Frikstailers - En Son de Paz

En Son de Paz, Frikstailers
ZZK Records, Argentina
Rating: 76
by Andrew Casillas 

Good Goddamn, ZZK Records. Every year we get in a rush to finish reviewing “essential” records, and every year something gets overlooked. Well, I’m not letting this shit stand. This Frikstailers record has been languishing in my iPod, getting the occasional playing time every few weeks, and every time I think, “Jeez this is good, I need to finish my review.” And then I remember that Yeezus came out this year and how awesome it would be if it were just instrumentals. Rinse. Repeat.

But not this year. I’m here to again remind everyone that ZZK Records is still the most trill record label this side of Cash Money 1998-2002. And this year’s Frikstailers release is a worthy addition to the canon. The Argentina duo’s latest, En Son de Paz, is quintessential ZZK: wild, idiosyncratic, and catchy as all hell.

Of course, there are the highlights, starting with “Los Originarios Ver 2,” which recreates the madcap atmosphere from King Coya’s Cumbias de Villa Donde, but incorporating Frikstailers’ more traditional discoteca rhythms. “Hazlo Tu Mismo” brings the noise, blending reggaeton and Major Lazer down to the core, and then laying on jungle sounds—it’s like Jumanji come to life as something other than a terrible Robin Williams family film. “Batuqueando” is a dizzying ZZK throwback: trad-cumbia mixed with sound effects, but utilizing a military drumline sound takes this to another level. The beat builds and builds for what seems like hours, until it reaches fever pitch and all hell breaks loose. And then there’s “Otra Vez,” a bubbly, slow burning techno showcase perfect for all quinceñeras and Christmas parties that only serve pisco and tequila.

If not for a lagging back half, we might be looking at destacado territory, but as it is, this is just great, solid 2013 ZZK. And with apologies to Yeezus, this that prom shit, that what we do, don’t tell your mom shit, that red cup all on the lawn shit. Uh-huh, honey.