CHICANO BATMAN is an eclectic INDIE ROCK outfit out of LOS ANGELES that has a real killer feel-good, laid-back vibe, almost like an after hours lounge band with killer FUNK / R&B chops and deft LATIN JAZZ percussion. the more i listen to them, the more i can suss out their affinity for 60s PSYCHEDELIA, POWER POP, PROG ROCK and all things CLASSIC ROCK with a distinctively diverse ANGELEÑO edge.
to my ears they sound totally original with a relaxing ambience that makes them the perfect antidote for the comedown from an energetic night out.
definitely worth checking out.
photo manipulations by nacrowe
the COLOMBIAN duo BOMBA ESTEREO is another one of the LATIN/SPANISH bands that i came across when i learned i would be moving to VENEZUELA. for me they are emblematic of modern act that takes ingeniously incorporates LATIN percussion and woodwind elements into recognizable pop structures that would not be out of place in TOP 40 ESTADOUNIDENSE radio.
i also love their videos, which are a celebration of life, family and being COLOMBIAN. every time i hear their music i am right back in CARTAGENA all over again (sigh).
most definitely worth check out.
SOL PEREYRA is an ARGENTINE singer-songwriter now based in MEXICO whose music is decidedly INDIE POP, being that they are usually upbeat with electronic flourishes. having been a part of JULIETA VENAGAS' touring band for a number of years, she moved to MEXICO in pursuit of her solo career.
like ANA TIJOUX, she is fiercely political and incorporates left-leaning themes into her music. definitely worth seeking and checking out.
there was an interesting period during the end of my time as a PEACE CORPS volunteer in ALBANIA when i knew it was only a matter of months before my move to VENEZUELA as a secondary english teacher. what an interesting era that was.
for 2-3 months i basically read everything i could about SOUTH AMERICAN history as well as LATIN culture writ large. this led me to things like reading OPEN VEINS OF LATIN AMERICA (MONTHLY REVIEW PRESS, 1997) by Uruguayan historian EDUARDO GALEANO as well as several HUGO CHAVEZ biographies and musical artists such as ANA TIJOUX (CHILE/FRANCE), LA VIDA BOHEME (VENEZUELA) and probably my favorite discovery, EL GUINCHO (SPAIN).
what makes music the music of this CANARY ISLANDS multi-instramentalist/producer stand out is his ability to contextualize disparate genres and textures into a cohesive sonic expression. the nearest analogues i can think of were artists like BECK and BJORK who both seem to revel in using multiple production techniques in the same track. i think the difference here is that for EL GUINCHO is playing with a different set of reference points (tropicália, afrobeat, old school hip hop) as BECK is known for genre-exercises as he was a child of the post-modern FLUXUS movement and BJORK is firmly a bridge between the pop and avant-garde world music scene.
for me the music of EL GUINCHO is very exciting on a sonic level and his album POP NEGRO (YOUNG TURKS, 2010) is something i have been listening to on constant rotation since it came out almost 10 years ago.
well worth checking this guy out. could not recommend his music any stronger.