Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pop: Moby & Amaral

Ever heard Moby sing in Spanish? Here's your chance: "Escapar" is the Spanish version of Slipping Away (which you must have heard on the radio by now). His Spanish is not that bad actually, but the lovely Eva Amaral is a far better singer. The song was already sad and melancholic (with Moby's patent synth violins climaxing the sentiment), and adding Eva's broken voice makes the song almost depressing. But also slightly more beautiful :)

Escapar is on the Spanish and Latin American version of Go - The Very Best Of Moby, which you can buy at CD Universe (for a godawful amount of money). If you live in Spain, you can get the single at the Spanish iTunes Store. And the reworked video is worth the watch too!

Moby & Amaral - Escapar mp3 video lyrics buy@iTunes (Spain only!) buy@CD Universe

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The winners of last week's giveaway are (drum roll):

  • Los Cocorocos: Herman V. from Belgium
  • Now Latino 2: Matias from Argentina (or New Zealand, whatever :))
Congratulations to them, and to all others: thanks for participating. We'll be having more competitions soon!!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006


You can win one of these two brand new & smokin' hot latino albums! All you need to do, is send me your mailing address (and album of preference) at laondatropical [at] telenet [dot] be. The lucky winners will be announced next week.

Los Cocorocos is a very ambitious cooperation between modern salsa and reggaeton stars. They revive the atmosphere of 70's nightlife in Puerto Rico, singing the salsa gorda classics of back in the days. Check our full review article!
buy@iTunes - buy@CD Universe

  • 1. Gallego - Intro
  • 2. Don Omar & Gilberto Santa Rosa - Los Hombres Tienen La Culpa
  • 3. Zion & Domingo Quiñones - Dos Jueyes
  • 4. Tego Calderón & Victor Manuelle - Ché Ché Colé
  • 5. Domingo Quiñones & La Sister - Mal Agüero
  • 6. Papo Rosario (El Gran Combo) & Aniel Rosario (his son) - Perdona Viejo
  • 7. Tito Nieves, Pedro Brull, John Erick - Los Gorditos
  • 8. Mista - Ayí Viene Mista
  • 9. Junior Gonzales & Plaza - Mulata Rumbera
  • 10. Jaking y Maximo - Esa Nena
  • 11. Mafo Crew - Mafo Crew
  • 12. La Symphonia - La Wasa
  • 13. Voltio - Claro de Luna

Now Latino 2 is the leading compilation for chart-topping latin hits. Just in time for christmas ;) You'll recognize lots of tracks from this blog, the link in the track list will take you to the corresponding article.
buy@iTunes - buy@CD Universe

  • 1. Juanes - Lo Que Me Gusta a Mi (article)
  • 2. Daddy Yankee - Machucando
  • 3. Rakim & Ken-Y - Down
  • 4. RBD - Este Corazón
  • 5. Julieta Venegas - Me Voy
  • 6. Don Omar - Angelito (article)
  • 7. Luís Fonsi - Paso a Paso
  • 8. Mach & Daddy - La Botella (article)
  • 9. Calle 13 - Se Vale To' To' (article)
  • 10. Tito 'El Bambino' - Caile
  • 11. Voltio - Chévere (article)
  • 12. Wisin & Yandel ft. Anthony "Romeo" Santos (Aventura) - Noche de Sexo
  • 13. Thalía ft. Anthony "Romeo" Santos (Aventura) - No, No No
  • 14. La Oreja de Van Gogh - Muñeca de Trapo (article)
  • 15. Marc Anthony - Se Esfuma Tu Amor
  • 16. Frankie J - Pensando En Ti
  • 17. Reik - Levamente
  • 18. Chelo - Cha Cha
  • 19. Belanova - Por Ti (article)
  • 20. Fonseca - Te Mando Flores

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Salsa: Los Cocorocos (+giveaway!)

Los Cocorocos is a very nice concept: bring back the atmosphere of the 70's nightlife in Puerto Rico, by letting the top voices of modern salsa sing the big classics of those days. And what is a modern production without the most popular artists of today: reggaeton rappers. As Gallego puts it in the intro:

Saying "Cocoroco", is like saying salsa vieja is a blood relative of rap and reggaeton. It's like saying both movements serve the same artistic goal, if the sound is eternal the beat doesn't matter my brother. What really matters in the end, is that you have the Music in you, and that you live it.
A noble goal indeed! As a quite recent adept of latin music, these classic songs are unknown to me, but the original combination of rappers doing salsa appealed to me. And hopefully to young latino's everywhere, as discovering your roots through music is something that needs to be encouraged!

All cultural historicism aside, Los Cocorocos is defintely a kick-ass salsa gorda album. The raps provide an essential diversion of the classic salsa rhythm, the lyrics add a modern dimension of social consciousness and (on the other hand) party atmosphere. "Los Hombres Tienen La Culpa" is a wise choice of first single, fresh Grammy winner Gilberto Santa Rosa combines well with the don of reggaeton, Don Omar.

