Saturday, December 25, 2010

BEST OF 2010: The Hard Data Awards II

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
As a Colombian, Frente Cumbiero has the knowledge and respect of the old cumbia tradition, but unlike other Colombian neo-cumbia artists he's been very focused on cumbia's migration, mutations and adaptations throughout the Americas. That gives him an unique perspective to approach cumbia that I really... envy. Part DJ, part digger, part cut-and-paste producer, part live band leader, part historian, this guy is everything that I wish I was, and better. Plus, he got to hang out with Mad Professor!
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.

Hosted by no other than the Frikstailers themselves, this blog is just a couple of months old and it's already making a lot of noise with their constant avalanche of new content. I don't know where this guys find the time to do this, I mean, with all the touring and all the side projects they've been working on (like DJ Sandro de América and Sonidero Cordobestia), but it really seems like everything these guys have the Midas touch or something and everything they set out to do, turns into a big hit.


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.


Anonymous said...

dude you need to stick to tango if you didnt like ritas album. you're taste in music is wack anyways, dont know how you've made it as a're horrible, your reviews are pathetic che. go back to argentina you prejudice asshole!

juan Data said...

yes! finally, after three years doing this blog, I get some actual hate-mail! I just wish you weren't anonymous so I could easily rip you a new one. But I guess not everybody has the balls to put their real name next to hateful comments as I do. Coward.

Luciana said...

'I don't think she's so original or ingenious as other bloggers pointed out..' -No she isn't original. She has taken the foundation and concepts of Batey 0 and Toque Profundo a step further ..adding better lyrics than Rene of Calle 13, to this fusion.
So in that respect she is inventive.
She is single handedly pushing/blurring boundaries of different art and the perception of it in Latin America.. and that should be commended.

Please remember that her resume includes author and performance artist, so her successful presence in the music scene says a lot about where our people are going (are we getting more open minded perhaps?)

A good DJ can mix/blend all types of music.

Dutch dominatrix thing? It would be nice if you focused on the music.. or be equal and call Rene's fine ass sexy.. It discredits your 'review' when you go off on something else and not really 'review'.. just a thought.

ps. boludo ;)

Juan Data said...

I never did a 'review' of Rita Indiana's album. I only shared my impression after one listening, that's it.
As a DJ I can if I wanted to mix "all types of music" but I just don't se myself mixing any of Rita's into my future sets, unless I wanted to kill the party.

Luciana said...

Yes, I was aware that your 'review' wasn't really a 'review'..thus the quotes. I still don't understand how your 'impression' of the ALBUM and music have anything to do w/Rita's LOOKS. Basically your 'impression' goes astray therefore discrediting your overall opinion.

A good Dj friend of mine, did a smooth blend from Rita's song El Fuego feat.Omega Me Muero remix.. So its doable w/o killing the party :D

You don't like the album. Period. Don't make up excuses. Maybe you aren't familiar w/merengue and wanna pump cumbia more? Thats totally cool.
Also try and use more examples and cite as to reasons why you do or don't like stuff, w/songs, production, tone/feeling, history, predictions, melody, lyrics...etc that would make for more insightful 'impressions'.


juan Data said...

I didn't make up any excuses, I simply said I listened to all the songs once and I didn't like any of them, because I couldn't get over the fact that she looks (and sounds) like a tranny (but I went for dominatrix instead of tranny to be a little more gentle).
That was my first superficial impression and I didn't feel like digging any deeper, that's why I didn't write a review! I write insightful reviews when I write professionally for many magazines and websites, but when I write on my own website, I just write whatever the fuck I want, as long as it makes me laugh. It's not journalism, it's just fun. If you don't find it funny go read another blog, simply as that. And OF COURSE I'm not familiar with merengue!!!! Read the tags of all the music genres enumerated on the side of the blog, there's 84 for cumbia and ZERO for merengue. I'm from Argentina, what did you expect? We don't listen to that shit. Boluda!

Luciana said...

Excuses why not to mix her music silly.

Why push people away from your blog when they intelligently disagree w/your opinion or bring stuff up to expand on?

I was hoping to engage and have intelligent music snob convo, but whatevs ..that's not gonna fly. Its your blog and you'll always be right :D
I'm Argentinean too ..1/2 Italian..raised in NYC. Spent sometime in PR/DR, cuba, brazil..
I thought we were better than this guy? Don't make us look bad!

Peace out ;)
Gonna go read another blog like you asked..

juan Data said...

If you like Rita and Omega and Fuego and all that stuff, you might wanna just stay away from my blog because you're not going to enjoy any of the music I suggest. You make Argentineans look bad by defending that stuff. Peace out!