Tuesday, June 17, 2008

THE PINKER TONES-Wild Animals (Nacional Records, '08)

I said it over two years ago, in some other blog, I envy Nacional Records for having signed the coolest band in the world: The Pinker Tones. (I'm also grateful to them for doing so, otherwise I would've never "discover" them). But the first thing I thought when I listened to The Million Colour Revolution for the first time was "fuck! I wish I found these guys first and I signed them to my label," followed by the obvious, "damn, I wish I had a record label."
The thing is, The Pinker Tones are the best thing ever to come out of Spain since Zapato Veloz. Just kidding. The best thing ever, period. And if you expect me to explain why, well, that means you probably need a lot of catch up to do with your Latin music, huh? Go do your homework, try to find another artist who can DJ like this and minutes later play acoustic sets like that (and do it as well in Spanish as in English, or French, or German, or Portuguese...).
Wild Animals is the third CD of the Barcelona duo available in the US, if you count the compilation of remixes More Colours! published last year. It's probably not as surprisingly amazing as their first one because, well, now we know what to expect. But still, they make me wish that there were more artists like them around to review their CD's and more labels like Nacional to send me cool free stuff. Then my blog wouldn't be so bitter...

Monday, June 16, 2008

LOCOS POR JUANA- La Verdad (Machete Records, '08)

I really wanted to like this one. I met these guys a couple of years ago and they were very nice. I just got this CD on the mail and the first thing I notice was that Toy Selectah (former Control Machete) was doing some production, and if you read more than two of my previous reviews, you know that I pretty much love Toy's productions. So I was like, yeah! They finally sent me something decent to listen to!
I played it and the intro was awesome. Really cool cumbia-dub beat. Great! I couldn't wait for the rest. But then they started signing, and automatically I started skipping the tracks one by one, trying to find some more of that cumbia-dub sound but I was quite disappointed. All I found was ultra-clichéd Latin reggae with corny lyrics and something like a salsa fusion that may be cool if you are a bar-band in Miami, FL. but it's tacky almost everywhere else. Then they start rapping and well... we all know what happens when Miami people try to rap! Go ahead, turn on MTV at any given time this summer. You'll see.
In the end, only one of the tracks is produced by Toy and it's not even the best track in the album. The rest is not bad if you're into that type of music, but it's definitely not my cup of tea. I'm just keeping the intro and one more of the up-tempo songs to possibly spin at the parties. Sorry guys. I really tried!

Friday, June 13, 2008

So... what the fuck happened to Rock En Español?

Not too long ago, Rock En Español was regarded by many as the next big thing for the Latino youth in the US, then... nothing happened. Today it's only a niche market that only appeals to immigrant's nostalgia but has not been able to renew its fan-base and generate more customers among the younger generations who are more interested in, you know it, reggaetón.
Mun2 website (thanks Ejival!) just published this interesting survey they did with key players in the music industry, trend-setters and yours truly; asking about the reasons behind the alleged death of a genre. Definitely worth reading: here.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

WISIN & YANDEL – Los Extraterrestres, Otra Dimensión (Machete Records, ‘08)

Having read my previous reggaetón reviews, you probably expect me to hate on these guys because their music is so horribly commercial, or because their lyrics are unoriginal and -god forbid- sexist, or just because it’s so obvious that they are repressed closeted homosexuals.
However, I have to admit, that even when I agree with all those statements, I also know that when it’s that time of the night when you must get the people to dance, the easiest way around to make that happen is... by dropping “Sexy Movimiento”. Yes, this season’s song that we all love to hate but we can’t stop dancing to.
I got a lot of hate a few years ago when I said that “Gasolina” was one of the best ten songs of the year because, even though I preached that nobody in his right mind can really “like” reggaeton, I also happen to LOVE dancing to it, (or shall I say, embarrassing myself while trying to dance to it) and “Gasolina” made me -and still makes me- dance my ass off. There, I said it.
So you can hate all you want, but if you love dancing without paying attention to the lyrics or you're spinning at a party and last-call is coming up and you still haven’t been able to pack the dance floor, this album (or actually that track, since the rest is mostly forgettable crap) is all you need. In this extended version it comes with a second CD with remixes (one with Nelly Furtado guest starring on... guess which song?) and an extra DVD with all those videos full of unbelievably hot mamis that you just can’t stop watching.

EDUARDO MATEO – Remezclación (Jondor, 2007)

If you, like me, recently realized that there was way too much cool music coming out of Uruguay, of all places, and started wondering how come we never heard of cool Uruguayan music in the past, then you probably never heard of this guy called Eduardo Mateo. I know I didn’t.
How did this happen? How did such a genius managed to stay unnoticed? People say he was ahead of his time and only a few understood him while he was alive. Yeah, he died in 1990! Dude, we’ve been all missing out, big time. This guy was the shit! I mean, well, not exactly THE shit, but he was really good.
And now, 18 years after his death, his music comes back thanks to the cut-and-paste skills of some amazing young electronica producers, most of them unknown and they make Eduardo sound like he really is the shit. So thanks to this remixes I discovered a great composer I wasn’t aware of and I was able to understand why there is so much cool music coming out of Uruguay... because apparently there always was, we just weren’t playing attention.
This is so far, the best album I reviewed in 2008. And if you, like me, think that Bocanada was the best album of Gustavo Cerati (and it is still one of the top ten all time records of rock en español) then you’ll love this too. Unfortunately you can’t buy it outside of Uruguay... yet.

PS: Thank you Selectorchico for sending it and Goma for bringing it.