Sunday, May 27, 2007

Merengue: Elvis Crespo, Zona D'Tambore, Ilegales, Monchy y Alexandra, Juan Luis Guerra

Elvis Crespo Regreso El Jefe La Foto Se Me Borro Zona De Tambore ZDT - Merengue Latin Music - Suavemente
Yes, Elvis Crespo is back. He's still a master of merengue, and still looks like that guy from 5ive. Only now he's adopted the guys of Zona D'Tambore, a boysband-ish tropical rap collective. I know that sounds awful, but believe me, their song is great. Crespo's characteristical voice stands out wonderfully against the (bland) ZDT vocals. "La Foto Se Me Borró" is a slow merengue with a contemporary romantic theme: he's lost the picture of some girl on his mobile. The horror! I'm surprised about the trivialities youth are concerned with these days ;) No, serious, this song will be a continent-wide hit very soon, and Crespo will sell lots of copies of his upcoming album Regresó El Jefe!

Ilegales - Monchy y Alexandra - Bachata Merengue Latin Pop Fusion
Next, we dive into even more commercial music: Ilegales is a merenhouse combo from the Dominican Republic, not to be confused with the legendary Spanish rock band of the same name. (Side note: merenhouse is to merengue like Crazy Frog is to the Beverly Hills Cop theme). Ilegales teamed up with the bachata stars of the moment, Monchy y Alexandra, on "La Otra". The result is an eclectic mix of rhythms and instruments one can only classify as 'latin pop fusion'. The song has grown on me: the chaos is in some way very latino, and Alexandra has totally convinced me that she will not be la otra, the other girl.

Juan Luis Guerra - La Llave De Mi Corazon - Como Yo - Latin Tropical Merengue Dance Music
And as promised in the previous merengue post: here's another track off THE tropical album of 2007, La Llave De Mi Corazón by Juan Luís Guerra. In our review we mentioned "Como Yo" as one of the groovy dance tracks on the album, but maybe we should say the grooviest dance track. Everything about this song is irresistible: the quiet start, the hesitating rhythm change, and most of all the magnificent chorus. I bet you'll be singing "Te quiero como yo" for the rest of the day!

Elvis Crespo ft. Zona D'Tambore - La Foto Se Me Borró mp3 buy@Amazon
Ilegales ft. Monchy y Alexandra - La Otra mp3 buy@iTunes buy@Amazon
Juan Luis Guerra - Como Yo mp3 buy@iTunes buy@Amazon

Ilegales ft. Monchy y Alexandra - La Otra

Show Videos...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Reggaeton: Dalmata

Reggaeton Pasarela Dalmata Mexican Urban Latin Music Mariachi Beats
A funny little reggaeton song I'd like to share: "Pasarela" by the relatively unknown Puertorican rapper Dálmata. The mariachi samples, the accordion here and there, and the general Mexican atmosphere give the song a strong sabor a guacamole. All this courtesy of DJ Nelson, a famous producer that's been around since the beginning of reggaeton. This track is off his latest album, Flow: La Discoteca 2.

Dálmata knows how to entertain his audience: he focuses not on lyrical content but on the flow of his rhymes. Or I could also say: with those nonsensical lyrics and that earworm chorus, it'll surely become a big radio hit ;)
For complete submersion in Guadalajara/Jalisco atmosphere: grab a tequila, put on your oversized sombrero, and watch the video below!

Dalmata - Pasarela mp3 buy@iTunes buy@Amazon

Show Videos...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sporadic Posting

Hi there, faithful readers.

Though we're approaching the 2nd birthday of this blog, I'm now going through a period of internship and exams. El Guïri is having a stressfull last semester as well. And afterwards, we're taking a break to go to some exotic country. So posting will be sporadic, at least for the next two months.

Usually I don't think bloggers should apologize for not posting, but I just wanted to let you know, so you wouldn't think La Onda has gone dead!

PS: I also want to thank you all for commenting so actively during the last months, you always make my day with that!

All the best!

Show Videos...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Vallenato/Cumbia: Felipe Pelaez, Renzo Guerrero

To my own suprise I noticed we've never written about the wonderful carribean music called vallenato. It's sun-drenched and joyful afro-latin folk, very popular in its native Colombia. You'll recognize it by the distinct sounds of the accordion, the guacharaca and thumping African drums.
One song that recently caught my attention (though technically more merengue than vallenato) is "Borracha" by Felipe Peláez. Hasty guitar plucking, quick-paced congas and a contagious chorus is all it takes to make this one of the feel-good factors in my summer!

Renzo Guerrero is in a totally different music segment (namely commercial Peruvian cumbia) but his song "Vuelvo A Buscarte" has a very similar vibe. I hear sea, sand and sun in a farily typical tropical-pop song. But the sheer positivism of the song lifts it above the mass:

Vuelvo a buscarte
Para encontrar tu cariño
Y que me vuelvas con un beso
La felicidad

Heart-warming? Nah. Corny? Maybe. Uplifting? Definitely! And admit it: you HAVE to move your feet (or at least gently swing your hips) to songs like these.

