Video: María y José - "Mi Chulita"

Days and months go by and María y José keeps showing up with amazing songs; Tijuana’s Antonio Jimenez is the bomb. While 2009 helped in profiling his projects (María y José, Unsexxy) everything is set for a broader revelation with his upcoming release Espiritu Invisible, the quality is certainly there. Jean-Stephane Beriot has jumped upfront claiming it as his most anticipated album of the year, I’m sticking my guns for Rita Indiana y Los Misterios, but wow this looks good. This is a very cool video for the song “Mi Chulita”, which always reminds me of Mi Banda El Mexicano (especially “No Bailes de Caballito” and “Ma Me Mi Mo Mu”). Dude’s a visionary, also check out Yo Te Odio (previously Yo Te Amo), there's always great stuff in there.

Red Bull Panamerika 74: Bands to Watch 2010 by Club Fonograma

You know how they say one sounds different on record-microphone etc? It’s true! It’s pretty awkward but awesome at the same time, especially if you’re speaking up for something you’re passionate about. I’m a shy kid; I never really speak up, writing is the comfort. So when the nice people from Panamerika (los panas de America) asked me to do a phone session with them, I was worried. Nonetheless the idea was wonderful, making a list of Club Fonograma’s Bands to Watch 2010. Sweet! When they called I was nervous, but I had a blast, and those people are amazing. So go on and listen to the songs (they're hot!), that’s the important part of the whole thing.

Red Bull Panamerika #74: Bands to Watch 2010.
María y José – “Oye Satanás”
Esteman – “La cosa tropical”
Astro – “Mono Tropical”
Carla Morrison – “Buena malicia”
Rita Indiana y Los Misterios – “La hora de volve”
Torreblanca – “Defensa”
Capullo – “Merequeteke”
Ceci Bastida – “Como soy”
Lido Pimienta – “La rata”
Los Macuanos – “Las memorias del faro”
Philipina Bitch – “Aplasta tu generación”
Yo! Linares – “Unos amigos, unos vatos, unos güeyes”
Los Mil Jinetes – “Tarde muy tarde”
Protistas – “Videocamara”

Yo Nunca Vi Televisión, 31 Minutos

Yo Nunca Vi Televisión:
Tributo a 31 Minutos,
Varios Artistas
Terrícolas Imbéciles, Chile/Mexico
Rating: 77
By Carlos Reyes

For those unaware of 31 Minutos, you’ve been missing out. Up to its recent disappearance (hopefully a break), it was Latin-America’s most endearing television series. It was the kind of cultural phenomenon by which many of our kids learned the world through. It was our Yo Gabba Gabba and our Glee too, a delightful, perhaps wicked and weird series, a rare compromise of nutritious television serving as both, mind-provoking and entertaining. Its visual style and confronting stance have stationed it as a cult show, even on YouTube, mainly for its awe-inspiring songs. Yo Nunca Vi Television, Tributo a 31 Minutos is a homage to the show, and to the songwriters of the show: Diaz, Peirano, Salinas, Ilabaca, and Espinosa.

The series have been adapted for the big screen (this is like a parallel soundtrack), hence the brilliance of the album title. While this can be taken as a marketing tool, that thought is easily dispatched by looking at the track list. As you might be noticing, Chile is making the best music in our region, one that is increasingly adjusting to Mexico’s well furnished indie market. This album strikes primarily for this niche, with Chile and Mexico contributing some of its hottest consolidated artists as well as rising talent. For the most part, the artists do a good job versioning these near classics. This is the kind of project where the bands have an equal shot to get it right, and that’s seen here right away. Belanova opens the show with a magnificent take on the title track, to the surprise of many, the most mainstream and hated band here also makes the best song in the album. It’s all bouncy and noticeable, and it gets emotional towards the end. Café Tacvba’s Ruben Albarran seems to practice his multi-personal pseudonym with his Sizu Yantra project too, now called Tepetokio. “La Regla Primordial” is absolutely one of my favorite songs from the show; the band pulls out a wooly yet mesmerizing version, one that follows the song’s lyrics very well: “nunca hacemos algo que no nos parece original.”

