I recently received a bunch of Nacional Records releases and I won't review them all because then you'll think that I'm getting paid by Nacional, which in fact is something that I'd love to, since I'm currently underemployed. But no, Nacional doesn't pay me to promote their releases, I just happen to love them all, (well, most of them, not that Intoxicados crap...) and they are the ONLY US-based Latin music record label with decent taste (OK, Bersa Discos isn't bad at all, but the rest are all cheesy).
Anyway, here are some quick uninspired reviews (more actually first impressions) of what I got in the mail:
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs - La Luz Del Ritmo: I used to listen to this guys back when I was in elementary school and they were a ska band doing covers of The Clash. A long, and I mean LONG, time went by, they became a cheesy Latin music ensemble, then a commercially successful international act, then a pretentious art-jazz-rock whatever, then they broke up and now they reunited and went back to making covers of The Clash. The album is full of unnecessary new versions of old songs plus one gem: the cumbia "Padre Nuestro" with Cumbia Villera's spiritual leader, Pablo Lescano, as a guest. I've been playing this track for a while now, and I'll keep on playing it throughout all 2009.
RH+ - Quintana Roo: I have no fucking idea what is this all about, they have a Virgen de Guadalupe in the cover which would usually be a HUGE red flag, but in this case I guess it's an ironic thingy because the music tries to emulate Stereolab and hipster-chronic-wanker-sensitive-white-boy bullshit like that, in English. I guess there must be some Latinos out there who dress in American Apparel and are into this stuff, not me. Anyhow, there's an instrumental track with turntablism that I digged but I'm too lazy to go back and try to find which one was it. I definitely need to give it a second listen.
Gonzalo Yañez-Gonzalo Yañez: I was sure this one was going to suck because the picture of the cover reminds me of those guys who sit all day at the coffee shops in Valencia St and write in their journals with lovely handwritting. Plus, it doesn't have a title. But it was published by Nacional so I had to give it a chance and it actually wasn't too bad, at moments it sounds like radio-oriented rock which is a bummer, but then it redeems itself with some very original lyrics and melodies that remind me of the good times of Andrés Calamaro and Fito Páez. The only problem here, it's full of break up songs and I can't relate at all because I haven't had a break up in ages (meaning: I haven't had a relationship in ages). Last time I went through a rough break up my album of choice was Honestidad Brutal, so go figure.
Fidel - Crucial Cuts: If this guy didn't take himself and rastafarsim so seriously he would be a lot of fun to listen to. In fact, he used to be a lot of fun to listen to during his ska-punk times with Todos Tus Muertos and I even liked him quite a bit with the dancehall trio Lumumba. But then he dived way too deep into religious rastafarism and started releasing like twenty new albums a year and well... it was a little too much. Thankfully my friends at Nacional had the great idea of releasing just the best songs from his over-prolific period in this comp that includes, once again, a contribution by Pablo Lescano.
Señot Coconut - Around The World: German dude over here lived in Chile where he discovered Latin tropical old-school music and gave it a techno twist and the results were quite fascinating a few years ago. In this new release he makes tropi-muzak covers of famous Anglo songs like the Daft Punk classic that gives the album its title. Unfortunately there's a lot of mambo and cha cha cha but not cumbia. So I'll keep spinning those cumbia tracks from his previous release (El Baile Alemán, which they also sent me, thanks again Nacional!) and keep this new one on the side until the neo-mambo fever kicks in.