Friday Finds: New Latin Music from South America, Mexico & Chicago

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As new music drops continue to happen on Fridays (mostly), and because Bandcamp Fridays are no more, I will continue sharing great releases, as well as artist updates, singles, remixes, remasters, etc. These are usually by independent and underground artists, but, don’t get me wrong, I will also be sharing some of those mainstream ear worms that usually make my eyes roll to the back of my head. But, hey, we all like what we like, and that’s okay! 

I’m simply here to share the good stuff…

“Quiéreme” by Mark Cast & Pahua

Boom! Right off the bat we’re hitting it out of the ballpark with these two powerful Mexican music masters. Mark Cast is a DJ and producer combining urban, pop and dance music. Pahua is a singer-songwriter and producer who just dropped her new EP, Ofrenda—and is one half of the tropielectri duo, Sotomayor, whom we love). The two together created a hot new dance track titled “Quiéreme.”

You can find them on Nacional Records.

Infame Golpazo en Keroxen by Los Pirañas

Yes, more tropical goodies, but… recorded in a gasoline tank?! What? Yes! The ruido tropical trio formed by Eblis Alvarez, Pedro Ojeda and Mario Galeano, known as Los Pirañas, have returned with this new treat, Infame Golpazo en Keroxen, which offers us a re-configured re-recording of their live sound and their most memorable tunes from, yes, an empty gasoline tank located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands. !!! There’s a wonderful variety of sounds like champeta, cumbia, psychedelia, surf rock and more! They’ve included brass players Pablo Arrocha, Pablo Gonzalez and Eduardo Martin for that extra oomph.

By the way, if you’re new to Los Pirañas, you may recognize some of the members from other groups like The Meridien Brothers, Romperayo and Frente Cumbiero. No wonder this is so great!

It’s available on Discrepant.

“Guadalupe” by JAGUAR

Colombian duo Jaguar just dropped a new video for the single, “Guadalupe,” in which they “dream of one day being a united people with the strength to fight back against the authorities,” referring to socio-political issues in Colombia. “Guadalupe” offers hope. The song features Carela on trumpet, and it’s set to an ’80s inspired zouk beat. The video for the song was actually filmed in Barcelona.

Xolot by Xolot

This Mexi-French duo of visual-sound artists, formed by Vica Pacheco and Apulati Bien, debuted Xolot on Paris label Promesas, with a limited run of white vinyl. It dropped last Friday! The duo flirts with an alternative sound which they refer to as, “songs somewhere between de-constructed dancehall, minimal trip-hop and glacial R’n’B.” Say what? Es definitivamente diferente. Tell us what you think…

Alma Libre by MV Caldera

From Venezuela, MV Caldera brings together sounds from the Caribbean and Latin America, using rhythms like tropicumbia and chandé as a foundation, on her new album Alma Libre. These seven tracks showcase the composer’s love of combining genres like son with cumbia and artists like Shakira and Joe Arroyo, saying, “For more than a year I was studying many African genres, but Joe Arroyo’s music caught me, the champeta presented by Shakira at the Super Bowl left my heart full. I couldn’t believe that these genres that almost nobody talks about had a place in such an important event, this was a very powerful source of inspiration for me. It is dedicated to the free soul that lives in each of us.”

Alma Libre features guest artists Rubén Marcano, Henderson Olivares, and Tomás Aquino Font. 

“Dos Amantes” by Pehuenche

Singer-songwriter Pehuenche is based in Mexico City. The word pehuenche has different meanings, one of them being “hijo de la araucaria.” The musician chose the name based on that meaning, related to the araucarias, which are tall trees that grow in the zone where he grew up in Jalapa, Veracruz.

Pehuenche’s music has a foundation based in traditional Latin and South American sounds, with pop and rock reminiscent of popular Latin music of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. I caught his performance as part of the LAMC, and wow! This song, “Dos Amantes,” is his first official single, and we expect a full album later this year. (IMO, the vox and beat of this particular song are reminiscent of Circo/Fofe, which I love. But LMK what you think.)

“All We Know” by La Armada

The hardcore band, based in Chicago but originally formed in the Dominican Republic, continues to release one single a month until the debut of their full album. The second single, which dropped last week, is titled “All We Know,” and the band says it’s their new anthem.

After living through hurricanes Irma and María, the pandemic and other disasters, vocalist Casper Torres, who lived through all of this while in his hometown of Yauco in Puerto Rico, explained, “It’s a harrowing first-hand account of the indifference and corruption that surrounded the government’s response to these disasters and a reminder that at the end of the day, that’s the way it’s always been and that one way or another people find a way to survive.”

Sandra Treviño is a music journalist, DJ and radio host living in Chicago. Listen to her on the radio Friday afternoons on 91.1FM Vocalo and every second and fourth Monday at 6 PM CST on 105.5FM Lumpen Radio. she is also one half of the female selecta duo The Ponderers. #futurerootz #theponderers #djangelfuk

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