BEST EP: Suave Patria by Mexican Institute of Sound
There were a lot of good EPs released in 2010. Especially since that was the preferred format for most ZZK Records' releases of this year: Frikstailers' Bicho de Luz, El Remolón's Pangeático, Tremor's Caracol, Lagartigeando's Neobailongo. Not that many albums, but I don't care because I like this format a lot.
The reason I picked Suave Patria is first because I love the idea of Nacional Records releasing more vinyl and second because it plays like a cohesive cut-and-paste collage mixtape more than a collection of independent tracks, and they are all equally great. I think that's a great idea. And I loved seeing Camilo Lara focused on his DJ work rather than his dorky singing/pseudo-rapping, which is fun as a novelty for a bit but it soon wears off.
OTHER CANDIDATES: All the ones mentioned above from ZZK plus DJ Lengua's Cruzando, Chicano Batman's self-titled and DJ Sabo's Bersa #6.
WORST EP: Can't think of any at the moment.
BEST REISSUE OR COMPILATION: Mambo Loco by Anibal Velasquez
Honestly, I'm still trying to come up with the money to purchase this LP, it's quite pricey as an import and I usually don't like to spend more like, say, $10 on a record. But this one is definitely worth it. I know it and I know I'll definitely buy it soon.
I was gonna choose VampiSoul's Cumbia Beat for this category, but they already won best art. Besides there were a lot of amazing reissues released this year, mostly by European labels (like this one by Analog Africa). It's like all of a sudden they realized there had been some great music recorded in the 60's and 70's in South America and originals are extremely hard to find and the few that are available are victims of speculation on ebay.
OTHER CANDIDATES: Ranil's Jungle Party (Masstropicas), Palenque Palenque! (Soundway) Roots of Chicha II (Barbés) and The Afrosound of Colombia (Vampi Soul)
WORST REISSUE: Diggin' Down Argentina (Argie garage rock oddities from the pre-Rock Nacional era, who wants to listen to that? Not me! And that ugly ass cover, ewww!)
BEST NEW ARTIST: Frente Cumbiero
He's been doing stuff for a while but it wasn't until 2010 that he had his first official release. 2010 is Frente Cumbiero's year.
OTHER CANDIDATES: Los Reyes De La Milanga, Don Conejo, Matorralman, Lagartijeando, Munchi.
WORST NEW ARTIST: Paco Mendoza.
BEST NEW MUSIC BLOG: Cassette Blog
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Rita Indiana's debut.
There was so fucking much blog-buzz about this Dominincan woman for the last year or so that at a point it felt like a universal tacit agreement that she was like the best next thing to come. Then her album finally dropped and I was like bleh. I listened to it only once and I didn't like any of the songs. I'd never include any of them on a DJ set, voluntarily, and I very much doubt people will come up and request them. I don't think she's so original or ingenious as other bloggers pointed out. And I can't get over that fact that she looks like a Dutch professional Dominatrix, or what a Dutch professional Dominatrix would look like in my imagination, (because I've never met one). It's probably the whole tall-skinny-woman-with-short-hair stereotype, which I find scary and utterly unappealing. I mean, if I ever, for some reason, wanted to see a female Dominican star, I'd go for someone who looks more like, let's say Maluca, right?
BIGGEST BULLSHIT BUZZ: Moombahton tie with Tribal Guarachero
Nowadays anybody can mix two existing genres together, change the pitch and come up with a made-up word and call it a "new" genre. So what the fuck is so special about Moombahton? I'm still trying to figure it out. It sounds pretty much like everything else that's out there. Dave Nada invented that, nada. He's probably really good at self-marketing (he even has a creation "myth" and a wikipedia page dedicated to it) and he definitely has the right connections to get the right people in the blogesphere to write about it. There are probably thousands others creating "new" genres out there every day, they just don't come up with stupid names like that, so nobody talk about them.
And Tribal Guarachero? It's just cheesy bad early 90's techno with a cumbia guiro beat sped up to 130 BPM. And it sounds horrible. It sounds like cheap productions made by teenagers in their cheap computers with the demo sounds of fruityloops, because that's exactly what it is. But Toy Selectah came out saying it was the best next thing and all of a sudden, suckers all over bought into it. Granted, Toy talked to me personally about new cumbia back in like 2003 and I didn't give it any credit at all back then, so, you might wanna follow his advice instead of mine, he definitely knows a lot more than me about this shit. Maybe I'm just too old and the whole raver-teen-on-ecstasy thing is not for me anymore.