Friday, June 29, 2012

Josué Josué - Linus EP

Linus EP, Josué Josué
NWLA, México
Rating: 75
by Enrique Coyotzi

While we rarely recommend hip hop acts here at Club Fonograma, you can tell by our Outsiders lists and by some of our reviews that we’re quite keen on the genre.
Recently, in his “Linus” track review, my colleague Reuben “Nenuco del Norte” Torres made an interesting point about how Mexican MCs suffer from “thug/poser syndrome.” An excellent recent example is Niña Dioz. Just check out her latest videoclip for “2 Cool 4 School,” which confirms Torres’ analysis. That entire bad ass/ghetto attitude simply doesn’t seem…genuine. Newcomer Josué Josué is a whole different story. Possessor of a natural, sincere flow, this MC’s verses feel anything but forced. Josué Josué, with his excellent debut EP, Linus, proves that not all Mexican rappers are just bling bling conformists of basic, worn-out beats and narcissistic writing.

His mind-blowing verses in Matilda Manzana’s “Hola Holograma” and live performances with Mock the Zuma introduced us to the mexiquense’s magnetic talent, but a proper release on his own is what we had been anticipating. Selecting exciting beat makers (Reclap, Siete Catorce, Trax) to join up with him,
Josué Josué displays his tasteful loquacity in three monstrous original productions, along with two interesting, yet not essential, remixes of two of these cuts. Featuring Mexicali’s Siete Catorce, the title track is frenzied, almost lunatic, and has the eloquent lyricist displaying in this single banger what he’s all about. Cleverness and effortlessness are the strongest characteristics of Josué Josué’s delivery. Dictating lines referencing literary subgenres (“Quimeras y epopeyas en mi cabeza/Idilios con pereza ocurren con cerveza”), later bringing on a Snoopy character's relationship with his blanket (“Nunca me abandonas como Linus a su manta”) as a sign of dependency, Josué Josué elegantly establishes a balance between classic art/literature and pop culture in his lyrics.

Assisted by Trax, the romantic “Teclado Empapado” is built over a base that samples Monna Bell’s “Un telegrama," absolute winner of 1959's Festival de la Canción de Benidorm.
“Tu lunar/Punto cardinal de mi pasión/Zona de fatal atracción,” the rapper deliciously describes his lover’s anatomy, softly sliding his words through funky bass and vibrant ambience. “Rottweillers” is the EP’s most brutal take. Jealousy and uncertainty take over our rhetorician, who desperately spits out his insecurities while Reclap’s top-notch, urgent beats orchestrate this reflection versus impulses battle. Its production brings to mind, in part, the work accomplished in A$AP’s Rocky prominent LIVELOVEA$AP. A violently encouraging, open-wounded, in-your-face exploration of an artist’s anxieties, “Rottweillers” is brain-induced carnage made poetry.

Two remixes (“Linus (Kryone Remix)” and “Rottweillers (Technic Trouble Remix)”) are included in this EP, yet they could’ve been omitted since they interrupt the cohesion, and frankly, it’s pretty distracting to listen to the amazing original song followed by an underwhelming mix. If only the troubled “Kriadex” had been part of this EP in its final form, it would have been a more solid release. However, despite not including this track or the addition of those forgettable remixes,
Linus is a compelling achievement. He might not be the best MC out there, but Josué Josué’s career, characterized by an authentic voice, ingenious wordplay, and invigorating devotion to his honest art, is one that certainly is promising to grow into something bigger.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Video + MP3: Selma Oxor - "Lo que quiero"


Undoubtedly one the best comebacks of 2012 so far, Selma Oxor is putting the final touches on her yet untitled second album (set to be released via killer netlabel Vale Vergas Discos), which has rapidly become one of our most anticipated releases of the year. Led now by Luxor’s demonically erotic craftsmanship, the sexy provocateur unveils the video for “Lo que quiero,” directed by one of our favorite réaliseateurs, Txema Novelo. Even though it has been floating around Oxor's SoundCloud since last year, “Lo que quiero” feels fresher than ever. If you were turned on by Tony Gallardo II’s horny revelations in “Mi Presa” or “Mango Sweat,” Luxor functions as a female counterpart with her declaration to the guy she wants to fuck (“Tú eres fuego que enciende el deseo/Tú me excitas a cada momento/Dámelo”). With limited resources, yet striking impact, Txema Novelo keeps developing his distinctive signature with inspiring results. Exalting Luxor’s and friends (along DJ Smurphy) sensuality through drugged-out dance moves and irresistible cool, Novelo captures, in this first official video, the wildly evocative spectrum of Selma Oxor. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Video: Los Embajadores - "Peso" (NSFW)




“Peso,” the first single from Los Embajadores’ debut album, Faisanes, has gotten a sensual video treatment by notorious director Rosario González. Properly described by fellow writer Giovanni Guillén as “a song that confronts the weight of the world with serious restraint, then progresses into a celestial time-lapse,” this wonderful effort still resounds even more so after every listen. Resembling Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher, the clip encounters singer Danaé Morales finalizing a probably long and exhausting journey with a visit to the porn cinema. It turns out melancholic and dramatic. Followed by a mysterious guy (band member Cristóbal Gajardo aka Voz de Hombre) from the mall through the city’s streets until getting to the movies, the denouement of this visual accomplishment is overwhelming. After witnessing Morales’ serene crying exalted by the screen projection's light, we can’t help to doubt and question if the character's wishes (whatever they are) will be fulfilled, if this is actually a happy ending.