Tag: Latin music

With the release of their critically acclaimed full-length debut La Allianza Profana and its follow-up, Serpiente Dorada, the Lima, Peru-based electronic production and artist duo Dengue Dengue Dengue, comprised of Rafael Pereira and Felipe Salmon quickly received attention for a sound that possesses elements of traditional cumbia, dub, dancehall and techno — and for being at the forefront of an expanding electronic cumbia movement.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of its eight year history, you may have come across a couple of posts featuring the Peruvian electronic production and music duo  — in particular Siete Raices‘ album singles, “Guarida,” a hauntingly ambient track that meshed ancient and traditional Peruvian sounds with contemporary, electronic production in a timeless fashion, and “The Enemy,” a glitchy and percussive track that nodded at El Dusty‘s club-banging, nu-cumbia but with a subtly menacing and uneasy vibe.

The Lima, Peru-based duo’s latest album Son de Los Diablos (which translates into English as Sound of the Devils) derives its name from a traditional dance that was brought to Peru by the Spanish conquistadors, which consists of a procession of dancers and musicians taking to the streets wearing devil masks. By enlisting Lima’s sizable African slave population, this procession increasingly incorporated the rhythms and dance styles that would eventually become known as Afro Peruvian — one of the main elements of modern Peruvian music and culture, which also informs Dengue Dengue Dengue’s sound. Interestingly, Son de Los Diablos‘ latest single “Cobre” features breezy and minimalist production consisting of looped woodwind instruments and stuttering African percussion. While the song  evokes a slow procession of marchers stomping to a throbbing beat, it possesses a murky and menacing undercurrent.

 

 

 

Featuring the Pacheco Brothers and one of several local session bassists, the Los Angeles, CA-based band Thee Commons formed in 2012 and since their formation, the trio have developed a reputation for a sound that meshes psych rock, punk rock and cumbia; in fact, the trio landed at #15 on LA Weekly’LA’s 20 Best Live Shows of 2016,” thanks in part to a live show in which they frequently go off-script at a moment’s inspiration. Adding to a growing regional profile, the band have played at several of the region’s most prestigious venues and festivals, including Echo Park Rising, Desert Daze, Viva Pomona, The Echoplex, The Regent Theatre, The Glass House, The Roxy and The Observatory, as well as a weekly burlesque dancer-based residency dubbed Cumbia Psicodelica Cabaret — and they’ve opened for the likes of Chicano Batman, Bomba Estero and Thee Midniters.

Along with that, the band has managed to be remarkably prolific: 2013 saw the release of their 7 inch vinyl EP, Sunburn at Midnight; an 8 volume, limited edition EP series Rock is Dead: Long Live Paper and Scissors released the following year, an effort that since 2015 has been released through Burger Records as a full-length 20 song CD; 2016 saw the release of their sophomore effort Loteria Tribal, which was released through Burger Records, as well as two 7 inch vinyl albums — one that included a cover of Los Saico’s “Demolicion,” which was releaed through Denver‘s Heavy Dose Records and a single featuring “La Fiesta,” an obscure Mexican track with a cover of Selena‘s “La Carcacha” released through San Pedro,CA-based label, Steady Beat Records.  Earlier this year saw the release of their third full-length effort Paleta Sonora, an ambitious 18 song effort that saw the band expanding upon their sound, as well as their live sound. Interestingly, the Southern California-based band end 2017 with the release of a double single — “El Jale, Vol. 1: Alitas/Dr. John.” 
“Alitas” is as shimmering and propulsive track that will further cement the trio’s reputation for a sound that clearly draws from 60s psych rock, garage rock and surfer rock and cumbia — and in a way that seems loose, effortless and mischievously anachronistic as though the song should have been included in a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack.  The second single “Dr. John” continues in a similar vein but with a loose jam band meets punk rock vibe, complete with some blistering guitar work. And while being an impressive way to end a year for the up-and-coming band, it’s also a revealing look into one of the more unique sounds I’ve personally heard this year.