Also a standout, Francisca Valenzuela’s raspy take on “Doggy Style”, truly wonderful vocals. The two most popular songs are also in good hands. First, “Diente Blanco” by Natalia Lafourcade and Emmanuel del Real, the delightful pair came back to Hu Hu Hu land rounding the most delicate song of the bunch. The other popular track is well handled by Niña, “Baila Sin Cesar” was already a punk song, the band dressed it very well. The album also features good-to-great versions by Furland, Pedro Piedra and Ximena Sariñana. And then there are some bands that either put too much spice (Bengala, Los Liquits) or fell short from memorable (Los Bunkers, Chancho En Piedra). Yo Nunca Vi Television is a caring and beautiful idea; if anything, this is a reminder to go and add 31 Minutos (the show and the albums) into your audiovisual experience. "Hasta que un día exploto el televisor..."

Featured: Pernett - "Perikitus!"

Sometimes I write good things on Twitter; recently I described Pernett’s “Perikitus!” as a track as waterly delicious as Animal Collective’s “My Girls.” And that could be read as a stretch from my part, because one song is about birds and the other about capturing our current state of individualism, see they’re not too far away from each other, and yes they run through the same vein music-wise. Pernett sings about Colombia in the most colorful and embryonic ways. If your ears need some refreshment, Pernett’s latest El Mago is for you. But we’ll get to the whole album soon; in the meantime let’s get to one of my favorite songs of the moment, and one of the very best from our Fonogramaticos Vol..6 compilation.

“Perikitus!” is a fascinating poetic piece about birds, wings and colors. “Vuelan periquitos sobre Barranquilla, cometas de colores que el cielo estampillan, flores del viento que cantan felices…” That phrase alone should be enough to stimulate the senses, if not, force your way into it, at this point what’s important is to get you floating one way or another. It’s the sound fluttering its surrounding space, a kind of self-aware beauty that celebrates its own march; notice the fireworks between the song’s layers, notice its whimsicality! This is flat-out gorgeous. I found this video over at YouTube, which Pernett uses as visual background for his live shows, very fitting.

Le Disc De Astrou, Astro

Wash Dishes, Chile
By Carlos Reyes
Rating: 82

Astro arrives to Chile’s awesome scene as the new divisive kids on the block. When I say divisive, think of it in its most literal understanding; the love and hate generated by Astro’s galactic-induced songs speak for themselves and reaffirm the band as one of the most arousing and provocative revelations. When we first encountered the band Astro was the luminous project of Octavio Cavieres and Andres Nusser, two young guys driving a spaceship, a couple of months later and they found themselves recruiting two other pilots, a sign of success. “Maestro Distorsion” (a hit on the rise) brought them attention right quick; Le Disc De Astrou hopes to find its place and ground.

Much of Chile’s acclaimed acts got to be recognized for their elaborate approach of the music form; particularly, for understanding they can describe what form is while practicing it. This music vein has resisted flashy avant-garde productions with the exception of its urban acts, whose breaking of the form happens in an as-we-go manner, meaning within the songs themselves. Astro just jumps to it, arranging its musical landscape rather than aspiring to create one. Many see such choice as an easy or lazy handling of the picture, I’m just not a follower of the whole ‘know the rule first and then break it’, but even if I cared about Astro’s understanding of music I’d be very thrilled about these songs. Because when iTunes pops up, the window is in itself, a world of possibilities. Originality becomes second nature and therefore not so relevant, the songs are.

Artistry arrives with personal touch, with that layer of vision that’s in any case, unique. Yes, Astro sounds much like MGMT, Empire of the Sun, maybe even Passion Pit, but what an impressive and ambitious accomplishment. These songs feel like scanned sheets of music thrown into sonic space, pretentious pays off only when one shoots for glory. Just listen to “Raifilter” or “Ea Dem” and feel their massive appeal, they’re a blast and it’s a real treat that they’re so accessible. It’s however that apparent effortless flashy outlook what allows the band to be credible. I’ve spent much of this review shielding their songs but it’s hard not to embrace them, especially when one sees all the genres negotiated here at such close proximity.

