Category: Latin Music

Live Footage: Larry & Joe Perform “Caballo Viejo”

Larry & Joe is a new duo that performs a fusion of Venezuelan and Appalachian folk music on harp, banjo, cautro, fiddle, maracas, guitar, upright bass and whatever else they decide to throw into the van. The duo features:

  • Joe Troop, a North Carolina-based Grammy-nominated bluegrass and old-time musician, who spent over a decade in South America with his acclaimed “latingrass” band Che Apalache. With the pandemic, Troop got stranded in his old stomping grounds and as a result, his primary project was forced into hiatus. Troop shifted into action, working with asylum seeking migrants.
  • Larry Bellorín, a Monagas, Venezuela-born, North Carolina-based Llanera music legend, and asylum seeking migrant. Bellorín works construction to makes ends meet, and writes and performs music in whatever spare time allowed.

Currently based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Troop and Bellorín are versatile multi-instrumentalists and singer/songwriters on a mission to prove that music has no borders, that music is the universal language. Their work is a distinct blend of their musical and cultural inheritances and traditions paired with storytelling about the ways that music and social movements coalesce.

The duo’s debut single is a subtle re-imagining of “Caaballo Viejo,” one of the most beloved and popular Venezuelan songs of all time. The song features the duo on their primary instruments: Bellorín on harp, Troop on banjo and vocals. While featuring a wildly different yet gorgeous arrangement, that gives the song a bluegrass twang, the Bellarín and Troop rendition is still centered around a timeless and deeply human heartache and longing that somehow effortlessly translates in every language.

The duo is playing a show at River Spirt Music, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY on January 28, 2023. For tickets and other information, check out the link: https://cliveshows.com/events/rsm-larry-joe/

New Audio: Cuarto Mundo Shares a Woozy, Club Friendly Banger

Deriving their name from a phrase that translates into English as “Fourth World,” an outdated term coined to describe the various groups of the planet’s indigenous people, French electronic duo Cuarto Mundo features:

  • Thomas Lavernhe, a French-born and-based musician, who has a lengthy career playing in a number of different bands and solo projects.
  • Chilean-born, French-based DJ Cosmo Gonik, who once toured with acclaimed outfit Arcade Fire.

Cuarto Mundo sees Lavernhe and Gonik drawing from traditional sounds and styles across the world to shape a mind-bending journey to music’s mysterious — and perhaps mystical roots.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you may recall that I’ve written about two previously released Cuarto Mundo singles:

  • Sabi Lulu,” a slickly produced and mischievously anachronistic track that features electronic production centered around skittering beats and glistening synths paired with a traditional, percussive melody from West Java, Indonesia, written by Mang Koko. 
  • La Cumbia Del Tarot” is a slow-burning bit of psychedelic cumbia featuring traditional cumbia instrumentation, shuffling rhythms, wobbling and twinkling synth arpeggios. Written as a tribute to Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s The Holy Mountain, the track features a guest spot from the famed director’s son, Adan Jodorowsky, who contributes vocals. The end result is a meditative and trippy synthesis of the ancient and the modern.

The duo’s latest single “La Psycho Cumbia Del Tarot” is an expansive and woozy reworking (of sorts) of the aforementioned “La Cumbia Del Tarot” that retains elements of the original: shuffling rhythms, looping guitar lines thumping beats and twinkling synths in the song’s slow-burning intro and outro. The song’s middle section is club rocking and trippy bit of house centered around percussive polyrhythm, oscillating synths, sampled horn and skittering beats. All three parts are held together by Adan Jodorowsky’s sonorous baritone and cumbia rhythm. While continuing to be a synthesis of the folkloric and contemporary, “La Psycho Cumbia Del Tarot” may arguably be the most dance floor friendly song the French duo has released to date.

Live Footage: Javier Moreno and Los Amigos Perform “La Escalera” at Masterlink Studios

Javier Moreno is an emerging Barcelona-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist. Along with his backing band Los Amigos which features musicians from Spain, Cuba, Brazil and Peru, Moreno has spent the past 12 years touring extensively throughout London and the rest of the UK.

Although Moreno has returned to Barcelona to work on his forthcoming Joe Dworniak-produced third album, earlier this year, Moreno and his backing band recorded a live session at Masterlink Studios in Guildford, UK. The two song session features “Despedida” off last year’s Uno EP and “La Escalera” a shuffling groove-based cumbia that’s a feel good summer banger paired with an unfitting message.

The live footage of the band performing “La Escalera” was shot in a single take and captures their live energy and unbreakable simpatico.

Lyric Video: Chicago’s Así Así Shares a Hypnotic New Single

Chicago-based indie outfit Así Así — Fernando de Buen (vocals, guitar), Ben Geissel (drums), Celeen Rusk (vocals, keys) and Sam Coplin (bass) — can trace their origins back to 2018, as the continuation of a previous project, El Mañana, which was originally founded in Mexico City before the band’s members relocated to Chicago. Whether as El Mañana or Así Así, the Chicago-based band is a part of the city’s growing Latin rock scene — and has played at a number of venues across the Chicago area. 

Así Así’s sound sees the quartet and blending elements of rock, dance and Latin with arrangements that feature acoustic and electronic drums, synths, guitars paired with propulsive grooves frequently create material that’s haunting yet upbeat and catchy. 

