Category: World Music

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Mint Field Release a Cinematic and Mediative Visual for Lush and Slow-Burning Single “Delicadeza”

Initially founded in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico by Estrella del Sol Sanchez and Amor Amezcua, the Mexican shoegazer act quickly received international attention with the release of their debut EP Primeras Salidas, eventually playing sets across the North American festival circuit, including Coachella and SXSW, as well as venues across both the States and their native Mexico. Building upon a growing profile, Mint Field’s full-length debut, 2018’s Pasar De Las Luces found the act establishing a clearer sense of what they wanted to do sonically — primarily, as a result of finally having access to the tools to do so. The end result was an album’s worth of material that drew from dream pop, krautrock, stoner rock and shoegaze, imbued with sorrow and nostalgia. 

The past couple of years since the release of Pasar De Las Luces has been rather eventful for the Mexican shoegazer act: they’ve toured extensively across the North America and the European Union, playing over 100 shows. Continuing that momentum, the band recorded Pasar De Las Luces’ follow-up, last year’s  Mientras Esperas EP, which they supported with further touring across the States, Canada and Mexico — with two sold out shows in Mexico City .

During that same period, the band relocated to Mexico City and upon relocating to the Mexican capital, the band went through a massive lineup change: Amor Amezcua left the band, and the band then expanded into a trio with the addition of Sebastian Neyra and the band’s newest member, Ulrika Spacek’s Callum Brown. Capping off a series of monumental changes for the acclaimed Mexican act, they signed to Los Angeles-based post punk label Felte Records,

Slated for a September 25, 2020 release, the band’s Syd Kemp-produced sophomore album Sentimiento Mundial was recorded at London’s Wilton Way Studio, and the album reportedly sees the band’s sound shifting towards a decidedly minimal, rhythmically focused approach. The album will feature the meditative “Natural,” and the motorik groove-driven “Contingencia,” which were both released earlier this year. Sentimiento Mundal’s third and latest single “Delicadeza” is a lushly textured song centered around del Sol Sanchez’s ethereal vocals, swirling and shimmering, pedal effected guitars and propulsive drumming that manages to recall the lengthy introductory sections to Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)” and A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve– but while being fittingly delicate. 

Directed and shot by 26 year-old Mexico City-based filmmaker Santiago Padilla Arouesty, the recently released video is a cinematic and meditative portrait of our zeitgeist — one in which our sanity, well-being and humanity are held together by an extremely delicate thread. 

New Audio: Mexico City’s Mint Field Releases a Minimalist and Trance-Inducing New Single

With the release of their debut EP Primeras Salidas, acclaimed shoegazer act Mint Field — initially founded in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico by Estrella del Sol Sanchez and Amor Amezcua — quickly received international attention that landed them sets across the North American festival circuit, including Coachella and SXSW, as well as venues across both the States and their native Mexico. Building upon a growing profile, Mint Field’s full-length debut, 2018’s Pasar De Las Luces found the then-duo establishing a clearer sense of what they wanted to do sonically,  as a result of having access to the tools to do so. Interestingly, their debut drew from dream pop, krautrock, stoner rock and shoegaze while imbued with sorrow and nostalgia.

Since the release of their full-length debut, Mint Field has had an eventful two years. The Mexican shoegazer act toured extensively across North America, Mexico and the European Union, playing over 100 shows to support their full-length debut. Continuing upon that momentum, the band recorded Pasar De Las Luces’ follow-up, last year’s  Mientras Esperas EP, which they supported with further touring across the States, Canada and Mexico — with two sold out shows in Mexico City . During that same period, the band relocated to Mexico City and upon relocating to the Mexican capital, the band went through a massive lineup change: Amor Amezcua left the band, and the band then expanded into a trio with the addition of Sebastian Neyra and the band’s newest member, Ulrika Spacek’s Callum Brown. Capping off a series of monumental changes for the acclaimed Mexican act, they signed to Los Angeles-based post punk label Felte Records, who released “Natural,” the first bit of material of 2020. 

Interestingly, while at London-based Wilton Way Studio, the members of Mint Field recorded their Syd Kemp-produced sophomore album Sentimiento Mundial. Slated for a September 25, 2020 release, Sentimiento Mundial reportedly sees the band’s sound shifting towards a decidedly minimal, rhythmically focused approach. “Contingencia,” Sentimiento Mundial’s second and latest single is centered around a propulsive and relentless motorik groove, layers of a shimmering and jangling guitars and del Sol Sanchez’s ethereal vocals — and the end result is song that a trance-inducing song that gently rises upward with an aching yearning. 

New Video: Rising Spanish Artist Suzanna Releases a Bold and Playful Visual for Infectious New Single “Paipái”

Suzanna Abellán is Barcelona-based singer/songwriter, guitarist, who earned a degree in Modern Music from ESMUC — and then spent the early part of her musical career in a number of acclaimed Barcelona-based bands including Radio Malanga, Rootsmama, Tokyo 22, Funk All Stars, Future is Female and a number of others.

