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


*guillaume* said...

Fulanito new album is a bomb, totally helpfull on the dancefloor!

jeanluc said...

I loved the first album from Fulanito in 97, when they were new. Now I don't realy get into.

If i must choose one of the new mambo bands I would take Omega. They have an orchester, play fast monotone mambo - but they try to add something new.

Tipico is not forgotten. It is the main music in Santiago. I think it got outside realy more popularity over the last years. There are a lot of young bands with young musicians who are rocking all the time. Geovanny Polanco, Frandy Sax, Kerubanda Chiqui Rodriguez, El Prodigio, José El Calvo, etc. Also they added a spheric keyboard...