While the songs are straightforward and easy to handle, it’s not a bad idea to play by its dynamics. All these pieces follow narrative, if you try to consume them on their abstract you’ll drown. Recognize its choices, like “Hongo Atomic” being thrown into gaudy land and surviving its own tricks, while “Le Golden Ballon” increasing vocal voltage and melodrama (for a purpose). “Maestro Distorsion” is the catchiest out of the bunch, it’s self-explosive and many of us will think of Juan Son’s vocals right away. The most inspired moment of the album lands with “Mono Tropical”, a mystic and baroque track so mesmerizing in and out of its monkey-alienistic creatures. Expect a hit or two from this, and if it’s not your cup of tea, at least recognize its access as a virtue, that’s enough to float on.


Updates are slooow but I’m hoping it’s just a transitional busy time caused by our Spring of 2010 College classes. On top of that, I was paying my duties with the ACLM (Asociación de Críticos en Línea de Mexico), a fun and geeky film club (of about 20 film bloggers, film critics, film professors, cinephiles and whatnot), all in the hopes to recognize the best of Mexican cinema. This is our third year functioning, our previous top winners were Carlos Reygadas’ Stellet Licht and Ernesto Contreras’ Parpados Azules.

This year, the remarkably successful Sin Nombre leads the nominations with 15! Even though I don’t share the enthusiasm of some of my fellow friends, I can’t say the film isn’t good. Luckily, there are three other brilliant films nominated up for the Film of the Year merit, please check them out if you can: Intimidades de Shakespeare y Victor Hugo, Los Bastardos & Los Herederos. You should know the nominees and lists are based upon Mexican release dates, it’s sad most of these films will never be shown outside Mexico. I usually justify this shameless self-promotion by writing about the artists nominated for Best Original Song, but we don’t even have that category this year, there was just not a lot to choose from. Joselo Rangel, Juana Molina, Ely Guerra and winner Devendra Banhart were recognized last year. Full list of nominees HERE.

Top 10. Mexican Films (in alphabetical order)
Backyard: El Traspatio. Carlos Carrera
Cinco Días Sin Nora. Mariana Chenillo
Desierto Adentro. Rodrigo Pla
Intimidades de Shakespeare y Víctor Hugo. Yulene Olaizola
Los Bastardos. Amat Escalante
Los Herederos. Eugenio Polgovsky
Los Que Se Quedan. Carlos Hagerman & Juan Carlos Rulfo.
Parque Vía. Enrique Rivero
Rabioso Sol, Rabioso Cielo. Julián Hernández
Sin Nombre. Cary Fukunaga

Top 10. Foreign Films (in alphabetical order)
Auf der anderen Seite. Fatih Akin
District 9. Neill Blomkamp
Entre Les Murs. Laurent Cantet
Fantastic Mr. Fox. Wes Anderson
Happy-Go-Lucky. Mike Leigh
Kirschblüten. Doris Dörrie
Låt den rätte komma in. Tomas Alfredson
Milk. Gus Van Sant
Two Lovers. James Gray
Vals Im Bashir. Ari Folman

Kana Kapila, Kana Kapila

Independiente, Spain
Rating: 76
By Carlos Reyes

There are albums so dusty within their same shores they’re forced to reconcile their beach-extravaganza with something even more glowing, undergraduate lyricis. For the bad or the worst, this practice has achieved a status of greatness, a kind of eternal youth on sequence; all this sweat to justify brainy drums. And there’s no better place to approach the sunny trend than in Spain’s line of cranky pop, the smartest (although kind of careless) subgenre of the tonti-pop movement. So many stipulations to try to introduce Kana Kapila, a very tricky (and quite impressive) act whose sound lingers in just about any direction and trend in the book.

