No ta llevando el Diablo”
  • Rita Indiana. “La Sofi”
  • Rita Indiana. “Platanitos”
  • Selma Oxor. “Abrazame Demonio”
  • She’s A Tease. “Datos Intimos”
  • Superaquello. “Flor Es Ser”
  • Systema Solar. “Bienvenidos”
  • Tego Calderon. “Metele Sazon”
  • Tomas Preuss. “La Historia Violenta”
  • Torreblanca. “Parece Navidad”
  • Triangulo de Amor Bizarro. “De la criptocracia a la monarquia”
  • Triangulo de Amor Bizarro. “Super Castlevania IV”
  • Valentina Fel. “Sin Control Mi Diversion”
  • Vicente Gayo. “GAYO”
  • Yo! Linares. “Unos amigos, unos vatos, unos gueyes”

Video: Y La Bamba - "My Love Is A Forest Fire"


The newest edition of Filter Magazine raved Y La Bamba’s new album Lupon (produced by The Decemberists’ Chris Funk), calling it “a collection of hazy, whispering ballads steeped in polarizing art-folk and sacred Mexican lore.” The band leaded by the beautiful (and very tall) Luz Elena Mendoza captivated our ears last year with her collection of home-recorded demos released as Alida St. Elena’s soulful voice and religious codified lyrics are especially shining in the band’s newest single “Juniper.” Here is a striking video of the band playing “My Love is a Forest Fire”, it’s beautifully painful. The new album includes two of our favorite songs from them, “Isla de Hierva Buena” and “Soy Capitan.”Lupon is technically, their debut album, out on September 28 through Tender Loving Empire.

MP3: Babe Florida - "Pé de Amoras"

We rarely blog about Brazilian bands, there’s probably a bunch of good ones, but always very hard to keep track of. Lately, we’ve been digging a handful of releases by Brazilian netlabel Transfusão Noise Records, whose catalog is mainly made of edgy avant-pop EPs. We’re particularly attentive of the very intriguing lo-fi, almost punk band Babe Florida. The Rio de Janeiro-based band is fuzzy and compelling, like a clear-minded Bam Bam or a friendlier Wavves. The band describes its sound as an “organized mess”, and they’re right. “Pé de Amoras” is barely a minute long, yet thrilling enough to hold its genre down-low. The band has a tiny Vol.1 EP available for download; 8 songs in 8 minutes. Babe Florida is still on diapers, but they're wearing their influences with incredible confidence.


♫♫♫ "Pé De Amoras"

Drop Your Bra for Rock&Roll, Triángulo Amor Bizarro's “El Baile de los Caídos" Astonishing Fan-Made Video


You’ve seen a bunch of unofficial, fan-made music videos around this blog lately, hope you don’t mind, they’re just too terrific to overlook. The urgency of making a visual parallel to a song is the ultimate sign admiration. This time, it comes from an unknown author who has made a phenomenal clip with Triángulo de Amor Bizarro’s “El Baile de los Caídos” using exuberant & jaw-dropping black&white footage in one of the highlights from the masterful Año Santo. While the song might be about fallen hearts & enterprises, this clip makes a more literal approach showing girls dropping their bras to rock&roll. God Bless Youtube. Triángulo de Amor Bizarro will be releasing a new video next month for the also awesome "Amigos del Género Humano," looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

MP3: Ardnaxela - "Película"

Puerto Rican beauty Ardnaxela returns to the spotlight after her successful debut Telecine De La Tarde Con Ardnaxela (released 5 years ago). We recently posted a beautiful song from that record, “Tirijala” and hope there’s something as sublime in her upcoming EP Fantastidate (although she's currently unsigned, it should be out later this year). Meanwhile, she has unveiled her new very theatrical single “Película”, where she resembles other great pop-rock ladies such as Naty Botero and Ely Guerra. Ardnaxela, who now resides in Mexico City, points to Rocio Durcal and The Pixies as two of her biggest influences, which are clearly visible in this catchy tune.