 

Martin Morales is a Peruvian-born, British-based, DJ, record collector, audiophile and pioneer of Peruvian food in the UK and was recently named GQ‘S Food and Drinks 2017 Innovator of the Year — but he’s also known as the co-founder of renowned world music label Tiger’s Milk Records. And although he’s spent half of his life in the UK, Morales in recent years has frequently returned to his birthplace — and in particular, the Andes — in search of recipes, records, sounds and inspiration for a variety of projects under the umbrella of his London-based company Ceviche. Morales, along with Tiger’s Milk co-founder Duncan Ballantyne, former Soundway Records label manager, and Peruvian DJ and crate digger Andres Tapia del Rio teamed up to create a series of compilations featuring the sounds of the Amazon and Andres, starting with the ANDINA: The Sound of the Peruvian Andes — Huayno, Carnaval and Cumbia 1968-1978. 

The compilation is meant to offer a fresh perspective on Peru’s multifaceted heritage, brining to light the divergent, exciting traditions that have emerged from Peru’s strip of the Andes Mountains, including cumbia, folkloric harp, Lima-based big band jazz that was influenced by their highland countrymen and so on; however, the compilation was never intended to be a definitive or complete overview of Andean music. Besides focusing on a particular period of music, 1968-1978, the compilation is selection of what they think are the most exciting insights into Andean musical culture, with the debut release of many tracks outside of Peru since their original release on Peruvian labels like Iempsa, Sono Radio and El Virrey — but perhaps more important, the sound most represented is a cumbia where groups imbued a tropical, Colombian style with Andean folk rhythms and rock-like electric guitars, the number of traditional folk numbers recorded and released during that era and of course, carnaval music; in fact, some of the featured bands took touchstones on much-loved music criolla — black music from the coast — but filtered through cumbia, and others employ Afro-Peruvian sounds. Or in other words, the Andean sound draws influences from the musical and culture legacies of indigenous Latin America and the African diaspora. The album’s first single Los Compadores Del Andes’ “La Mecedora” pairs is a cumbia featuring a tight, African Diaspora-influenced, percussive groove with a breezy, organ-led tropicalia, and bright blasts of brass, but perhaps most important, the song reveals a deep truth about the sounds of Peru and its Andean regions — that it’s arguably one of the most unique yet dance floor friendly of the entire region, while giving you a view into the sounds that were popular during the late 1960s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay El Dusty Teams Up with Jah Fabio and Toy Selectah on a Reggae-Tinged Take on His Imitable Sound

So if you had been frequenting this between 2016 and early this year, you’ve likely been made familiar with the Corpus Christi, TX-based producer, DJ and electronic music artist, Horacio Olivera, best known as El Dusty. And over that 13-15 month or so period, Olivera not only quickly became a JOVM mainstay but he also further cemented his reputation as a pioneer of a revolutionary, new sub-genre that he’s dubbed “nu-cumbia,” a sub-genre, which meshes contemporary electronic music production, hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass and house music with enormous tweeter and woofer rocking beats and chopped up samples of classic and beloved cumbia songs creating a swaggering, sleek, hyper-modern, club-banging take on Latin music that has resulted in a Latin Grammy nod.
Olivera like most contemporary, hip-hop-inspired producers has spent countless hours digging in the crates — both real and virtual — for cumbia tracks released by Colombian record label Discos Fuentes during the 60s and 70s, including one of the best known and best-loved cumbia records to date, Andres Landeros’ “Canto Negro,” which serves as the main sample and inspiration for his latest single “Kanto Negro,” a collaboration with Mexican-based Reggae/Roots singer Jah Fabio contributing rhymes and Toy Selectah contributing some additional arrangements. And as Olivera explains ““This sample has been done countless times but I just felt that adding a vocalist would really take it over the top” “ liked the title of the original song so I wanted to keep it the same. I dig the dark vibes!” In fact, while retaining portions of the original’s instrumentation and vocal for the book, El Dusty and Toy Selectah add thumping and staccato like drum programming and an enormous synth drop and although the single will further cement his reputation for crafting club-banging cumbia-influenced EDM — or perhaps EDM influenced cumbia? — the single finds El Dusty adding a global element to his crowd pleasing sound and approach.

