Monday, September 30, 2013

September's Reviews Roundup

KINKY-El Sueño De La Máquina (Kin Kon/Nacional Records, 2012): Even though it was released in 2012, I didn't review it until now because the vinyl LP came out in 2013 and if it wasn't for the vinyl I wouldn't be talking about it here. Back in 2001 I was Kinky's biggest fan, their self-titled debut album was my favorite release of that year and the 12'' single of "Cornman" was, hands down, the record I played the most in all my DJ sets, up until 2007. I still consider that album as a groundbreaking masterpiece and I think that's pretty much the consensus out there, however after the success of their debut they radically switched directions to focus more on pop-format, radio-friendly songs and less on DJ-oriented tracks. I can sort of understand that decision because it definitely gave them access to a lot more female fans/groupies, but the fact is that the tracks from their first album are the ones that keep being used in TV commercials, more than a decade later. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I'm not a fan of current Kinky but I still support them and they still sound better than 99% of the music that comes out of Mexico, I just don't think I'd play this in my sets, but as soon as I saw it available on vinyl I knew I had to get a copy for my collection. I'm just happy that bands that stopped pressing vinyl after the Serato revolution kicked in in 2006 are finally coming back to the format. If I was them, I'd reissue their debut on vinyl. Buy it here.

VARIOUS ARTISTS-Perú Maravilloso (Tiger's Milk, 2013): There was a time, not too long ago, when nobody gave a rat's ass about Peruvian music. Nobody outside of Peru, I mean. Somehow, somewhen in the first decade of this current century, white fellas from the northern hemisphere "discovered" Peruvian music and all of a sudden you have compilations like this one coming out from the places like the UK, pressed on high-quality double vinyl (a privilege this music never enjoyed in its birthplace). I don't fully understand how this happened, if it was because of Novalima or the Roots Of Chicha comps or the sudden realization that a Peruvian band predated punk rock in sound and attitude or something else, but in the last six of seven years I've been exposed to more Peruvian music than in my whole previous life combined. And I was born and raised in Argentina, which is not too far from Peru. I'm not bitching here, I'm glad people in the Europe and the US are finally looking beyond their belly-buttons for musical inspiration, but I can't help getting a bit cynical whenever I see a trend like this take over one country's culture while completely disregarding many other countries in Latin America (and the world) and their potential in rich music to be exported and exposed globally. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving this compilation (it's too long, so I haven't heard the whole thing yet), but I'd like to see equal interest from the so-called first world in the music of say Bolivia, Ecuador or Paraguay. Get it here.

LOOPEZ-Free (Nodo Music Network, 2013): My first contact with Loopez was back in the early days of this blog, when I reviewed an Uruguayan compilation of electronic remixes of Eduardo Mateo in which he participated with one track. Since then he fell off my radar until recently when I rediscovered him thanks to my Argentine friend, DJ and producer Ezequiel Lodeiro, a.k.a. Doctor Stereo. As his name suggests, Loopez makes loop-based music, very much in the style of downtempo instrumental electronica, with plenty of bossa influences and some touches of hard hitting funk. I've been playing his single, "Lost Tape #1" in my sets for a while now and I recently got the full album, Free, which I had playing as background music at work all last week. Most of it is too chill and delicate for my sets, but it'd work out perfect if I was doing a lounge or something like that where making people dance is not the only goal. Sometimes I miss that. Anyway, Loopez deserves more vinyl pressings, so record labels out there, keep an eyen on this guy. So far, this is available digitally only and you can get it here.

BOSQ OF WHISKEY BARONS-Bosq & Orquesta de Madera (Ubiquity Records, 2013): And I left the best one for the last. Not because I wanted a climatic ending to this post, but because I have been waiting for this album to come in the mail for over a week and I really wanted to review it once I actually had it on my hands and I could play it on my turntable. Unfortunately, the package got lost or delayed or the fools at Ubiquity are just too lazy to send out orders in time, so I still don't have it, which pissed me off because I really wanted to play the shit out of this on my party last Saturday. So I guess I'll have to give you my impressions based exclusively on the MP3's that I got as a free download when I ordered the record. Whiskey Barons are at the top of the food pyramid when it comes to remixing and reworking classic Afro-Latin tracks with funky break beats and that's pretty much the foundation of my DJ sets so I've been playing their edited tracks in every single gig I had for the past couple of years and they never disappoint. Bosq is one half of the producing Boston-based duo and he surprised me with this solo debut where he actually composed and performed all original material, with the expected influences from Afro and Afro-Latin beats and his impeccable use of breaks. There's a little bit for every taste here and all the tracks are ready to be dropped anytime and getting the party going, guaranteed. I just wish I had that on vinyl seven days ago, when I should've received it. Order yours here.

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