In 2011, Abellán relocated to Morocco, and in 2014, the Spanish-born singer/songwriter and guitarist won a Rock Fusion Meditel Morocco Music Award (MMMA) for “Ana Bikhir,” a collaboration with Amine Ayoubi.  After spending four years in Rabat, Morocco, Abellán returned to Barcelona. Upon her return, she participated in the televised talent competition La Voz, eventually becoming a semifinalist. Participating on La Voz led to increased visibility and a national profile. Coincidentally, around the same time, Abellán felt an increased desire to write her own material, centered around her own experiences and feelings. 

Last year, Abellán, performing with the mononym Suzanna released her 12 song Genis Trani-produced full-length debut, SOULFYAH, which featured collaborations with Rapsusklei, Mr. Wilson, Mei Seme and others. Thematically centered around autobiographical stories, the album quickly established Abellán’s sound as a solo artist — a slick synthesis of reggae, trap and soul. “Paipái” the first bit of new material since the release of SOULFYAH further cements the Spanish singer/songwriter and guitarist’s sound. Featuring skittering and thumping beats, strummed guitar, twinkling synths, a sinuous bass line and an infectious hook paired with Abellán’s soulful and jazzy delivery, the song may remind some listeners of a reggae-tinged version of Missy Elliott’s work with Timbaland — in other words, lush, sultry and simultaneously futuristic and contemporary. Interestingly, the track is the first time Abellán sings lyrics completely in her native Spanish.

The song features a message of liberation and celebration in which its narrator learns to say no to anything that diminishes or interferes with her quest for liberation — including letting go of toxic and stagnant situations that don’t contribute anything to her, forging new paths and so on. And as the Spanish-based artist explains in a statement, the lyrics speak of deeply personal experiences ranging from disappointment and gratitude. 

Directed by Abellán, the recently released video for “Paipái” was filmed during COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantines across the European Union. Inspired by the aesthetics of Carmen Miranda, specifically “Rebola a bola” in the 1941 film Weekend in Habana, the video was shot on a roughly 40 Euro budget, in which she used a caulk gun and a sewing machine to create her costumes, as items in her own home, including bed sheets, stuffed animals, her cat, plants and so on to create the video’s overall aesthetic — playful, sultry and boldly DIY. 

New Audio: Rising Artist Alvin Chris Releases an Infectious and Summery Banger

Alvin Chris is a rapidly rising emcee, vocalist, producer and beatmaker. His latest single, the infectious, summertime banger “Question de temps” is centered around a slick production featuring elements of dancehall, Afropop and contemporary electro pop —  chiming percussion, thumping beats, an infectious hook, some 80s soul pop sax soloing and Chris’ alternating between plaintive crooning and rhyming.

“Question de temps” is the sort of infectious song that you can sing in the shower  or wine down with someone at the club — but the song is actually kind of ambivalent, as it captures a situation that is all too familiar: a narrator, who finds himself in a promising, new romantic situation — but it might be quickly tarnished by his doubts, fears and insecurities. And as a result, the song is a bit of a bittersweet sigh of resignation. 

New Video: Madagascar’s LohArano Releases a Boldly African Take on Metal

Formed over five years ago, LohArano is an emerging Antananarivo, Madagascar-based trio featuring Mahalia Ravoajanahary (vocals, guitar), Michael Raveloson (bass, vocals) and Natiana Randrianasoloson (drums, vocals)  that specializes in a unique sound that meshes popular and beloved Malagasy music styles — in particular, Tsapiky  and Salegy — with metal.  The Madagascar-based trio’s sound and approach represents a a bold, new generation of young people, who respect the traditions of their elders but while roaring with the urgency of our moment. 

The Madagascar-based trio’s official debut single “Andrambavitany” is centered around a shimmering and looping guitar lines, an enormous power-chord riff-driven, mosh pit friendly hook, thunderous drumming paired with a brash and forceful delivery to create a unique sound: a boldly African take on metal — or a boldly metal take African music that roars, kicks ass and forcefully taking names, but while being defiantly pro-Black and pro-women. “Andrambavitany,” as the trio explains plays on the Malagasy word for “fallen nature of the Malagasy women.”

VThe recently released video is split between footage of young women stripping and the band kicking ass  — with the video expressing a misunderstanding the need for these young women to strip and show off to others on social media. The video points out that a very modern phenomenon among young people everywhere — that everyone is desperate to show off and be an influencer or be popular. 

New Video: Swedish Nu-Cumbia act Cumbiasound Releases an Adorable Visual for “Cumbia Alta Vida”

Daniell Fridell is a Swedish-based multi-instrumentalist and producer with a deep background in jazz, funk, soul and Balkan music, who spent a decade residing in Denmark. Throughout his career, he has played and produced material for albums, commercials, TV and for the theater — and as a result of his various work, Fridell has managed to tour across the European Union, Africa and the States.  

