Thursday, October 11, 2012

Flea Market Finds - El Podcast!

Some of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter may know this already, but others might not. Well, for the past month or so I've been doing this weekly podcast with some dear friends of mine here in the Bay Area. It has little to do with this blog, except that I'm usually the one who takes care of curating the music playlist and of course that playlist is very much influenced by the lastest stuff I've been posting about here.
Other than that, I did not want the podcast to be strictly about music, since I already do too much music journalism between remezcla and this blog. I wanted it to be a free format talk show were we play some tunes but then feel free to talk any nonsense and have fun.
So far the experience has been pretty cool. I gotta confess that I had the idea of doing a podcast in my head for at least six years now, but I never got around to actually do it because I hadn't yet found the ideal cohost but mainly because I never felt confident with my English speech. I'm ok with my writing skills but when it comes to talking I'm not very articulate and I have a strong accent so I felt embarrassed about it. But then I remembered that the whole point about starting this The Hard Data in English back in 2008 was because I wanted to gain confidence with my English writing (all my previous blogs were in Spanish) and in a similar manner, maybe forcing myself to talk in front of a mic once a week would push me to improve my oral English too.
So basically this is it, it's called Flea Market Finds and it's me and my co-host Eva Vargas plus our mutual friend DJ Pedrogas taking care of the technical and adding some commentary too. We plan to have several guests and cover a variety of subjects. So far, we're barely starting it, getting used to the new format and getting comfortable on the mic. But hey, we just recorded our fourth episode with Sonido Franko of and Discos Unicornio and I'm quite proud of the results. If you're a record collector and you like Latin vinyl and 45's you gotta check this guy out.

You can listen to the show here or you can subscribe via iTunes or listen on the go on Stitcher

Saturday, October 6, 2012

GLOBAL BASS VOL.3 (Urban World, 2012)

As you already know I love vinyl. Now, there's one thing I love even more than vinyl. Oh yes, that too, ok there're actually two things, blowjobs and free vinyl!
I didn't get any of the first but plenty of the second lately. This one here is a double LP compilation put together by my friends from Urban World Records.
These guys are always busy with so many constant releases it's hard to keep up with them sometimes. They are right there at the forefront of the global bass scene releasing more music than pretty much any other label and a lot of it has to do with ñu-cumbia and new trends of Latin electronic dancefloor-oriented stuff, which is weird considering they're from Denmark, of all places.
I personally find it quite fascinating the whole paradox of Europeans experimenting with this musical styles, especially because I grew up in a super Eurocentric Latin American environment where growing up we used to look up to everything that came from Europe and ignore our own local musical roots.
Anyway, most of those multiple releases Urban World puts out are just digital, which is ok, I guess, but once a year they grab the best of the bests and put together a compilation that they press in the highest quality vinyl with a really nice packaging. This is the third of those vinyl comps and the first one I got to add to my collection and that in itself is super exciting. Now, add to that the fact that it was free! (Some of the perks of writing a blog that people around the world, for some reason, find interesting enough to read).
So, yeah, shit's dope. If you can't get a free copy and purchasing the double LP gets too expensive with the foreign shipping and all you can still get the digital (I think it comes with a couple extra tracks too). There're plenty cool Latin-derived grooves provided by Los Chicos Altos and Los Superpendejos, plus remixes by familiar faces doing remixes like Bigote and Empresarios. I haven't had a chance to play it yet but I'm looking forward for my next all-vinyl gig a couple of weeks from now to drop some of these bangers and test them with a live crowd. So far I'm enjoying my free vinyl all by myself.

Buy it HERE or download it HERE.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

TIM MAIA-Tim Maia 12'' (Luaka Bop, 2012)

And finally gringos discovered the untapped Afro-Brazilian genius of Tim Maia. David Byrne's boutique record label just put out a compilation of Maia's greatest hits (well, sort of) and it's the first official release by that legendary artist in the US.
Now shit gets a bit confusing here so bear with me. A little over a month ago they announced this release and they first put this 12'' out for sale. It includes only five songs of the fourteen featured on the full length LP. But I was a little too excited by the release and impatient so I didn't wanna wait until the LP dropped who knows when (it took them 10 years to put it together, so you know they're not in a rush). So I ordered this EP, assuming, well it's probably gonna have all the DJ-friendly, funkier tracks and that's actually all I need.
Now I'm thinking that maybe that wasn't the wisest decision. You see, the EP got back-ordered or some bullshit and it took them over a month to deliver it and by the time it finally arrived, the full LP was already available and what's even worst, the funkier songs are on the LP but not on this one!
Anyway, besides my disappointment over my lack of shopping skills and Luaka Bop's odd marketing maneuver I'm still a fan of Tim Maia even though half of his output totally bores me to death.
I remember back in the late 90's I was in Brazil talking to many local rappers and hip-hop DJs and I asked them about the main source of Brazilian funk and they all pointed to this Tim Maia guy I had never heard of before. So I went to a record store a bought a greatest hits CD of Tim Maia (I wonder if I still have that CD somewhere) and when I got home and listened I was confused and also a bit disappointed. I liked his funkier tracks in Portuguese like the classic "Chocolate" (arguably his biggest hit, for some reason not included in this Luaka Bop collection, in either format), but I didn't care at all about the slow soul jams he sings in English. Maybe that's why I misplaced that CD and lost it amongst my piles of crap during some moving.
So yeah, that's seems to be my recurrent story with Tim Maia, I want to like his shit, I get all hyped up, but then when I finally listen to it I only like half of it. Same with this release.

Get your Tim Maia on vinyl here.