Argentina’s Pablo De Caro Pays Tribute To Velvet Underground
- 15 April, 2016
The classic saying that has always stuck with Velvet Underground was supposedly once said by Brian Eno: “The first Velvet Underground record sold 30,000 copies in the first five years. I think everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.” It speaks of the influence of the band, especially in terms of their ability to influence other bands.
Since Eno said those words I think it’s fair to say that their influence has grown even stronger, spreading far and wide across the globe, with its tentacles reaching and setting root firmly in Argentina. A few years ago we reported on the fact that the Argentine indie music scene had put together a track-by-track cover of VU’s debut album Velvet Underground & Nico. Now, it’s the turn of Argentine singer/songwriter Pablo De Caro who has put together a 5-track tribute to the Velvet Underground.
Imaginatively titled Vuelvete Underground (translating as something like “Becoming Underground”), the EP features covers of three Velvet Underground tracks, “Femme Fatale”, “Candy Says” as well as the less-known “Over You”, as well as covers of Nico’s “The Fairest Of The Seasons” and John Cale’s “Andalucia”, all of which have been translated into Spanish. Simply recorded with guitar, vocals and sparse cello, drums and keyboards, the release shows once more the incredible influence of the Velvet Underground worldwide, as well as the Argentinian passion for a bit of VU.
Listen and download (for free) Vuelvete Underground below:
Will Smith Makes His Comeback on Remix of Bomba Estéreo’s ‘Fiesta’ [VIDEO]
- 19 October, 2015
Excuse me if you’ve heard this one before as this track has been rattling around the Internet for a week or so now. This is the unlikely tale of Will Smith‘s re-emergence on the music scene after a near-decade silence. For his comeback he decided to work with Bomba Estéreo on a version of their “Fiesta” track, from their recent Amanecer album. The collaboration came after “Big Will” (as he perpetually likes to call himself) heard the track on a trip to Colombia and felt the need to get jiggy on it.
The resultant collaboration can be seen and heard below in a brand new video set in a dystopian warehouse perfect for the track’s carnal pleasures. As for Smith’s return to rapping the less be said the better. Quite why Smith thinks peddling stereotypes about going to Colombia in search of his own Sofia Vergara or other colombiana in designer clothes is beyond me. And the rhymes (asking a mamacita for a beer-a!) well there can be no doubt he’s out of practice.
Yet Smith’s presence has propelled the track onto new heights. Whereas “Fiesta” reached #20 in the Latin Pop digital charts on first release, this remix has already shot to #1. Which tells you all you need to know about the price of popularity. Get a Fresh Prince on your track and you’re guaranteed a hit, even when it means he then has to rap on it. Let’s just hope that the new fans Bomba Estéreo have surely accrued through the exercise stay loyal and the group stick to their roots rather than get too wrapped up in Miami’s superficial sound machine.
Venezuela’s Algodón Egipcio Finds ‘Multistability’ On New Single
- 30 September, 2015
There can be little doubt that Algodón Egipcio is one of the most inventive producers in Latin America. The Caracas-born musician has constantly evolved since first emerging as half of Jovenes y Sexys, following that much-loved group with his exquisite debut album La Lucha Constante, through his expertly-judged covers and countless remixes, as well as the incredible track “La Espina del Cardenche” for the Norte Sonoro EP (still one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard!).
Now Algodón Egipcio is back with a stunning new track, Multiestabilidad, inspired by and sampling the work of underground British producer Mark Fell on his 2010 Multistability album (listen to one of the tracks from the album here), a work of extreme detail and granular synthesis that is given soul and bounce on Algodón’s version, even though the harsh edges and flowing glitches remain intact under its new guise. It is most certainly a brand new feather in Algodón’s cap.
Deep Andean Vibes from Ecuador’s Quixosis
- 12 May, 2015
Special things happen when we listen to the latest EP from Ecuador’s Quixosis. Gentle beds of percussion, melody and carousing bass find a perfect blend between ambience and downtempo tropical bass for an enriching sonic experience that gets better the louder you can pump up that bass.
Described simply on the release as “A journey, a show of strength and taste by newcomer Quixosis. Andean vibe, deep and delightful on the ears”, it’s a description that sits perfectly with the subtle, gentle but intoxicating nature of this release.
Aguas EP is released by QTZLCTL, a music collective featuring Gorka Molero and Nicola Cruz, and which has previously released material by El Búho, Okasno and Nicola Cruz (a recent signing to ZZK Records).
Listen to more Quixosis at soundcloud.com/quixosis
Streaming Live Set from Chile’s Experimental Genius El Sueño De La Casa Propia
- 01 April, 2015
Essentially, when El Sueño De La Casa Propia publishes any music we listen, such is the high regard we have for this Chilean producer. After all, this is the man responsible for Historial de Caidas (2010), one of the most important electronic music records of the modern era and one that could be seen as a precursor for a lot of the digital music being made right now. Just listen to Algodón Egipcio, Sokio or deMentira and you will hear echoes of his inventive, distinctive style.