Their debut single “Carne Molida” was released back in 2020 and received coverage in RemezclaFilter Mexico and Indie Rocks, as well as airplay on Mexico City’s Reactor, 105.75FM.

Recorded at Palisade Studios, the Chicago-based outfit’s Fernando de Buen and Marcus Reese co-produced album Mal Otras is slated for release later this year. Last month, I wrote about album single “Yo La Sé” is a dreamy and expansive track featuring a driving, motorik-like groove, glistening guitars, de Buen’s plaintive vocals and an uneasy bass outro. While the song evokes the sensation of waking up from an unpleasant and incredibly vivid dream, the song thematically focuses on a familiar sensation of all of us now — a deep-seated frustration over the seemingly never-ending stream of terrible news.

The Chicago-based quartet’s latest single “Me Quedo Ahí” is a trippy song heavily indebted to 70s and 80s psychedelic cumbia with hints of the indie rock that they band has been known for with the song featuring glistening keys, reverb-drenched guitars, a strutting bass line, and shuffling rhythms paired de Buen’s dreamy vocals and a glistening guitar solo. The end result is a song that may arguably be their trippiest yet most danceable song to date.

New Audio: Chicago’s Así Así Shares an Uneasy and Feverish Single

Chicago-based indie outfit Así Así — Fernando de Buen (vocals, guitar), Ben Geissel (drums), Celeen Rusk (vocals, keys) and Sam Coplin (bass) — can trace their origins back to 2018, as the continuation of a previous project, El Mañana, which was originally started in Mexico City. Whether as El Mañana or Así Así, the Chicago-based band is a part of the city’s growing Latin rock scene — and has played at a number of venues across the Chicago area.

Así Así’s sound sees them and blending elements of rock, dance and Latin with arrangements that feature acoustic and electronic drums, synths, guitars paired with propulsive grooves frequently create material that’s haunting yet upbeat and catchy.

Their debut single “Carne Molida” was released back in 2020 and received coverage in Remezcla, Filter Mexico and Indie Rocks, as well as airplay on Mexico City’s Reactor, 105.75FM.

Recorded at Palisade Studios, the Chicago-based outfit’s Fernando de Buen and Marcus Reese co-produced album Mal Otras is slated for release later this year. The album’s first single “Yo La Sé” is a dreamy and expansive track featuring a driving, motorik-like groove, glistening guitars, de Buen’s plaintive vocals and an uneasy bass outro. While the song evokes the sensation of waking up from an unpleasant and incredibly vivid dream. Thematically the song focuses on a familiar sensation for all of us — a deep-seated frustration over the seemingly never-ending stream of terrible news.

New Video: Emerging Artist Poppa Chi Shares Swaggering New Bop

Bryan Manazanres is an emerging Los Angeles-based Nicaraguan-American emcee, poet, photographer, director and entrepreneur, best known as Poppa Chi. His debut single, the Elijah Williams-produced “Me Dicen/The Say” pairs Manazanres’ features dense, rapid-fire Spanish and Spanglish flow over a sleek production that pairs shuffling Reggaeton and trap beats with a wobbling piano sample. The end result is a self-assured headbanger that’s simultaneously club and arena friendly.

Co-directed by Manazanres and Sayder Vision, the accompanying visual for “Me Dicen/They Say” follows the emerging Los Angeles-based artist as he drives around his town and in a number of different sets up — including a wall full of gold and silver records, a 90s Puff Daddy-like room and more.

New Video: Agua Tinta’s Coquettish and Summery Bop “El Fuego”

Agua Tinta is an emerging Mexican singer/songwriter, who can trace the origins of her career back to 2015 when she wrote her first song on a piano. Tinta then went on to attend Berklee College of Music, where she studied Songwriting and Contemporary Writing and Production.

Since attending Berklee College, Tinta’s work sees her meshing Mexican folk music with contemporary pop paired with lyrics that draw from her own experiences and those of others.

The emerging Mexican artist’s latest single “El Fuego” is a breezy and summery love song about the push and pull of new love that pairs Tinta’s coquettish delivery with a production that meshes reggaeton and electro pop beats with mariachi horns. The end result is a song that to my ears recalls Selena and Daddy Yankee — with a decided pop accessibility.

The accompanying video for “El Fuego” follows Tinta as she hangs out with her girlfriends and has an adorable and flirtatious meet cute. The video manages to capture the sweetly coquettish nature of the song.

Jacqueline Loor is a Miami-born, Cuban-Ecuadorian singer/songwriter, currently based in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Loor has released a handful of singles that have received placement in movies and in TV — “Burn It Down” appeared on The CW’s Batwoman and “No Me Digas” appeared in the award-winning short film Un Pequeño Corte which was part of PBS’ LATINXPERIENCE.

Loor’s latest single “Nada Mas” sees the rising Tenerife-based artist collaborating with Bogotá, Colombia-based guitarist, songwriter and producer Enrique Lloreda. Featuring a slick reggaeton-inspired pop production centered around shimmering and looping guitar, skittering tweeter and woofer rattling beats paired with Loor’s sultry vocals, “Nada Mas” is a dance floor friendly, feminist anthem featuring a fed up narrator, who’s tired of waiting time on a deadbeats, fuckbois and the like.

As Loor explains, the song is meant to inspire and empower women to not settle for any man who doesn’t treat them right.