While all this exposure doesn’t add up to the most original band or the most vanguard of sounds, Kana Kapila is very close to what global pop is beginning to sound like. Not that they are the first band to catch the style (Extraperlo, Coconot and Vampire Weekend come to mind) but Kana Kapila is starting to get the attention while they’re still on diapers, a wonderful opportunity to dissemble the pop trend at its precooked, youthful stage. Kana Kapila is the first proper material of the band, although it still maintains a demo tag, something not really obvious quality-wise. It goes by quick; it’s part of its immediateness and uniform mind-set. Starting the show with “Caribe para niños” is one of the many precise choices that make this album to stand out; there’s just something regarding its structure that is so pleasantly presented, in an invisible style kind of way, where it appears like no choices were made and everything just got on its feet naturally.

One thing to always keep in mind with Spain’s beach pop is that it’s crowded with humor and idiosyncratic wittiness that could alienate listeners, or prevent them to ‘fully’ get it. But here is pretty straight forward, I mean if you know Gloria Estefan and Alejandro Sanz “Frente Tropical” should grab some laughs. The song (and possible single) samples Estefan’s “Conga” and Sanz’s “No es lo mismo” in a hilarious Miami sketchy piece. And it continues with a Kafka-influenced metamorphosis ("Multivitamin"), becoming a fruit!, while “El Coco” provides the possibilities of how to utilize coconut as a recreational, gastronomical and health resource (it just warns you not to make a fragrance out it, thank you!). Throughout the album, it’s hard not to feel an excess of jumps and feel they’re refusing continuity, but other than that, Kana Kapila is a hopeful, cosmopolitan, and reachable cool band.

Vampire Weekend - Toy Selectah's Contra Megamelt Orgasmic Video

Ok, this is another one of those “you’ve seen it in hundreds of blogs, but we’re gonna put it anyways ‘cause we really like it.” Vampire Weekend’s Contra is the #1 album in the country! That’s good news for just about any music blogger out there regardless of the specs. Some people were lucky enough to get Toy Selectah’s Contra Megamelt with their purchase (lucky bastards!) As we told you, this is back to college week for us, and during these chaotic days of purchasing books, finding classrooms, walking through crowds and finding parking spaces, Contra is becoming the friendly soundtrack of our spring. You’ve seen this video too, but not with our template around it, not to sound too arrogant but it looks particularly pretty here.

Featured: Jóvenes y Sexys and Ulises Hadjis. En Petit Comite: Como Siempre Soñe & En Mi

Jóvenes y Sexys and Ulises Hadjis had one hell of a trip sometime ago in Mexico, where they had a nice line of gigs as they promoted their Bruno EP and Presente albums respectively. They made a bunch of friends, got beautiful photographs by Florencia Alvarado and went back to Venezuela with beautiful memories. During their stay, En Petit Comite invited them into one of their sessions, one of our favorites without a doubt. It’s been a while since their session was streamed on the show they are sending us two tracks that you probably won’t find on their upcoming albums or anywhere else for that matter.

First up is Jóvenes y Sexys doing a nice folksy cover of Javiera Mena’s “Como siempre soñe” followed by an engaging collaboration between the duo and Ulises Hadjis titled “En Mi.” While Cheky and Loo are nesting up what will be their first LP, Ulises will have his sophomore album out this year, which includes collaboration with Hello Seahorse!’s LoBlondo.

Coachella 2010

You're witnessing our return to college! Ok, so we couldn't post it this morning and by this time, it's old news. But such wonderful news! Coachella has announced five of our artists to perform at the festival, we would've liked to see something like Bam Bam, El Guincho, Natalia Lafourcade or Hello Seahorse! in there but hey, all this is going somewhere. So, congrats Aterciopelados, Babasonicos, Calle 13, Ceu & Zoe. Full lineup HERE.

