Video: Jóvenes Adultos - "Horas Muertas"

Jóvenes Adultos brings together former Little Ethiopia players Santi and Sebas as well as Charly from Cementerio de Mascotas. Although the trio has barely begun booking shows in Mexico City, their opening statement has instantly made them our favorite YA punk band. The video for “Horas Muertas” represents the adolescent routine scored by jagged guitars and warped lazy vocals. Two characters emulate New Wave cool in a grocery store and on the street in the humblest of formats: VHS. This 90’s homage is also coded in subliminal messages (what’s up with that handshake? Canto del huauzontle? No saques si no vas a compartir) and climaxes with a sacrificial ritual. Typical day.

“Horas Muertas” is taken from the upcoming Tarjeta de Presentación, slated for later this spring.

Ablusion - Soluciones temporales

Soluciones temporales, Ablusion
Piloto Records, Chile
Rating: 74
by Giovanni Guillén

Chile’s reputation to outsiders as a pop paradise gave the country a one-sided spotlight. This left many genres -it’s rap scene and electronic pioneers- out of the conversation. Indie-rock was ignored as well, but this wasn’t an altogether bad thing. Over a short period of time we’ve seen newcomers that favor guitars pop up all over the place. Their evolution into full-fledged stardom is still far off, but they are flourishing nonetheless.

Last year we discovered burgeoning acts such as Las Olas, Velódromo, and Playa Gótica. Piloto Records also added their share of names to remember. It was through this netlabel that we met Franco Perucca. Perucca has paid his dues in a number of bands, playing with Patio Solar and El Cómodo Silencio de los que Hablan Poco (ECSDLQHP). Under the name Ablusión, the Chilean artist ventures solo with Soluciones Temporales.

The EP is a tight set of four songs (five with an interlude) bursting with ideas. Not all of them work, but they don’t really need to. Traces of hardcore line the opener and title track, barely outpacing the lo-fi layers. The melodies spin and still remain accessible and light. “Comenzar” emits a static-lined guitar collaged between a whimsical dream-pop. Perucca counters this twee moment feigning detachment. It happens again on the closer and strongest track “Miremos al Espacio-sayi.” This time, the singer shows more of his romantic side (“cubrirte con mis brazos / que miremos juntos el espacio / hasta que estemos unidos”) then retreats behind a brazen psychedelic finish. Soluciones Temporales whizzes by leaving a fresh impression on nostalgic sounds.

Video: Luciana Tagliapietra - "Mariposa"

No longer the sage newcomer from Diagrama de Ben or even the more mature La Luna, Luciana Tagliapietra readies a new chapter in her career as one of Argentina's most soulful voices. Returning with "Mariposa" was a brilliant choice. The song is a hazy ballad accented with meditative tones and diegetic sounds. In the clip we see studio time captured on a camcorder, Tagliapietra surrounded by friends and bandmates trying to erase the distance which the lyrics hint at (“pasarás cruzando el cielo sin pensar en mí…). But even these warm images cannot conceal that she remains a romantic. Some things never change.

Video: Tomasa Del Real feat. Talisto - “Tu Señora"

Pay attention. Tomasa Del Real is reggaetón’s new star, moving between the digital underground and her current sights on the global stage. She already hangs with national stars Adrianigual and has lent her voice to promote Spain’s up-and-comers La Mafia Del Amor. The Iquique-native has also been consistent in branding her own music with a ferocity that empowers. “Diente De Oro,” a past entry included on Joseo De Oro compilation, is as vitalic as anything else from the roster of future reggaetón players (that means you, J Balvin).

In a Valentine’s Day surprise, Tomasa Del Real dropped her latest video for the single “Tu Señora.” A collaboration with Talisto, the song is pure Ice Age reggaetón. Writer Zé Garcia coined this term imagining the caribbean frozen over. What would it sound like? A trifecta was later identified: "P'al piso," "Vernáculo," and "Supongo." “Tu Señora” doesn’t charge at us with that kind of intensity, but its glacial chemistry is its most memorable property. The video, from Enciclopedia Color, frames the two characters on opposite ends of the earth- Sweden and Chile. The desolate panorama allows the performance of needing someone to feel sincere. Do I even have to say it? Instant hit.