ESDLCP is currently working on a new release, a 7-track album that will be co-released by Ponk Records and CLANG, and is due for release very soon. In the meantime, to celebrate his upcoming performance at CFT in Santiago, Chile he has posted this live set, recorded at Bar 1 on February 6th this year. Clear proof on why you need to be keeping an eye on this maverick musician.
Listen to more ESDLCP at soundcloud.com/delacasapropia
Brazil’s Ava Rocha Releases New Album of Peerless Pop Invention (Free D/L)
- 30 March, 2015
The tag of “post-tropicália” has never felt more apparent that on the latest release from Ava Rocha. Ava Patrya Yndia Yracema is the second album from the Rio-born singer and offers 12 tracks of astonishing inventiveness and originality. At times the music recalls classic tropicália, as on the Caetano-esque orchestrations of “O Jardim” or “Herética”, at other times it can be abrasive as with the direct, post-punk anti-police overtones of “Auto das Bacantes”. Then there’s the psych-pop of “Transeunte Coração”, “Beijo No Asfalto” with hints of Marcos Valle’s 70s jazz or the Tom Zé/Jorge Ben hybrid of “Uma”.
What is certain on Ava Patrya Yndia Yracema is that whichever way you look at it this is an album bristling with ideas, but also one that somehow fits within the pop canon. There’s a myriad of emotions on offer but it’s always done with a flair for melody and soul, and with Rocha’s distinctive voice guiding the whole project. It’s an ambitious album and shows that Rocha has grown into one of Brazil’s most interesting artists, something that was only hinted at on her debut album Diurno in 2011.
The majority of songs are written by Ava Rocha and her partner Negro Leo – another artist well worth checking out – alongside contributions from Jonas Sá, Domenico Lancellotti and Marcelo Callado (of Do Amor and Caetano Veloso’s Cê band). What unites these songwriters – along with the musicians on the album – is that they are all based in Rio de Janeiro, a city that currently has an exciting experimental music scene, a scene that is harnessed to the full on this extraordinary disc.
You can download Ava Patrya Yndia Yracema for free from avarocha.com (just click on the album cover)
NB: Oh, and if you were wondering about Rocha’s name, then yes, she is the daughter of famed Brazilian film-maker Glauber Rocha. But don’t let that be the reason you listen to this album, Ava is a talent in her own right.
Watch the video for “Você Não Vai Passar” below:
SUPOLOLO Record Label Launches With Superlative Debut From SIBÖ
- 04 March, 2015
SIBÖ is a brand new collaboration between Costa Rica’s Nillo and Brazil’s Sentidor, both artists pushing the boundaries of new Latin American electronica. The duo’s debut represents the first release on SUPOLOLO, a brand new online record label aiming to showcase emerging artists from Latin America.
Nillo and Sentidor’s collaboration took place completely online, using Skype, Soundcloud, Facebook, Dropbox and Ableton Live to complete the release. The partnership took place after Nillo (aka Johnny Gutierrez) heard one of Sentidor (João Carvalho)’s songs online. Here’s Johnny to explain: “I liked one of João’s songs and was abducted by his sounds. My music is filled with dark sounds and I found balance with João’s sequences. That’s why I got interested in talking to him.” The feeling was mutual: “I heard Johnny’s music and really liked it, above all because of the sounds from native tribes from Costa Rica. It’s something that I had plans to work with in my own music”, says João.
The release features the sounds of both producers hard at work, alongside two voices. One of these is João. The other is Unchi, referred to by the duo as “one of the greatest singers of Ngäbe chants in [Costa Rica].” These chants come courtesy of Johnny Gutierrez and his passion for recording and compiling indigenous sounds and chants from Costa Rica, especially those from the Ngäbe people, which he has been doing for 15 years.
You can find out more about SUPOLOLO at supololo.tumblr.com
You can stream/download SIBÖ below:
Lima’s Fifteen Years Old Release Long-Anticipated New Album
- 10 February, 2015
It was three years ago that I first discovered Fifteen Years Old, the musical project of Peruvian artist Solange Jacobs, and fell in love with her first EP, The Image Lovers, calling it “dream pop”.
Well, “dream pop” still applies on this long-awaited follow-up, however it’s also a far more mature release with the first tracks, “Ancho Mar : Seda” and “Abecedario”, both haunting and beautiful in equal measures. The Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and all the other classic 4AD roster are easy bed-fellows for this short (it’s barely over 22 minutes long) but intense album.