Julieta Venegas - "Bien o Mal"

Julieta’s first single from her upcoming Otra Cosa is now available for streaming at her MySpace. We love her good taste, her songs, but also her nice little gestures; like keeping MySpace at top when it comes to music discovery. While it’s true the social network has decayed into its dummy glitter, “Get ripped without ‘rods” ads and Java contamination, our theory is that it’s going back to its basics, as a platform for emerging bands. Back to “Bien o Mal”, sounds great so far. Considering our staff picked up “Lento” as her career-best moment, this new single is sounding very attractive. Oh, and wonderful back vocals by Miranda!’s Alejandro Sergi! A nice love song framed by warm accordion airs and popping synths, "todas estas melodías no decían nada y ahora dicen mas.”

Travelling Partners Vol. 2, DJ Raff

DJ Raff is on the short list for Best DJ of Latin America, after the brilliant Travelling Partners the Chilean disco-stylist has extended his multi-national journey releasing Travelling Partners Vol.2. This is a consequence of DJ Raff and its surroundings, in this case, his encounter, confrontation and compromise with the cities of Santiago, Mexico City, Paris and Berlin. Vol.2 reassures what we already knew; DJ Raff is in full command of his skill and scratching funk and smooth surfaces alike. This is a warm set already in the mood to acclimate its listeners.

There are plenty of grooves here to go around its sketchy but towering form. Best of all, it keeps that pedestrian quality of the man walking through the city, and progressing into something else. First track “Turista Espacial” sets the intention, DJ Raff navigates through the 8-pieced album with stunning confidence. Among its pieces, one can find legendary Jorge Gonzalez collaborating his signature vocals in “Electricidad.” Global Pop for day and night dreamers, musical adventure at its highest realm.

Download Travelling Partners Vol.2


Our most awaited releases of 2010

Rita Indiana y Los Misterios. If justice is done, Rita Indiana and her crew will be so big this year. She already owned much of 2009 and we went even further to include “La Hora de Volve” as one of the songs of the decade, and we don’t regret it a bit. We can only compare this momentum and clear-minded revelation to that of Calle 13 back in the 2004-2005 transition. We’ve exposed “Jardinera” and “La Hora de Volve” on its final stage, and we’ve offered you two other unfinished cuts from the album, “El Blu del Ping Pong” and “Equeibol”, that’s four wonders already. As if it wasn’t enough to keep the excitement, “Da Pa Lo Do” and “Que Bueno Ta Ete Pai” are killing us, really breathtaking stuff. Vampire Weekend’s Contra is good alright, but let me advise you, if you're looking for the tropical horizon, Rita has it.

Alabio Alabao. This is our no guts no glory pick. We have yet to hear any songs or even know what’s it about or even its genre, but we’re in the lookout because it’s the project of Elias Marcos, one of the members (and kind of leader) of En Ventura.

Carla Morrison. So far, her plan is to finish a second EP, but judging from the demos (that we can’t stop playing) and a radiant track we heard produced by Natalia Lafourcade, we’re thinking someone could show up and pick up what’s clearly one of the faces of 2010.

Ceci Bastida. Veo La Marea. She’s got one of the most attractive voices in pop, and she’s taking good advantage of it. “Controlar” was probably the sleeper hit of the year for us, a song we grew so attached to it that it almost reached our Top 10. And, have you heard “Como Soy”? It’s brilliant.

El Guincho. It had been rumored that Pablo Diaz-Reixa would be back this year with another album with his band Coconot, but his second solo LP is a much solid bet. I gave Alegranza! a very abstract reading when it came out, and this past year I became quite obsessed with its hidden, dictating lyricism, try it!

Gepe. Audiovision. The guy who started the new wave of the Chilean song is coming back with a third album, and watch out, he’s saying he really owns it this time. As both Gepinto and Hungria (our #12 & #33 of the decade) transcend into the marvels they are, the new album brings all eyes on him. It’s said to have collaborations with Javiera Mena, Pedro Piedra, Jorge Gonzalez among others.