♫♫♫ "Película"

Prisma En Llamas - Aeropuerto Extrañamente Blanco


Aeropuerto Extrañamente Blanco, Prisma en Llamas
GsshGssh Records, Spain
Rating: 82 ★★★★
by Carlos Reyes


If the waters of compositional avant-pop heaven were to congregate Los Planetas with Animal Collective and El Guincho, it would sound something like Prisma En Llamas. This hot new band from Madrid hints back to some of the late 90s art-rock, to that exciting time frame that anticipated a new millennium by wanting to jump into the future while dragging the goodies from the past. Aeropuerto Extrañamente Blanco converges the spacious conditions of a band that can be both, catchy and abstract, delivering uneasy songs heavy on harmonies and vocal assembly, while keeping an indeterminate idiosyncratic profile sure to surprise more than a few.

Aside from its brave intentions, Prisma En Llamas’ splendorous debut EP takes on a challenge, to emulsify pop tropicalia without subordinating the roomy opportunity to make a personal record. It is in this way that they are able to get away with such a dense song like “HMS” without an ounce of alienation. It’s almost as if their water current was melodically-resistant to an assorted land of baroque-pop, embattled ambient, and scattered noise coming out of their systems and the 4-track recorder they used to record the album. Opener “Hay Una Selva” is a bouncy lo-fi piece that gets everything right, a song that may very well reference Pavement and Brian Wilson despite its fuzzy production.

Prisma En Llamas’ members Hugo and Pablo aren’t the most experienced guys out there, but they demonstrate plenty of skill as members of their side bands Margarita and Ensaladilla Rusa. “Adolf” is an incredibly catchy song; it starts very Animal Colletive-nesque (a lo “Peacebone” & “In The Flowers”), it finds common ground as it progresses its ideas throughout the song, eventually transforming into a bizarre flamenco moon-trip. Perhaps the only drawback in this album is the lack of a lyrical narrative arc to string the songs as a whole. Still, the individual pieces shine in lyrical power; “Oxido” synchronizes the ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ chorus with a Santa Claus costume and in “El Primer Amor del Lobo”, they talk about getting ‘half-way dumb-high’ through the inhaling of glue. They do a phenomenal job with the sound design and aesthetics, but the abundance of lyrics suggests there is an essential lyrical reading to be made.

This isn’t a conceptual or chronological set of songs; it’s rather, a dynamic clash of seven songs disposing a purpose for actual substance. We fell in love with “Cadete” so much that it became our seventh compilation’ theme and one of our favorite features: “In less than 3 minutes, the band builds, chases, encapsulates and discharges sound. Aeropuerto Extrañamente Blanco is only 13 minutes long, rarely has a band revealed so much at such conditions and resources, simply gorgeous.

Featured: Los Amparito feat. Carla Morrison - "Cuatrociénegas"

Featured: Los Amparito feat. Carla Morrison -"Cuatrociénegas"

Fonogramaticos Vol.4 opened with Carla Morrison’s beautiful nana “Valentina” and was followed by Los Amparito’s hit “Por Medio de la Lectura”, seems like their styles really do get along. The new pop sensation and the folk-alternative band have released a new collaboration titled “Cuatrociénegas” as part of Carlos Pesina’s (Los Amparito mastermind) weekly Odio Los Jueves series. It’s raw and flowy, almost lo-fi, yet it’s one of Los Amparito’s most traditional pieces yet. The execution of tiny sonic explosions is phenomenal, especially in the way they counterpart Carla’s angelical vocals.

This is their second song together, last year we fell in love with Pesina’s remix of “Nunca Me Dejes”, still one of our favorite songs from Morrison’s fantastic Aprendiendo a Aprender EP. “Cuatrociénegas” is the perfect song to play on a stormy day, when one becomes aware of nature no matter what, "voy buscando un lugarcito bajo el sol." There are still no details on the much anticipated debut release by Los Amparito, but Carla’s Mientras Tu Dormias drops next month on Cosmica Records.

♫♫♫ "Cuatrociénegas"

Mena's brilliance is eventful, The year's best album?


People are raving Mena all across the web, while we’re the first ones to begin the enthusiasm, we must confess we’re extremely surprise at how well people are responding to the year’s best pop album. For those asking, yes, Mena’s 100 perfect rating is the highest score we’ve given an album since we launched Club Fonograma a few years ago. And we’re not alone, some of our favorite and most reliable sources have nothing but great things to say about Mena. Here, we compiled some review excerpts, not as a way to defend our rating, but to highlight the eventfulness the new Javiera Mena album has trembled within our circuit.