His latest project, Cumbiasound finds the Swedish multi-instrumentalist crafting compositions that draw from Colombian cumbia and Peruvian chicha with elements of reggae, Balkan folk, Afrobeat, soul and jazz among others. Interestingly, the project can its origins back to 2010 when Fridell first heard cumbia. “2010 I heard Cumbia the first time while standing outside of a supermarket eating ice cream,” Fridell explains in press notes. “It was blazing hot and all of a sudden this music came out of the speakers. ‘What’s that?’ I asked and the rest is history. A true love affair.”

Cumbiasound’s debut EP Vol. 1: Instrumentales sees Fridell collaborating with longtime friend and colleague Erik Axelsson who contributes trombone and euphonium to the mix. The EP’s latest single “Cumbia Alta Vida” is centered around shimmering and arpeggiated Rhodes, looping guitar and shuffling, Latin polyrhythm — and while sounding as though it were recorded sometime between 1962-1965, the song is a joyous and much-needed bit of escape. 

Speaking of escapism: the recently released video by Cesar A. Ortiz, the recently released video stars two adorable rugrats dancing to the song in their backyard and messing around with some instruments at home. We see the youngest kid, a tow-headed boy eating arepas — because of course. Life seems so much simpler in their eyes doesn’t it? 

Live Footage: Rising Parisian Electro Pop Act L’Imperatrice Releases a Slinky Disco Strut

Formed back in 2012, L’Impératice is a rising Paris-based electro pop sextet currently featuring founder Charles de Boisseguin (keys), Hagni Gown (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), Tom Daveau (drums) and Flore Benguigui (vocals), who joined the band in 2015. 

Since their formation, the band has been rather busy: they released their self-titled debut in 2012, their sophomore EP Sonate Pacifique in 2014 and their third EP Odyssée in 2015. Interestingly, a re-edited and remixed edition of Odyssée, L’Empreruer, a slower version of the original, inspired by a fan mistakenly playing Odyssée at the wrong speed was released the following year. An acoustic version, featuring violin, cello and acoustic guitar was released in 2017. 

During the summer of 2017, the band signed to Microqlima Records, who released their Séquences EP that year. Aussie pop act Parcels remixed some of Séquences’ material and released it that September. 

2018 saw the release of the band’s full-length debut Matahari. The album featured “Erreur 404,” which the band performed on the French TV show Quotidien. After two years of touring to support their full-length debut, the band released their first bit of new material since Matahari — “Exit,” and its French version “Fou.” The French electro pop sextet’s latest single “Voodoo?” is a slinky, disco-influenced strut centered around a propulsive groove, atmospheric synths, arpeggiated bass synths, jazz-like percussion, Nile Rodgers-like guitar and Benguigui’s sultry, come-hither vocals. 

The recently released video is centered around live footage of L’Impératice performing the song in a sparsely decorated studio. And it should give the viewer a sense of the band’s live set and sound. 

New Audio: Meridian Brothers Release a Chiptune Inspired Take on Cumbia

Eblis Alvarez is a Bogota, Colombia-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed and forward-thinking recording project Meridian Brothers.  Alvarez’s forthcoming Meridian Brothers album  Cumbia Siglo XXI is slated for an August 21, 2020 release through Bongo Joe Records — and the album, which is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the act’s critically applauded (largely  acoustic) ¿Dónde estás María? continues the Colombian artist’s long-held reputation for relentlessly pushing his sound and approach in new and radical directions. 

Inspired by Cumbia Siglo XX’s experimentation with traditional cumbia in the late ’70s and early ’80s, which led to a completely new form of the genre, Cumbia Siglo XXI sees Alvarez using a multitude of guitars, synths, algorithmic software, vintage drum machines and whatever tech that the acclaimed Colombian artist could get his hands on. And while the album’s material sonically seemingly to draw a bit from Kraftwerk, the album reportedly is a sonic blend of EDM “sidechain” techniques and traditional cumbia.

Earlier this year, I wrote about Cumbia Siglo XXI‘s first single “Puya del Empressario,” an infectious yet let field take on cumbia that sounded a bit like like eThe Man Machine-era Kraftwerk meets JOVM mainstay El Dusty — with a mischievous sense of adventurousness.  “Los Golpeadores de la cumbia,” Cumbia Siglo XXI’s latest single is a mischievous synthesis of chip-tune, electro pop and cumbia that sounds like came straight from the Island of Misfit Toys. 

The recently released Bibiana Rojas-edited video for “Los Golpeadores de la cumbia” features a split screen — the left-hand side of the screen we see a man, text people, receive a phone call and take selfies. On the right-hand side, we see some surreal drawings by Mateo Rivano.