Javiera Mena. Four years after the release of her debut (and masterpiece), the Chilean darling is wrapping things up for that always difficult second album. We hear it’s got more dance tunes than the first one and some collaborations to get excited about. Reminder, this is the girl who delivered our best song of the decade + second favorite album of the de 00s, yes we're anxious to hear it.

Jóvenes y Sexys. This is sort of our wishful thinking, they have not announced an album yet but it’s about time! That Bruno EP was truly something, but they’ve managed to keep momentum all since, if they do, they just might be our choice for breakthrough band of 2010. Not that they’re entirely new but they could totally have a HelloSeahorse!-2009 kind of breakthrough.

Julieta Venegas. Otra Cosa. The always reliable Julieta is bringing a new one, enough to get excited already. She teamed up with Cachorro Lopez once again and co-wrote songs with Alejandro Sergi and Babasonicos’ Adrian Argelos. But what’s really moving us is to the post-MTV Unplugged album sounds, because it really felt like one of those changing events.

Lido Pimienta. Color EP. This should be out really soon, the first short release from the Colombian sensation, ok perhaps that’s a stretch, but at least a sensation among her colleagues. She’s got that undeniable flawless spark, she’s got the vision and the tools to frame herself into this year’s obligated listens.

Los Macuanos. Ritmo de Amor EP. They’re house favorites, how can we not be excited to hear the best new grupero act out there. It’s truly something, they do weddings and everything, and it’s quite a coincidence both of its members are named Moises!

María y José. Espiritu Invisible. Let’s say we’ve heard it, and we can’t stop listening to it. Two of its songs already reached our Top100 list, “La Tierra Sagrada” and “Ola de Calor”, but the whole thing is full of hits. If there’s something we are sure we’re going to be dancing to this year, this is it.

Mentira Mentira. This band is hot, really mind-blowing stuff. They have an EP circulating around the web (and it's fantastic) but we decided not to review it since they're recreating it properly through Nene Records.

Others: Campodonico, Chak, Choquibtown, Elaine, Esteman, She's a Tease, Torreblanca, Ulises Hadjis.

Feature: Torreblanca - "Defensa"

Featured: Torreblanca - "Defensa"
Defensa EP, Independiente

Torreblanca es una banda.
It’s been a while since we got to write about our dear Juan Manuel Torreblanca, people could say we’re bias for obvious reasons (he’s one of us) but such assimilations can be easily wiped out if you actually listen. Truth is, we’ve been fans for years (if you search you’ve found some stuff we wrote way before he joined us), and it’s finally great to see he will be releasing something. He’s one of those individuals with the whole artiste package, singer-writer-illustrator-multi-instrumentalist-sweetheart, and a great friend. The project is getting a formation under Torreblanca, turning into a band or something very close to it.

Seriously, it felt like a long time but he’s finally doing it, he’s releasing his long awaited Defensa EP and we’re really excited about it. He’s got that deep range rarity in his voice, truly heart-trenching lyrics and a humble but projective aura. After performing with the lovely Natalia Lafourcade for quite some time, it’s time to take on the challenge. “Defensa” is the title track and first cut from the upcoming EP, let me tell you it’s weird (in the kindest way). A few weeks ago when he shared it with us he did warned us about it, it’s a poignant and bold piece aware of its own shadow, “no te sorprendas si me voy volviendo un poco extraño.” It took a few spins for it to reveal itself as an elaborate, eye-popping dazzling song.

La Batalla de Los Blogs

Hey kids! We thought it would be fun to participate, or should I say, fight on La Batalla de los Blogs. It should sound exciting already, ok, maybe not. It’s a site where there are blog battles every week and the popular vote gets the win, Club Fonograma is competing against 12:51, so check it out and if you like us better, please vote! Not that we’re excited about it (honestly), but it would be nice to see you voting and to see CF owning a spot among the ‘winning’ blogs. Another nice moment (takes about 10 seconds) to show your love to us, like every bookmark, comment, like & RT we’ve been getting. But that's only if you want to, hugs!