Abecedario, as the record is called, was produced with David Acuña and the musical assistance of the Argentine Daniel López Quiroga (Mellonta Tauta) and the Barcelona-based Peruvian Alberto Cendra (Puppies in the Sun).
The album is available from Buh Records as a limited edition CD and also digitally. Their will be an album launch on Friday 20th February, 7pm, in Lima’s Espacio Fundacion Telefonica (Av. Arequipa 1155).
Listen to Abecedario below:
Barrio Lindo Remixes Populous!
- 29 January, 2015
We’re very much enjoying this brand new remix by Argentine producer Barrio Lindo, a producer who is very much riding the crest of a wave at the moment, fresh as he is from releasing his Menoko album and the History of Colour EP in collaboration with El Búho, both of which came out last year. That’s not to mention the rather great South American Tape mix that we published on S&C last week.
This latest remix is of a track taken from the new album of Populous, a Berlin producer who travelled to every corner of the globe in search of sounds for this latest release. The album is called Night Safari, in reference to the fact this is a journey best enjoyed in the still of night, which is also the track that Barrio Lindo remixed. You can find out more about the album here and listen to Barrio Lindo’s remix below:
The Hushed Minimalism of Melodía’s Federico Durand and Tomoyoshi Date
- 10 December, 2014
I’ve spent the morning listening to the quiet brilliance of Melodía‘s upcoming new album Diario De Viaje. Melodía are a duo comprised of Argentine Federico Durand and Japanese Tomoyoshi Date (although Tomoyoshi was born in Brazil and spent the first three years of his life there). Diario de Viaje is their second album and continues much in the vein of their debut together, Saudades. Minimalism and ambience are at the core of what they do, with the two playing guitars, treated instruments and a variety of percussion with the accompaniment of field sounds and background ambience. The results are glorious, glimmering with effervescence and right now are bringing a ray of light into my office.
Diario De Viaje is another strong release from Durand, whose solo work is also well worth a look. Adormidera, which was released in October this year, featured two 15+ minute drone tracks built with purity and calm, slowly revealing new textures. It was an essential release for anyone interested in ambient/minimal music.
Diario De Viaje will be released on December 25th and can be pre-ordered from homenormal.bandcamp.com/album/diario-de-viaje
You can listen to some of the tracks from the release below:
Cadu Tenório and Marcio Bulk Reimagine Samba-canção
- 14 November, 2014
Spell-binding is most certainly the word for this latest release by Cadu Tenório, a prominent name on Rio’s experimental music scene. As a member of Sobre a Máquina, VICTIM! and Ceticências he has helped to define this new crop of carioca musicians who seem intent on redefining the parameters of Brazilian music.
Of all the releases to come from this scene Banquete feels as if it has the closest relation to Brazilian music tradition. Using the poems/lyrics of Marcio Bulk, Tenório asked a variety of artists to record four songs with just guitar and vocals in the style of samba-canção, a precursor to bossa nova, before later removing the guitar and creating a new sonic landscape which put those vocals into a completely different environment. Now the vocals – which were provided by up-and-coming Rio artists like Alice Caymmi, Bruno Cosentino, César Lacerda, Lívia Nestrovski, Michele Leal and Rafael Rocha – feel vulnerable, distanced, distressed.
It’s an interesting concept which could fail. However, in the hands of Tenório the results are a revelation and well worth seeking out. Perhaps consider this a starker companion to Lucas Santtana’s voz e violão deconstruction Sem Nostalgia from a few years ago.
You can listen to Banquete‘s four tracks below:
Juçara Marçal, Alice Caymmi and Banda do Mar Win in Brazil’s Premio Multishow Awards
- 29 October, 2014
Brazil’s Premio Multishow awards, as with award shows around the world, has given its main 2014 honours to some of Brazil’s most popular acts (namely Luan Santana, Thiaguinho, Ivete Sangalo and Sorriso Maroto), however the awards also always keeps a space for some of the interesting new acts coming through, and this is exactly what it has done this year.
Banda do Mar, the new supergroup of sorts featuring the husband and wife team of Marcelo Camelo and Mallu Magalhães, as well as Fred Pinto Ferreira, released their first album this year, and it has clearly made an impression. They won the Novo Hit (New Hit) and Melhor Álbum (Best Album) awards.
Alice Caymmi won Versão Do Ano (Cover of the Year) for her version of Caetano Veloso’s “Homem” (as featured on her Rainha Dos Raios album.
Finally, one of our favourite albums of the year, Juçara Marçal‘s Encarnado, won Música Compartilhada (an award for the best album that’s been shared or given away, as was the case with this album as it was made available for free download). This represents a real coup for Marçal (also singer in Metá-Metá) whose career really seems to be on the up at the moment.
There was also awards for Boogarins, Mahmundi, Bonde do Rolê and Racionais MC’s. See the full winners list here.
You can watch videos for all of these winners below: