Club Fonograma's Best Songs of 2011 (20-1)

20. Odio París -
Cuando nadie pone un disco
Since you hear the clicking of the drumsticks announcing the following explosion of noise in Odio París’ dissonant single, you know you’re up to something good. Setting the cadence for the rest of their excellent self-titled album, this anthemic distorted opener is the band’s definitive entry point. With its tense build up and blissful development, melodically captivating and powerfully striking, this track stands as one of the finest pieces to come out from countless shoegaze revival acts and as one of the year’s most splendid rock marvels. - Enrique Coyotzi

19. María y José - “Rey de Reyes” ♫♫♫
“Rey de Reyes” was the unforeseen and outlawed anthem of the winter season. This is the first time in which we see María y José (whose veins carry royal blood) immersing in 3Ball territory, and he's so brutal to the dancefloor that this is the sole definition of SWAG. The way Tony’s vocals chase the Aztec rave beat while dragging some elements of ruidoson into the ritual speak of an artist ready for his own crown. Through comedic hubris and some corrido-striking guts, “Rey de Reyes” is the idolization of the forbidden fruit. - Carlos Reyes

18. Neon Indian - “Polish Girl” ♫♫♫
"Polish Girl" may be Neon Indian's most straightforward pop statement to date, a song that infects every indulgent nerve in whatever part of the brain processes music. But that's no reason to accuse the song of being some kind of red hearing, everything about "Polish Girl" matches the dense sci-fi aesthetics of Era Extraña. Just as classical works go through dynamic changes, this is an allegro movement bursting in chillwave crescendos and a brilliant trip into a grooving territory that Alan Palomo is in full control of. - Giovanni Guillén

17. Juan Cirerol - “Toque y Rol ♫♫♫
“Toque y Rol,” the heart in Cirerol's vernacular-conquering Ofrenda al Mictlan, tells the story "as it is." Stripped down to a raspy profound voice and affectionate strings, the Mexicali hero picked up a guitar and rolled with it until his valve ports bled out. Towards the end of the song he starts to mumble, a hit of weed tends to do that. Is this the ultimate definition of rock&roll? Probably not, but in a contextual culture where notions are hard to hold on to, Cirerol’s bared talents translate as hugs. Emotional range and powerful songwriting are the backbone of a one-man’s poetry that’s in itself, a nation’s legacy. - Carlos Reyes

16. Furland - Faladó Falá♫♫♫
The Furland guys always manage to find that ideal organic-synthetic balance, creating soundscapes that are at once cosmic and arboreal. "Faladó Falá" continues to strike this balance, but takes the Furland sound into bolder territory with bright synth, bouncy folk strings, and hazy, yet punchy vocals. At times it seems like the folk and electronic elements are two separate conversations, but two conversations coexisting instead of conflicting. It's one of those songs with such depth and breadth that it envelops you in an unexpected elegance that's almost symphonic. - Blanca Méndez

15. Pegasvs -
“El final de la noche”
If M83’s Midnight City has been described as a “hook in search of a song” then Pegasvs “El Final de la Noche” would be more of a hook vacillating with the thought of being a song. Despite the fact it's got a very well executed first half with all the roundness of Jessy Bulbo’s “Permanentemente,” and that it becomes an incredibly exciting prog pop jam towards the end, it’s really that hook that’s gonna stick with you for weeks, no matter if you think its catchy as hell or just plain obnoxious. - Pierre Lestruhaut

14. Alex Anwandter - “Tatuaje”
Anwandter’s return to heart-on-your-sleeve songwriting. In this song, the Chilean pop visionary reconditions his past as a sort of explicit capsule, moving forward under the warmth of a four-minute song that marches its pulse under a stripped-down sense of pop songcraft. The image of ink carving beyond the human skin reveals Anwandter as a dreamer and a romantic. “Tatuaje” is so cleansing, fetching, and stirringly-tailored, that it’s, ultimately, Anwandter’s most cultivating shot at newfound freedom. - Carlos Reyes

13. 3Ball MTY feat. El Bebeto
& America Sierra - “Inténtalo”

In an interview with Noiselab a few years ago, Toy Selectah––who has served as a sort of mentor figure for 3BALL MTY since their inception–– predicted that, in the coming years, rave music would become “la música de las periferias,” or the music of the urban outskirts, as it were. “Inténtalo” is a testament to tribal’s new stature as an authentic regional Mexican style with its goal firmly bent on mass appeal. But, almost as if preempting global commodification, it winks at its presumed hipster audience, all the while basking in all its pointy boots glory. - Reuben Judah Torres

12. El Columpio Asesino - “Toro” ♫♫♫
El Columpio Asesino became a whole new band the minute “Toro” was unleashed. For one, because this year they're holding an intercontinental hit. It's their widest known song and a critics' darling already rolling in transcendence. Featuring a simple bassline, a sung-kinda-spoken conversation between lead singer, drummer, and leader, Álbaro Arizaleta, and singer, guitarist, and front woman, Cristina Martínez, the song gently builds up until it sonically bursts (“no me vengas con que es vicio”) and emotionally concludes. Hinting at sex, decadence, and excess in its lyrics, “Toro” already feels like a classic. - Enrique Coyotzi

11. Jessy Bulbo - “Belzebú ♫♫♫
Equal parts songstress and sorceress, Jessy Bulbo might be the most powerful rocker in Mexico. Bulbo's "Belzebú" can be heard as a downtempo and delirious inversion of M.I.A's "Paper Planes." At the same time, the track's hypnotic spells of piano breaks serves as a reference point to White Magic, among other analog dissensions in the mapping of the witch house field. Throughout her dark prayer to Belzebú (or Lucifer), Bulbo medidates on the poetic journey of the diabolic figure. Ultimately, I am left wondering when will we see the immersion of a new Mexico City banda dedicated to the realization of the Cult of Bulbo. - Adrian Mata Anaya

10. Rebolledo feat. Matías Aguayo
& Diegors
“La Pena”
Since my very first spin of "La Pena," I've been selling this as the meeting of El General and Ry Cooder at the microdisco, when in reality, I should've been shouting how this is the single most life-celebrating song since Celia Cruz's "La Vida Es Un Carnaval." Yes, the horror disco whips might articulate early onset dementia, but this is the labor of a sinister virtuoso. Because life is indeed, worth it, Rebolledo and friends evoke that Latin-American sorrow (the same Bolaño and Rulfo wrote about) that is in itself, a merriment of our very own idiosyncratic. - Carlos Reyes

09. Mueran Humanos -
If your own mother says you're garbage, and reaffirms it right afterwords with an accentuation that echoes all the way down to diabolical caverns, than you probably are a monster indeed. This is the gore notion you get in the year's most brutal song. Affection and harm start with the family, and when the soul and body are nourished with such dissonant aggression, smiling to the world isn't a gesture you can afford. Yet, the beast in this landfill finds the goodness in him. Even if it's pure compassion, you can't help but to sing along when horror is turned into gorgeousness. - Carlos Reyes

08. María y José - “Granada” ♫♫♫
Fuck Bruno Mars. Tony Gallardo made the best song about a grenade this year. Remember that ending scene in Reygadas' Batalla en el Cielo when a Mexican army retrieved a colossally large Mexican flag from Mexico City's Plaza de la Constitución to the wounding drums of an infantry band? Well, "Granada" is the song that should've followed during the ending credits. This visceral piece starts on the edge of redemption and marches its way into a baroque, step-by-step danced tragedy about loosing sanity. Gallardo is not looking to catch a grenade, he's searching for the peace that will make his body and torned-to-pieces heart even. - Carlos Reyes

07. White Ninja - “El Alfa” ♫♫♫
White Ninja’s flirtations with wavelength allocate the act as part of the exciting group of artists pulsating rhythm into faded synth-pop memories (Neon Indian, Washed Out, Toro y Moi). But unlike these contemporaries, White Ninja has the psychotropic vertebrate to travel within its own grooves. When, in the first sequence of compression, springs start bouncing in “El Alfa," you just know this will be a bewildering adventure of proportion and digital blossoming. This is a song that progresses from a perplexed urban number to a sort of futuristic cumbia. - Carlos Reyes

06. Violeta Vil - “Amish ♫♫♫
Perhaps the most seductive song in a while. In this track (explicitly referred as a demo), we've come to understand what the VV fuss is all about (watch out 2012!). "Amish" is the story of a teenager in the sect who finds it in his heart to venture to the outside - to an exotic world we find normal, and yet, for him, is the embellishment of his identity and his last act of faith. Even more fascinating is the way VV juxtaposed the Amish character within his environment. See, the real secluded element in the track is a line of whispered microhouse in hopes of relief from its isolated, tormenting noise. - Carlos Reyes

05. Bam Bam - “Abismático” ♫♫♫
"Let's hear us in silence. Make an attempt." That's how it starts. Except, instead of going back to your house, Bam Bam would rather invade your brain. Behind the maniacal chanting and rumbling percussion lies the feeling of all tension and pathos being ripped apart with no regard. Push and pull, lightning crashes, etc. It's rock and roll but that type that WILL DESTROY YOUR (metaphysical) SHIT. Cause that's what maniacs do. It comes together, the way it does in GREAT films. - Andrew Casillas

04. Mamacita - “No Eres Tú”
“No Eres Tú” presents itself with a disembodied armor of disco sequences, and a whispering disco string announcing a hurtful realization: “Te he conocido todo este tiempo, me he dado cuenta quien eres tú.” Vocally, Mamacita could be described as an encounter between "upside-down" Diana Ross and Las Chicas del Can, occasionally exploding into the fetishism of Mariah Carey’s songbird abilities. A consumption song had rarely been this introspective. To feel like you’re not yourself once in a while is a beautiful and thrilling thought. - Carlos Reyes

03. Dávila 666 -
“Esa nena nunca regreso” ♫♫♫
Any song that causes your mom to sing the chorus within 30 seconds of playing it must contain some inkling of genius. Either that or it’s just really damn catchy. Somehow I suspect that “Esa Nena Nunca Regresó” is both. While I admit that the whole sunny, 60s garage rock revival has mostly eluded me, there’s no denying that Dávila 666 rocked the year like no other Iberoamerican act, delivering an excellent album that is all but devoid of fillers. Also, Scarlett Johansson was at their Cinco de Mayo party in New York. Probably. Maybe. - Reuben Judah Torres

02. Adrianigual -
“Me gusta la noche”
Before the booming of Chilean pop, Adrianigual had already secured a page of on our history book through their kill-your-generation anthem “La Mistica Espiral.” Four years later, they've achieved linear progression in the year's most polished and fulfilling jam. Armed to the fullest, "Me Gusta La Noche" is rowdy and chaotic, yet so warm and orchestral. Without marginalizing its topics to adolescent agony, Adrianigual sings about “dancing your dreams,” and I don’t know about you, but that just makes me sweat all over the dancefloor, walls, and ceilings. - Jean-Stephane Beriot

01. Los Claveles - “Nacional 42” ♫♫♫
“Nacional 42” is a dissertation of Spain’s highway A42, described by Los Claveles, as the horrific intersection where ruin and routine meet. Like some classic road songs (AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”, Roam’s “B52”, etc), this is not the most optimistic song out there. On the contrary, it’s an emotional tragic squash that at times feels profane and brutally disenchanting. The dexterity of guitar riffs outlines a doodle that feels humid, harmonic, and hazard. The band sings about a road without a landscape, and sing-prays they don’t get to die among the dried flowers that populate a road God seems to have stopped watching over. A man’s confrontation to the road parallels with that of his love life; it haunts him in triumph and hardship, and it keeps him away. Guilt and redemption flirt with the track’s hooks, even saving some room for irony as they claim that love is to be afforded. A42, where religious entity is put into question and nostalgia reaches its saddest course. This is carved to-the-bone harmonious poetry, so austere and so achingly human - Carlos Reyes