“Pocos artistas logran la mezcla de la popularidad y credibilidad, aca se estan dando las condiciones.”Region Cuatro

“La Mena ha tenido la mision de cachetear a los “mundos pop” conocidos y por conocer, ideando y mostrandonos el futuro de este estilo, lo que deberia ser, lo que deberia escuchar tanto adolescente descarriado musicalmente…”Side of the Blog

“Divas de discoteca, technopop, italodisco, Linda Mirada, objetivo birmania, sonia y selena, roser y rebeca… todo, ella lo es todo.” – La Pagina de la Nadadora

“Triunfara o no, pero tendra uchos fieles y durante muchos años, seguro, gracias a la honestidad de sus sencillas letras sobre el amor y el mundo de la noche y a la tenacidad que ha mostrado en su trabajo.” - Jenesaispop

“It was definitely worth the wait.”MTV Iggy

“Mena es una opera disco imprescindible. Su personaje es una timida joven y su scenario la pista del baile de graduacion en el que sacan los trapitos al sol y surgen historias de amor y desamor que crean un ambiente nostalgico y ensoñador.”Cuchara Sonica

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Orlando - Capullo

Capullo, Orlando
Static Discos, Mexico
Rating: 79
by Carlos Reyes

In the midst of the hipster rush to chase vaguardism, we’re forgetting about the voice as a root and an element of pop music’s soundscape. Let’s face it, aside from the latest Latin Pop chanteuses (Natalia, Ximena, Francisca & Carla), we don’t have much of a vocal backbone lately. My argument is not to comment on an ethnic blockage, it’s rather, a nostalgic memory of a vocally militant past. Tijuana’s singer-songwriter Orlando comes to soothe much of my concern regarding vocals, the guy simply has one of the best vocal instruments in today’s pop. Not to say he’s the most excellent singer out there, but combined with creative songwriting, rich textured atmosphere and sexy strings, Orlando’s debut album is one not to be missed. The fact that he’s decided to call himself simply ‘Orlando’ in times when identity directs to a google search. This is an indication of his authorship and refined classicism.

Orlando is not afraid of making sweet, on-your-face pop music, something no singer-songwriter should be concerned about, but most do. Aside from his voice, Orlando also serves from strings to craft beautiful melodies. We can agree this is a dangerous, conventional approach, but when there’s something to say or a feeling to transport, things turn for the better. This is exactly what happens with Capullo, a shining breakthrough full of mystery ready for its emotional discharge. Capullo’s first single “Solo Dios Sabe” is a monumental piece on existentialism; the way it finds its own mechanism to go from a beat to a string and vice versa is amazing, and the way he extends his voice near the end of the song simply spectacular.

There’s something about this album that reminds me of cuckoo clocks, so fragile and gorgeous looking that one forgets about the painful war of waking up. Much of Capullo is in this way, very mechanical, but only to the point of reaching its own romanticism. The opening song “Donde Va” is the album’s first dose of bittersweet brilliance, “pa’ que sienta el corazon, pa’ que sienta… donde esta el amor.” Orlando makes round songs, but he leaves unresolved parts for the listener to draw to a close. In songs like “El Infinito” and “Tres Deseos”, he sounds some of the early folksy songs from Gepe or Coiffeur, but again, with a more polished voice. Orlando is closer to Anthony and The Johnsons and Tom Waits in this regard.

Towards the middle of the album, Capullo struggles a bit to find coherence from one track to the next, but near the end, we get two amazing songs that make up for it. “Tu Tinta En Mi Sangre” is my runner up for best song in the album. The song reaches a level of sophistication hard to find in Latin Pop. Lyrically, it’s probably the most complex track; it’s a confession on relationships, faith and body fluids. The final track, “Puede Ser” is a haunting little jam that you’ll find yourself singing in perfect tune, it’s that welcoming. A shining and firm debut by Orlando, another one of those artists with the caliber to crossover into mainstream, we need songs like these on radio.