Tuesday, January 26, 2010

LA TEJA PRIDE-Nómades (Bizarro, '09)

I've recently received this album from this legendary Uruguayan hip-hop crew and I've been digging it a lot, having it on rotation on my Ipod for the past few days.
La Teja Pride are hip-hop pioneers in the Montevideo scene and I've been following closely since early. If you go back to the beginnings of this blog, their third album was my second post ever. Now it's time for their fourth opus, Nómades. An album that pretty much continues in the same line of its predecessor, Efecto Dominó but shows many signs of maturity (that could at times be confused with boredom). 
What I like the most about these cats is that they broke off all the classic cliches of Latin American hip-hop creating a sound and style that's pretty unique. This, I know, will not be well received amongst the hordes of orthodox b-boys but will certainly make their music a lot more accessible for the eclectic listeners outside the scene. For instance, La Teja Pride barely uses samples in their production and if they seldom do, they are not recognizable. There are no looped break beats, no vintage record digging, so beat-heads may be disappointed. The drums, even though they are electronically sequenced, sound pretty much like a real drum-set of a rock band and that, right away sets them apart from the average hip-hop sound.
On top of that, they add lots of live instrument arrangements with guest musicians. So even though they are not, the record sounds very much like if it was a real live band (with a DJ scratching in the breaks). I know that traditional rock and pop fans will appreciate this a lot more than the hip-hop purists.
As if that wasn't enough, the songs don't always focus on the rappers and even when they do, the rappers don't talk about the usual MC topics at all, so that might throw you off as well. And then... they sing! They have this one female singer who leads in many of their loungy tracks and even the two rappers sing in most of the choruses and when they sing, they are not trying to emulate soul/r&b singers translated to Spanish (which sounds horrible!) as most other Hispanic rappers do; they sing some sing-along catchy tunes that could easily be from a Uruguayan-style rock band like Cuarteto De Nos. And that, is their main signature style, what separates them from all the rest of the Spanish-speaking rap world. 
Unfortunately for the foreign listener, the album is not yet available for purchase in digital format so you can only buy the CD here.

Todos a portarse mal, La teja pride* from Maite López Galeano on Vimeo.


1 comment:

Boebis said...

I've just discovered your blog (thanks to radiocanalh), and it's really awesome. I know very little music you're talking about, but the few I know, I love them (calle 13, mustafa yoda, los aldeanos) and I really liked what I ve discovered here so far. And as a new fan of old cumbia, I'm now really curious about neo-cumbia and there is plenty here to fullfill my curiosity.