Post Code:

Felipe Pelaez - Borracha mp3
Renzo Guerrero - Vuelvo A Buscarte mp3

Felipe Pelaez - Borracha

Renzo Guerrero - Vuelvo A Buscarte

Show Videos...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rock Chapin: Malacates Trebol Shop, El Clubo

A small Spanish lesson: my nickname, Chapín, is actually Central-American slang for guatemalteco (resident of Guatemala). So it's not hard to guess what rock chapín means: in this post we'll have a look at Guatemalan rock music!

Malacates Trebol Shop - Dejame Llegar - Ska Latin Rock Alternative Punk Music Guatemala
The debut of Malacates Trébol Shop was one of the first latin rock albums I bought, so forgive me if the following review is a bit emotionally biased ;) Malacates started out making fun-filled ska and punk music, but on "Déjame Llegar" we hear a more mature poprock sound. Singer Francisco Paez still has that strangely forced voice that inspired me to buy the first album, but I miss the sexy saxophones, politically tinted lyrics, and sheer fun I used to hear. It's a beautiful ballad though, and of a quality rarely seen in these days of Good Charlotte and Chemical Romance cover bands. More yummy music on their MySpace, including my old favorites "Ni Un Centavo" and "Mojado"!

elClubo - Me Cansé - Rock Chapin Latin Guatemala Alternative Music Viento en Contra
elClubo is a rock band recently emerging from the Guatemala City scene. Real die-hard La Onda readers will recognize the guitar player of Viento en Contra, which was on our playlist almost two years ago. Take a listen to "Me Cansé": both bands sound very much alike, no? So my criticism stays the same too: clear and straightforward music, strong voice, but sometimes it doesn't sound like the right tone. Promising for the future though!

Malacates Trebol Shop - Déjame Llegar mp3
elClubo - Me Canse mp3

Show Videos...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

En La Misma Onda

La Onda Tropical Blog MySpace Links
Remember our devastating review of the new Jennifer Lopez album? It caused a lot of discussion on our partner site BlogCritics - read the pros and cons here.

The sunny weather is a nice occasion for VivirLatino to have a listen at their favorite summer tunes for 2007. This is a very well written review of Techarí by Ojos de Brujo.

Masala likes Fulanito so much they used 3 new tracks in their latest radio show.

Last week's Billboard Latin Music Awards seen from three perspectives:
-About Latin Music sums up the winners.
-VivirLatino watched the show, and concludes "... Ninel Conde showed more silicone than the FDA should allow in one woman".
-Latin Gossip has all the red carpet pictures.

If you're into indie music, La Suerte del Perdedor knows all that's going on in the Spanish MySpace scene. For example, this post on Abraham Boba makes me wanna live in Madrid and roam all the local pubs.

Bar Doméstico a Domicilio might not update very often, but it put me onto some nice latin electronic music. Check out this compilation released on Gozadero Records, the label of 2006 favorites Los Amigos Invisibles (our review).

Show Videos...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Merengue: Fulanito, Kalimete

Fulanito - Mira - Merengue Tipico Perico Ripiao Republica Dominicana Latin
It's been ages since I posted some tropical tunes. So, in honour of the drought record breaking today here in Belgium (35 days without rain! weeha!), here's some steamy merengue.

Though merengue is suffering popularity at home (bachata and reggaeton appeal a lot more to the Dominican youth), songs with a high fun factor still manage to become big radio hits. The two hottest bands of the moment are Fulanito and Kalimete, both excelling in fast-paced, minimalistic mambo with nonsensical lyrics. And slightly irritating vocals too ;) Still it's irresistible on the dancefloor, and the tongue-in-cheek text can be quite funny.

For example: Kalimete's "Como Ella Lo Baila". Take one half pulsating conga beats, one half maniacal brass, add crazy lyrics and stir well. You love it or you hate it - I'm inclined to the loving side, as long as they don't make me watch the ridiculous video. Lyrics cross-reference dancing, cooking and sex. Whatever :)

Fulanito is the thriving force behind a popularization of the near-forgotten merengue típico or perico ripiao (after the brothel where the musical style originated - interesting history bit here!) They update the aged accordeon sound with poppy beats and rapping. "Mira" is okay, a bit chaotic however. One thing I hate about merengue bands like Fulanito though: why do they all have to look like the chubby latino counterpart of the Backstreet Boys? (photo above).

Conclusion: I admit it's hard to get these songs out of your head, but I think I still prefer a proper song over a contagious beat. I'll promise you another Juan Luís Guerra track on the next merengue post, okay? ;)

Fulanito - Mira mp3 buy@iTunes buy@Amazon
Kalimete - Como Ella Lo Baila mp3

Fulanito - Mira

Kalimete - Como Ella Lo Baila

Show Videos...