Ela Minus - "Volcán"

Photo by Carmen Triana
Fresh off the release of her First Words EP, Ela Minus is already back with an upcoming extended play titled Grow. In a statement to The FADER, singer Gabriela Jimeno referred to her recording approach as finding a balance “between a new aggressiveness and anger that I was feeling and the (apparently unavoidable) childish sound of my voice.”

On the single “Volcán,” Ela Minus taps into this passion but resists letting it consume her. She begins coyly, approaching us with the curiosity of Disney’s Ariel. Her sonic palette gradually brightens and in no time extends an invitation to dance: “A bailar como si hubiera lava / bajo tus pies.” The words come out elated, gliding and tripping over precious beats and pounding drums. With this, Ela Minus proves she is a newcomer with still many surprises up her sleeve.

The Grow EP will be released March 4, and is once again co-produced by Andrés Nusser (Astro).

María y José - "Bruja"

“It's a pleasure to share one's memories. Everything remembered is dear, endearing, touching, precious. At least the past is safe - though we didn't know it at the time. We know it now because it's in the past, because we have survived.”

-Susan Sontag

Back in 2011 Carlos Reyes observed Tony Gallardo’s habit of self-inflicting “sudden social network deaths and resurrections.” I later came to understand this as the effects of an artist cursed with ambition. With María y José, the Mexican producer has led us through all the high and lows in his career. A story of success and deceptions with an indifferent industry, against an ever-changing landscape (consider how reggaetón’s comeback has buried the once unstoppable force of tribal). But María y José still remains, and thankfully so does his ambition.

Currently Tony Gallardo has relocated to Mexico City. The move has fueled a new creative streak along with the promise of fresh music. Before initiating this new cycle Gallardo delivered a swan song to mark the new year. “Bruja” attempts to weather a wave of dread and pain. The wounded singer barely outpaces the crippling loneliness he faces. His lyrics come direct, sometimes hard to confront (“Me quiero morir... Si tu no me das, me das tu cariño”). Adding to this, the composition overflows with soapy synths that further remove us from the song’s tactile and accessible qualities. Stay with it, though. Crossing the halfway mark, something distinct occurs. Flute sounds are cranked up to the highest pitch practically simulating a flauta tezcatlipoca. Gallardo draws out this performance as a last-ditch attempt to recall good things, to reconcile the glory of Espíritu Invisible and the unknown future. What is left is a victory. We have survived.

Video: Maluca - "MALA"

"I have had self esteem issues for many years and now that I'm in my 30s I'm just really fucking feeling myself," Maluca confessed to V Magazine earlier this year: "I wrote ["MALA"] as a way to highlight all the negative things people told me about myself...and embraced them."

"MALA" is resourceful (it doesn't even clock in at 3 minutes), wasting no time in transporting us to an air conditioned tropical atmosphere that is hazy & wet. It is her biggest moment since her #winning collaborations with Future Brown & Robyn. Maluca manages to sound both silky and robotic: "me llaman loca pero así te gusta...con pelo suelto como una bruja." Visually speaking, Maluca looks possessed yet in total control atop her 21st Century throne- massage chairs are the new "THRONES" apparently.

Maluca doesn't just work the straightforward beauty angle- alien-like skin tighteners(?) uncomfortably pull & stretch the skin on her face. Maluca has a taste for the malformed. She is also going for that coveted dewy look (post sex, early morning). She's RLY feeling herself and loving it: "2016 is all about self care. Being good to yourself is fucking cool." Maluca warned us: she be that M A L A.

by Sebby Ramirez

Da Souza - "Voltera"

Spain is already well-represented in many categories of breakout acts, but Da Souza’s youthful vigor has landed them a special place on our radar. The boys from Mallorca return with “Voltera,” an advance single from the forthcoming full-length Gran Salt Endavant. Picking up where last year’s Bossanova infinita EP left off, the song is an assured throwback of indie rock circa 2003 Ted Leo & The Pharmacists. This time around Da Souza avoid wall-to-wall jagged guitars and opt for a more evenly-paced delivery with room for cowbells and straightforward jamming. Clear signs of a maturing band and a promising sample that certainly makes the album a must listen.

Gran Salt Endavant will be released February 23 via Famèlic Records.

