Important update below!
We're mentally preparing ourselves for the Antilliaanse Feesten this weekend in Hoogstraten (on the border between Belgium and Holland). It's the biggest caribbean music festival in the world, and practically our only chance to catch a live performance of the artists we blog about. Both El Guiri and me will be covering the festival, and world music fanatic Pieter from Tropicalidad will be there as well, shooting his signature classy concert pictures.
As usual a few last minute cancellations changed the program a little - but in my opinion, the replacements could have been headliners themselves. Cuban timbero Manolito y su Trabuco replaces the charanga outfit he used to be part of - Maravilla de Florida. And while la Maravilla is a true Cuban monument, Manolito has grown even bigger during the last few years - the island is just crazy about timba.
Also, Grupo Gale, currently the #1 salsa band on almost every Colombian radio station, had to cancel their whole European tour, and will be replaced by the equally magnificent Son de Cali.
Other artist we're looking forward to seeing live on Belgian soil: Dominican merenguero Chichi Peralta (who used to be part of Juan Luis Guerra's band), soca king Machel Montano (a genre we rarely blog about but secretly enjoy), the unknown but apparently captivating salsa combo Magia Caribeña (we might do an article on them soon), and the Ecuadorian rock band Rocola Bacalao.
But the biggest stars of the festival are undeniably Wisin & Yandel. The Puerto Rican duo was part of the beginnings of reggaeton - we're talking 1995, unnamed tracks on compilations, and CDs burned in some sleazy home studio. Success slowly built up, and W&Y exploded into mainstream with "Rakata" off 2005's Pa'l Mundo, thanks to superproducers Luny Tunes. Now Wisin y Yandel have their own record label and sold a couple of million albums (all of this in the internet age!). Their latest effort Los Extraterrestres may not be excelling in originality, somehow Wisin y Yandel manage to lock every single they've released in the last few years in the top spots of sales & radio charts. We'll see this saturday if the success is deserved!
For now, here's the latest single "Ahora Es". Yes, the chorus says "dale sin miedo" AND "hasta que se rompe el suelo" - the two biggest clichés in reggaeton lyrics. Yes, the video has loud engines and dancing females. Yes, the song is probably as annoying as "Gasolina". But I dare you to listen to it - we'll talk in a week, when you might finally got that beat out of your head ;)
Wisin y Yandel - Ahora Es
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!!! UPDATE !!!
The Bad News: Wisin & Yandel cancelled their whole European tour (Milan, Rome, London, and the Antilliaanse Feesten festival) due to the serious illness of Wisin's mother. We wish them peace and love going through these tough times, and hope for the best for Wisin's mother.
Another last minute cancellation is the venezuelan salsa combo Magia Caribeña. They can't make it due to 'third person incompetence' - read: red tape.
There's only one suitable comment here: FUCK! The festival usually gets some cancellations (mostly due to visa problems) but if you look at the line-up now, it's completely different than a month ago.
The Good News: The festival organisation has managed all the cancellations very well in my opinion. Khriz y Angel will replace Wisin y Yandel - they may not be as famous, but honestly I like their music better. Plus, considering the cancellation happened minutes before W&Y got on the plane, it's a small miracle they found a similar artist so fast. The same with Amarfis y la Banda de Attake very last minute but a welcome addition!
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Important update below!