Babilla, Vico C

EMI Latin, Puerto Rico
Rating: 44
By Carlos Reyes

Sermons dressed as songs, we’ve been there before, but when they meet an emotional over discharged mind, well, it’s easy to jump from the secular to the graphic stylist. Puerto Rico’s classy rapper is back, the influential and now religious-devoted auteur furnished his bloodiest album yet. The iconic Vico C joins that line of in-your-face artists, those whose creations go beyond formulating a theme or putting their mind into songs, they’re so into it they want to change the world. This isn’t a judgment on the honesty of their project, but such pretension only pushes them to exploit the literal, bloody, crude and over-manipulative side of the arts. Not to say Vico C is working on a technique, but he slips quite hard on this one, on a Mel Gibson, Guillermo Arriaga or Paul Haggis level, meaning this is a lyrical disaster. If we keep in mind he self-claims the title of philosopher of the street, careful where you walk.

Desahogo, his last installment, was a great notch of urban elegancy, one socially-conscious but well scoped. Meaning that he was able to get his point across without unnecessary close ups. Babilla is Deasahogo’s exploited cousin, so programmable to impact one would think Vico strikes to make a “Pedro Navaja” out of every song; without the genuineness of an epic tragedy, they end up as explicit dull songs (all within the same disc!). It’s nice to see Vico C arming himself around it, and he is entitled to do so, heck, I’ll be taking with me a couple of his teachings but the beat down was unnecessary. “Babilla” is “Desahogo” all over again, except that instead of predicating about a pen (and its poetics) he angers up with an Xbox (and its content). The culminating seconds of the title track and its entry into the next track is a cruel blood shell, it’s gripping alright, but in the meanest way.

Now, musically, it’s hard to argue Vico C’s beat expertise. On top of that, the guy’s vocals are among the genre’s most precious outlets. Tracks such as “Morire” and “El Silencio Mata” are interesting in their soulful attempt to reconcile reggaeton with preach-chorus dynamics. Let’s say Calle 13’s Visitante wouldn’t mind toe-tapping to the album, “El Corazon Se Pone Bruto” is playful and adventurous. Among the album’s collaborations, Arcangel shows up again, now officially the artist to have on your reggaeton record, as usual, he steals the show. Another of Vico’s right decisions was to keep its tropical fuse intact; “Aqui la que fallo es usted” only works because of it. Need a worst of the year contender? Look no further, “Prueba de Farmacia” featuring La Secta All Star’s Gustavo Laureano is a mess; teen pregnancy isn’t the wrong thing here. Balbilla is provocative, impacting and so muscular on its belief, yet so clumsy and obvious to outshine its cliché tear-provoking excess.

Video: Rosal - "En Circulos"

This has to be one of my favorite videos of the year, for a song that ended up on our Best Songs of the Year list at #69. Argentina’s Rosal might have struggled to internationalize their latest album titled La Casa de la Noche but this video for its first single might help by bringing attention. Directed by Ignacio Masllorens, this is a sort of subliminal warning as the lyrics whisper “soy tu imaginacion.” A lovely contrast between of the black and white entrance and the overtaking red, it’s the blinking hysteria in an enclosed space, and yes, the circular manner of it all what makes it extraordinary. So intimate and dislocated, the lyrics dictate the actions in the most intimate frame. Read more about Rosal + Download the MP3 HERE.

Best of the Decade Recap

Before starting the new year (content-wise), this is a recap post of our Best of the Decade special, just to keep things organized in one place for future reference. Click on the pictures to read our blurbs and listen to the songs.