Paul Marmota - "Aire"

Summer 2012 was my first trip to Mexico City. My second night out in el DF writer Enrique Coyotzi (now editor at Panamérika) took me to a María y José/Los Macuanos show at a club in the historic center (el Centro). At the time I knew nothing about the area, only that we walked a lot and took the metro at some point. And yet that image of coming up and seeing the Zócalo for the first time has stayed with me. Few things since have matched the compelling sensation produced in that new place, truly something unique.

That was almost four years ago. The show was actually hosted by NAAFI, the same brand that has emerged as emblematic of DF’s electronic underground. On my last trip to Mexico, the collective had set up at the Museo Jumex for a residency full of events and performances. NAAFI is now a name to trust, not just in the realm of nightlife but in all aspects of the city's music culture.

Paul Marmota, a Chilean producer now located in Mexico, lives up to this reputation with his upcoming three-song release on NAAFI’s own label. The single “Aire” instantly transports me back to that invigorating night in el Centro. Sirens encircle the song along with a blend of alarms and industrial crashes. These percussive tricks don’t really try to “turn up” as much as tantalize. In turning away from the restrictive club setting, “Aire” captures the sensory overload of a chaotic place. Still, it's a place that is impossible not to fall in love with.

SALFUMÁN - "Soy La Mujer Que Te Encontrará"

After a year cultivating breezy and seductive synthpop through her EPs and singles, one of which landed on our list of favorite songs from 2015, Sandra Rapulp sounds ready for what’s next. Her F.M EP, announced early this year, is about striking balance between the slow burning atmospherics she’s already delivered, and another side which is drawn to the dance floor. “Soy La Mujer Que Te Encontrará” is a bold dance track disguised in whispers. Really all that’s missing to upgrade it as a full banger is Crystal Waters vocalizing in the background. The consistency of each element disguises a multi-layered structure that leaves room for ambient guitar to envelop its neon core. “Soy La Mujer Que Te Encontrará” is, if not the coolest, surely the most satisfying moment SALFUMÁN has unveiled thus far.

Extraperlo - “Chill Aquí”

When talking about tropicalia-pop band from Spain Extraperlo, we always come to the point of citing them as one of the few bands that with each release expands their own palette. As our dear Pierre once mentioned, "they’ve succeeded at admirably looking for new ways to conjure leisure-evoking melodical opulence, afrobeat-inspired guitar licks, and 80’s pad beats into truly stuttering internet-era pop songs."

With their third album upon us, "Chill Aquí" comes as a beachy and heavy-lidded respite from the anxious and comparatively busy production on their 2012 breakthrough, Delirio Específico. It’s more of their seemingly tossed-off guitar balladry, stretched-out and warbled, just more of the Extraperlo who wants to love you tender. To that end, the title track is pretty much the platonic idea of the current era, an exploration of the always tough task of decisión making and insecurities laid out on top of a slowly unspooling guitar line.

Chill Aquí drops February 5 via CANADA Editorial

Video: El Guincho (feat. La Mala Rodríguez) - "Cómix"

El Guincho's comeback has proved just as confounding as early singles "Mis Hits" and "Roto Socu" hinted it would be. Early listens of Hiperasia reveal a kinetic, tantalizing and, indeed, hyper album that rejects the notion of a finished pop product. A move one could appropriately link with Pablo Diaz-Reixa’s intentions to capture the energy of Chinese bazaars in Madrid. But Hiperasia isn’t merely an attempt at culture shock. El Guincho actually sounds like he’s having fun with it.

In “Cómix,” the Spanish producer introduces his “Chef P” moniker and struts along to bars more Shibuya-kei than Straight Outta anywhere. Is this confidence earned? Maybe not at first. The fast food beats need a minute to dig up some substance, which unveils itself through hypnotic bursts. By the third or fourth “BUENA,” we really can’t help falling for it. Elsewhere a revitalized Mala Rodríguez pops up and barely flinches, securing the tone needed for Chef P’s closing lines: “Sé que te molesta ver / como no me cuesta / Chef P / Ch Ch Chef P / solo come Cómix.” Translation: stay mad.

Watch the CANADA-directed video above. Hiperasia arrives digitally February 12 followed by a March 11 physical release.