Produced by the Much Fresco production crew, the recently released music video for “Kanto Negro” was filmed while El Dusty was at this year’s Electric Daisy Carnival Mexico and features the renowned Texan producer performing with Jah Fabio at Cultura Roots with some footage of daily life in Mexico City.

Live Footage: Chicano Batman Perform “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)” on Conan

Comprised of Eduardo Arenas (bass, vocals), Carlos Arévalo (guitar), Bardo Martinez (vocals, organ, guitar) and Gabriel Villa (drums, percussion), the Los Angeles, CA-based quartet Chicano Batman have developed a reputation for specializing in a sound that draws from Brazilian tropicalia, psychedelia and classic soul — and for a growing national profile, as they’ve opened for Jack White, Alabama Shakes, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Gogol Bordello and others. Adding to that, the band has played at several of the country’s biggest music festivals, including Coachella and Bonnaroo among others.

Interestingly, the band’s latest album Freedom Is Free finds the band leaning heavily towards a classic soul and classic R&B-leaning sound. And in order to achieve that goal, the band enlisted the assistance of Leon Michels, who is best known for specializing in that classic soul sound with his work with El Michels Affair, The Arcs, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Black Keys and The Menahan Street Band. Additionally, Michels has had his work sampled in songs by Jay-Z and Ghostface Killah.

“Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)” is the latest single off Freedom Is Free and as you’ll hear the song draws from slow-burning, classic soul and R&B while nodding at the sound of The Who Sings My Generation and A Quick One-era The Who and The Kinks — but if they added an organist and a handful of backing vocalist. And as a result, the song consists of a soulful, old-school, shuffling two step and a deceptively simple nature, as the song lyrically and thematically speaks of the complex and complicated nature of friendship. Throughout the song, the narrator openly recognizes that while human relationships are absolutely pleasurable and necessary if they forge a deep understanding and companionship; but they can also be frequently fraught with misunderstanding, bitterness, heartache and betrayal.

Recently, the members of Chicano Batman made their national television debut with an appearance on Conan, where they played a loose and fiery version of “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm) off their latest full-length effort.

Monica da Silva is an Los Angeles, CA-based, Brazilian-American singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentliast who has released a critically applauded solo album Brasilissima; however, she may arguably be best known as the frontwoman of the Bossa Nova influenced, indie pop act Complicated Animals with her longtime collaborator Chad Alger. And whether as a solo artist or as a member of Complicated Animals, da Silva has seen her music featured during the 2014 World Cup, TED, Ibiza Beats and Putumayo World Music’s Brazilian Beat compilation.

Now, it’s been some time since I’ve last written about da Silva or Complicated Animals, as the duo relocated to the Los Angeles area last year but in that time da Silva, Alger and Bruce Driscoll, da Silva’s brother, producer and other long-time collaborator, who’s best known as a member of Freedom Fry and Blondfire have spent their time working on da Silva’s latest solo foray, the haunting and cinematic “Soladado de Amor,” a simply arranged song that features da Silva’s gorgeous, old-timey, jazz-leaning vocals, Alger’s Latin guitar stylings, marching, polyrhythmic percussion and twinkling piano. And while evoking smoky, late night, jazz clubs and classic film noir, the song is largely inspired by the vintage marchinhas (marches) and popular samba songs of Brazilian Carnival.

Unsurprisingly, the song was recently placed on the BBC TV dramatic series The Replacement and will be included on da Silva’s forthcoming solo, sophomore album.