Top 10 Albums
01. Cafe Tacvba. Cuatro Caminos
02. Javiera Mena. Esquemas Juveniles
03. Porter. Atemahawke
04. Julieta Venegas. Bueninvento
05. Calle 13. Residente o Visitante
06. Emilio Jose. Chorando Aprendese
07. Natalia Lafourcade. Hu Hu Hu
08. Triangulo de Amor Bizarro. Triangulo de Amor Bizarro
09. El Guincho. Alegranza!
010. En Ventura. Los Gandharvas

Top 10 Songs

01. Javiera Mena. "Al siguiente nivel"
02. Calle 13. "Atrevete Te Te!"
03. Triangulo de Amor Bizarro. "El fantasma de la transicion"
04. Hello Seahorse! "Bestia"
05. Julieta Venegas. "Lento"
06. Cafe Tacvba. "Eres"
07. Celso Piña feat Control Machete & Blanquito Man. "Cumbia sobre el rio"
08. Porter. "Cuervos"
09. Rita Indiana y Los Misterios. "La hora de volve"
10. Natalia Lafourcade. "Azul"

Best of 2009 Recap

Best of 2009 Recap. Click on the pictures!

Top 10 Albums
01. Emilio Jose. Chorando Aprendese
02. Natalia Lafourcade. Hu Hu Hu
03. Hello Seahorse! Bestia
04. Juan Son. Mermaid Sashimi
05. Pedro Piedra. Pedropiedra
06. La Bien Querida. Romancero
07. Matias Aguayo. Ay Ay Ay
08. Furland. Historia de la Luz
09. Selma Oxor. Selma Oxor
010. Nuuro. The Reddest Ruby

Top 10 Songs
01. Natalia Lafourcade. "Azul"
02. Rita Indiana y Los Misterios. "La hora de volve"
03. Anntona feat. La Bien Querida. "Tu hueles mejor"
04. Pedro Piedra. "Inteligencia Dormida"
05. Los Amparito. "Las Miradas de Magaly"
06. Hello Seahorse! "Criminal"
07. Bigott. "She's My Man"
08. La Bien Querida. "9.6"
09. Rita Indiana. "La Sofi"
10. Juan Son. "El Resplandor"

Club Fonograma's Best Albums of 2009

01. Emilio Jose. Chorando Aprendese. Review
02. Natalia Lafourcade. Hu Hu Hu. Review
03. Hello Seahorse! Bestia. Review
04. Juan Son. Mermaid Sashimi. Review
05. Pedro Piedra. Pedropiedra. Review
06. La Bien Querida. Romancero. Review
07. Matias Aguayo. Ay Ay Ay. Review
08. Furland. Historia de la Luz. Review
09. Selma Oxor. Selma Oxor. Review
10. Nuuro. The Reddest Ruby. Review

11. Extraperlo. Desayuno Continental. Review
12. Carla Morrison. Aprendiendo a Aprender. Review
13. Bigott. Fin. Review
14. Systema Solar. Systema Solar. Review
15. Antoine Reverb. Goodbye Victorian Houses. Review
16. Piyama Party. Mas Mejor. Review
17. Mr Racoon. Katy. Review
18. Valentina Fel. Valentina Fel. Review
19. Neon Indian. Psychic Chasms
20. Los Amigos Invisibles. Commercial. Review

21. Manos de Topo. El primero era mejor. Review
22. White Ninja. Guacala los modernos y su electro. Review
23. Sr Amable. CUU. Review
24. Gepe. Las Piedras EP. Review
25. Vicente Gayo. Vicente Gayo. Review
26. El Remolon. Pibe Cosmo. Review
27. Pilar Diaz. Pilar Diaz. Review
28. King Coya. Cumbias de Villa Donde. Review
29. Pumuky. El bosque en llamas. Review
30. Mexican Institute of Sound. Soy Sauce. Review

31. Neon Walrus. Neon Walrus EP. Review
32. Anti. Antiaventura. Review
33. Y La Bamba. Alida St. Review
34. Wild Honey. Epic handshakes and a bear hug. Review
35. Delorean. Ayrton Senna EP. Review
36. Bomba Estereo. Blow Up. Review
37. Los Labios. Cumbia Lulu. Review
38. Pepepe. Roba orgon de plantas y animales. Review
39. Happy-Fi Comp 5. Coyote Nights. Review
40. Veracruz. Veracruz. Review