Video: Juan Wauters - "This is I"

With its casio string arrangements and malleable time signatures, “This is I” hardly fitted in with the rest of Who Me?. Far from being boring, though, the lyrically contemplative and sonically ethereal track features a rather subdued and somber range of shades: a mixture of elegiac sadness and deep self-analysis. “This is I” is not about hopeless dejection. It’s about the public expression of existential anguish as a way to regain a grasp of one’s journey through life.

The video, directed by long-time collaborator Matthew Volz, shows Wauters – and his conscience dressed in a leather jacket – walking towards a gang of extremely vengeful (ex)novias, getting beat up real bad by said gang, and laying his head on the lap of an affectionate abuela. The punk poet’s journey through life, memory and yearning is then ended by a tie-breaking spot kick while the fantasist moog sounds of El Chavo’s theme song resonate, bringing some much needed humor and hope.

Alex Anwandter - "Siempre Es Viernes En Mi Corazón"

There are traces of blood on the disco ball, but this time, the blood is not our own. Songs of protest can be cheesy cornball numbers or play into exhausted victim narratives. Songs of protest can also defy any expectations of what a protest song can mean as is the case in Blood Orange's tribute to Sandra Bland. Songs of protest can slay.

Alex Anwandter- our Prince of Pop- is back. With a vengeance. Alex Anwandter is going after the totality of power (explicitly and flagrantly), calling for the total destruction of our present reality. Alex is not having it with the tyranny of work. He’s over the Church condemning him to hell or the $tate pathologizing his queerness. But in this epoch, it doesn't suffice to merely signal at the sources of our miserable subjugation. Alex wants to set something on fire. The religious and the political establishment seem like obvious targets on this fervent yet elegant (luxuriate in that string section) dance floor: “Si quiero prenderle fuego a algo / que sea la iglesia y el congreso.” The fact that “Siempre Es Viernes En Mi Corazón” is a collaboration with Ale Sergi and Juliana Gattas (of Miranda!) is a bittersweet nostalgia (2004 puberty, coming to terms with queerness, discovering that radio pop could sound 'weird').

The first taste of Amiga (due April 8) is disco house retribution, evocative of a militancy unseen since the 1970s when disco and liberation movements (Black, Brown, queer, trans) coalesced. If "¿Cómo Puedes Vivir Contigo Mismo?" was a tribute to Paris Is Burning (admittedly a whitewashed film that attempted to showcase Black & Brown ball culture in NYC), "Siempre Es Viernes En Mi Corazón" channels the energy that catalyzed the Stonewall Riots. “Siempre Es Viernes En Mi Corazón” is seductive and seditious- a quintessential record for the ongoing #PopInsurrection. It is an ode to our eternal mutiny in the discotheque and in the streets.

Video: Memo - "Que Es Lo Que Siento"

Two years after the release of his debut solo LP, material. – and several months following the launch of his dance <3 EP under his Cheap Talk moniker as well as the ambient/drone Use Your Delusion I and II under Cristo plus the online posting of his take on the overplayed “Hotline Bling” (a reconstruction by memory!) – the prolific and unpredictable Memo Guerra is back as Memo, his songwriter alias. “Que Es Lo Que Siento,” first single off of his upcoming album Moon Phase, is a strong and coherent amalgam of little bit of all Guerra’s influences and exposes his openness and impressive musical background. With its lush arrangements, “QELQS” goes much deeper than a gratifying accessibility. Built on a progressive musical structure and layers of synths, Memo throws in Wurlitzer, programming, bass, guitars, oscillator and samples. The distorted, skipping and hypnotically driving track makes for an overstimulating sensorial experience. Memo is broadening the spectrum of technique, pushing the limits of the instrument and favoring a profusion of ideas and sonic textures. Singing “Que es lo que siento. Cando es un incendio. Voy desvaneciendo. Que es lo que siento, desapareciendo,” Memo raises lucid questions about the mechanical and the limits of love, while causing us to become aware of our own wave-particle nature. The all-in-glitch-video, designed by Logan Owlbeemoth and shot by Akkia Neko, draws on that same altered-textured aesthetic revealing Memo and his pasito de baile in a surreal pixelated landscape. The result is quite enthralling!

Moon Phase will be released February 6, via Abstrakt Muzak.