Deriving their name from the Puerto Rican Spanish slang word for troublemaker, Buscabulla is a Brooklyn-based duo comprised of Raquel Berrios (vocals) and Luis Alfredo Del Valle (multi-instrumentalist), and the duo have received attention across the blogosphere and several major publications for a sound that draws heavily from salsa gorda, Cuban psych rock, 80s Argentinian rock and electro pop – or in other words, it’s a sound that manages to channel the sickly produced and sensual synth-based R&B and pop of the 80s. And honestly, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that Dev Hynes, the creative mastermind behind the critically acclaimed Blood Orange produced their self-titled EP; after all, Hynes sound possesses similar qualities.
The EP’s latest single ““Métele,” is a slow-burning, sensual synth pop ballad comprised of shimmering and cascading synths, hot explosive flashes of cymbal, Berrios’ ethereally cooed vocals and a sinuous bass line. Sonically, the song will further cement the duo’s reputation for sleek yet breezy and seductive synth pop that sounds as though it could have (and should have) been released back in 1984. I can envision hearing the song on Quiet Storm. But interestingly enough, the song takes its title from the Puerto Rican Spanish slang term métele bellaco,“ which translates roughly into English as the slang term “go hard;” however, the song changes its typical masculine context and softens it – and turns it into an a term of encouragement, along the lines of “you go, girl.”
The video for “Métele” is essentially an extension of the documentary film Mala Mala, which takes its name from another slang term “mala mall” which drag queens and the LGBT community of Puerto Rico have used to define a feeling that’s somewhere in between “fierce,” “badass” and being “in heat.” The film itself is about the transgender experience in Puerto Rico through the eyes and experiences of several transgender individuals across the island commonwealth, including Sandy Milliones, a transexual sex worker and her husband Eli, and Pipiotah La Koah and Queen Bee Ho, two of the island’s most famous drag queens. It’s a gorgeously shot, empathetic vision that forces you to see the subjects humanity, dignity and uniqueness simultaneously as you’ll see Sandy dancing for her husband before heading out to the streets to perform sex work, Pipiotah practicing her famous stage dive at home in the projects, and Queen Bee tearing up the stage at Scandalo, the safe and sexy haven for queer youth on an island where many are still forced to oppress their identity and suffer from violence brought on by their sexual identities. With Pride being this month it’s a very important statement on acceptance of the individual.