Tego Calderón joins sonero Victor Manuelle on "Ché Ché Colé", originally by the legendary Willie Colón. (Tego already proved his ability in salsa on Chango Blanco, off his album The Underdog). More famous duos: rapper Zion sings "Dos Jueyes "with Domingo Quiñones and fat guys Tito Nieves, Pedro Brull and John Erick sing "Los Gorditos". All songs are bursting with energy, both thanks to the strength of the original songs, and the effort of the modern artists, conscious of the legendary footsteps they're filling.

About halfway through the album, the rhythm changes to more heavy reggaeton, ragga and hiphop beats, and a chance is given to less famous artists. They fail to live up to the big names, you will need your skip button...

For the (impressive) full tracklist, and a chance to win the album, click here!

Don Omar & Gilberto Santa Rosa - Los Hombres Tienen La Culpa mp3 buy@iTunes buy@CD Universe
Tego Calderón & Victor Manuelle - Ché Ché Colé mp3 buy@iTunes buy@CD Universe

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

iTunes Latino

Apple dedicated a special section of their iTunes Music Store to latinos this week. Check out iTunes Latino! It features latin music (duh), special podcasts & videos, and soon latin TV shows too.

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Rock: Aterciopelados

Aterciopelados was one of the first alternative rock bands in Colombia. Over the years they've experimented with punk, traditional influences (bolero, vallenato) and even hip hop (on Gozo Poderozo, for which they received a Grammy nomination). But with Oye, their first album in five years, they return to their roots of alternative poprock with a social conscience.

Lead singer Andrea Echeverri is blessed with an instantly captivating, eerie voice reminding of the sixties. "Complemento" spans barely three minutes, but that was more than enough to impress me. 'Beautiful' is the only accurate description. It's pure flower power, adapted to the Latin America of the 21st century. (Although I wonder what kind of oldschool hippie drugs they were on when shooting the video..)

I'm certainly gonna write a full review one of these days.. Until then, enjoy the single!

Aterciopelados - Complemento mp3 video buy@iTunes buy@CD Universe

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Reggaeton: Calle 13, La Factoria, East African Reggaeton

It's going well with reggaeton! The genre received a big recognition last week at the Latin Grammys, where debuting rappers Calle 13 took home 3 awards (for best new artist, best urban music album, and best music video). At the same time, the awards comittee seems to be giving a signal to old-school rappers like Daddy Yankee and Hector El Father, that their 'gangsta' efforts won't live up to the new generation of less aggressive, more socially conscient raps (like Calle 13 and Tego Calderón). Have a listen to a new song leaked from their upcoming sophomore album, "La Crema", and compare it to this shit Hector's been up to lately.

As you might know, reggaeton not only originates from Puerto Rico, but also has roots in Panama (previous article). And now it seems the reggae panameño is reviving, with artists like Mach & Daddy appearing all over Latin America and the USA.
One of the first reggaeton songs I ever heard was Todavía by La Factoría, a group consisting of two sexy female singers and two macho latino DJs. A continent-wide hit back in 2003 :) Now La Factoría is back with "Dale", a contagious song in the typical panameño sound: not just a heavy beat, but lots of horns, piano tunes and electronica to support the joyful and sunny lyrics.

Even in Africa people are starting to dig reggaeton. Jean-Luc sent me this (german) article about 'raggaton' from Tanzania, where bands like East African Reggaeton Crew and Ray C are emerging in the same way the original Spanish 'reggaeton' originated: by mixing Jamaican ragga/dancehall tunes with aggressive and sexual hiphop-like raps. Check out some songs at SwahiliRemix.com.

Calle 13 - La Crema mp3
La Factoría - Dale mp3 video pre-order @ CD Universe

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Salsa: NG2

It's been ages since I liked a salsa song I heard on the radio (no Marc Anthony for me, thanks). But "Como Amigo No" by NG2 is soulful and entertaining, not just salsa but with small parts of vallenato. NG means nueva generación or new generation, and they call their music salsa joven (young salsa), trying to create a much-needed evolution in the genre.

The song is about love and friendship, without being romantic or cheesy: the Colombian Puertorican(!) boys of NG2 state that it's impossible for men and women to be 'just friends'. Complete bollocks of course, but the typical Latin American macho attitude lyrics are quite funny (I haven't found a site with the lyrics yet so you'll have to listen carefully :))

(Salsa fans: I'm desperately looking for mp3s of cuban salsa and timba, if you have any idea where I can find those (or if you can send me CDs :)) drop a mail at laondatropical {at} telenet {dot} be.)

NG2 - Como Amigo No mp3 buy@CD Universe

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