Thursday, February 04, 2010

Terminated X-(

This blog is inactive and the server on which it is hosted is offline (hence the messy layout). You can still browse the archives (see bottom). All the best!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Site Problems

Dec 2: The hosting problems are still unresolved, but the company guaranteed me everything will be okay again in 6 days. Let's hope so, I have a lot of posting to catch up with (but I'd rather wait until I can put the mp3s online for you)!

Dec 18: Ok fuck it, I guess I won't see those files ever again, so I'm gonna try and fix everything manually and find a solution for the mp3s. It'll be quiet for a while here, though I won't deny you my Best of 2008 list. Coming soon!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Electronic: Señor Coconut

What do German techno pioneers Kraftwerk have to do with cumbia? Quite a lot, Señor Coconut proved us with his 2000 debut El Baile Aleman. His collection of Kraftwerk hits transposed to latin rhytms was more than just a novelty, but a great example of how a good idea can become musically attractive too.
In the same spirit, the German DJ/producer now released Around The World with latin reworks of dance classics by Prince, The Eurythmics and of course Daft Punk. Not an unispired sequel, but a well-thought selection of essential dance songs from all over the world.

Only the original rhythm of "Que Rico El Mambo" and "Pinball Chacha" is close to the Señor Coconut version, in all other tracks the elaborate process of breaking the track down and rebuilding it step by step with his live band gives them that hard-to-define Coconut style. They sound familiar yet refreshing, charmingly old but at the same time trés hip. Belgian electro band Telex is honored with a brass-rich version of "Moscow Discow". Prince's timeless hit "Kiss" is given the latin touch by crooner Louie Austen (a special mention for the bass & percussion here). And Daft Punk's club anthem "Around The World" is the glue that holds everything together.

Most of all, it's just wonderful to see how much all those different musical genres have in common rhytmically. Who would've thought that Laid Back's "White Horse" makes an excellent merengue? Or that the Eurythmics classic "Sweet Dreams" is rhythmically and melodically a perfect chachacha? Around The World is a quirky mix of some great songs that will truly impress anybody.

Señor Coconut - Moscow Discow mp3
Album: Around The World (Nacional Records)
buy@iTunes buy@Amazon myspace

(PS: El Baile Alemán is being reissued digitally & physically to coincide with the release of Around The World!)
(PPS: Images and audio will be added as soon as my hosting is fixed!)

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

En La Misma Onda

The 9th Latin Grammys sucked. Bigtime. And for only one reason: Juanes sweeping all five categories he was nominated for - okay, La Vida Es Un Ratico is an okay album, but Album ánd Song of the Year goes a little to far for me. I was also bummed by Tego Calderon losing to Wisin y Yandel and Nigga, even if his latest album wasn't his best he's still miles above the commercialism of those competitors.
Café Tacuba and Julieta Venegas walked away with two awards each, and Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan won in the categories I praised them in last year, so it's not all bad. Still, I guess you know who won't be on my best of 2008 list ;)

Hector 'El Father', who used to be one of my reggaeton idols thanks to the Hector y Tito classic "Baila Morena", just made the worst album of 2008. Juicio Final is a mess of religious nonsense, brainless hiphop and toe-curling ballads. But at least he seems to realize that himself: Hector says farewell to music and devotes his life to God now. At least we won't have to listen anymore! (via Latin Gossip)

The Latin Americanist had a small interview with Aterciopelados' Héctor Buitrago. They discuss politics, fatherhood, and of course the beautiful new album Río.

Rock en las Americas compiled an all-time latin rock & alternative top 20 as the conclusion to his elaborate 'Evolution of Latin Rock & Alternative Music" series (in Spanish). All top quality songs and a great introduction to the previous work of many bands we write about on La Onda!

A highlight from the abundance of latin indie reviews on Club Fonograma this month: No Somos Muchos Pero Somos Machos organize dirty electroclash parties in Mexico DF, but appartently enjoy making a greasy beat of their own as well. The remix they did for Mexican Institute of Sound is fabulous, check it out.

And finally, after the closure of Fat Planet (now replaced by the more 'Western' Discontent) we have to say goodbye to yet another recently discovered blog: Turn That Shit Off got, ahum, turned off. Venezuelan indie popstar Nuuro dedicated a funky song to the team behind the blog. So long, farewell, adiós, y muchísimas gracias!

PS: the layout, image and audio problems should be solved by the end of the week, according to my hosting company. Apologies!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stars In Your Eyes

It's been a busy week with two long-awaited releases who turned out to be fabulous albums. Check out Aterciopelados' Rio and Calle 13's Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo below, and to immerse yourself in the music, pop out the gray Yahoo player on your bottom left!

But what I wanted to say: when reading music magazines or browsing the web, I noticed that the first thing I look at in a review, is how many stars the writer thinks a record, movie, whatever is worth. It gives you an idea of what to expect, and can be an extra incentive to read the article. So I decided to add a 'star' rating to our reviews as well. Here's how it breaks down:

No stars - will probably not be reviewed, cause it's crap
- avoid!
- less than mediocre
- good effort but nothing special
- very good, has to be included in Top 10
- essential work of art!

Check out the list of previous albums by pressing "Show videos" below.

Aterciopelados - Rio ****
Calle 13 - Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo *****
Acida - The Greatest Hits ****
Daddy Yankee - Talento De Barrio ***
Bajofondo - Mar Dulce ***half
Fania DJ Series: Gilles Peterson **half
I Like It Like That - Fania Remixed ***
Plastilina Mosh - All U Need Is Mosh ***
Jorge Drexler - Cara B ****
Sergio Mendes - Encanto ***
Choc Quib Town - Somos Pacifico ****half
Pacifika - Asuncion **half
Manolito y su Trabuco - La Habana Me Llama ***
Adalbarto Alvarez - Gozando La Habana ***
Café Tacuba - Sino *****
Juanes - La Vida Es Un Ratico **
Gloria Estefan - 90 Millas ***half
Manu Chao - La Radiolina **half
Tego Calderon - El Abayarde Contra-Ataca **half
Marc Anthony - El Cantante ****
Marisa Monte - Infinito Particular ***
Marisa Monte - Universo Ao Meu Redor ***half
Bebel Gilberto - Momento ****
Mayra Andrade - Navega *****
Bonde do Role - With Lasers ****
Tita Lima - 11:11 ***
Spanish Harlem Orchestra - United We Swing ****
Daddy Yankee - El Cartel 3: The Big Boss **
Calle 13 - Residente o Visitante *****
Gotan Project - Lunatico ****
Moenia - Solar ***half
Buscemi - Retro Nuevo ****
Federico Aubele - Panamericana ***half
Luz Mob - Luz Interpretations **half
Jennifer Lopez - Como Ama Una Mujer *
Juan Luis Guerra - La Llave De Mi Corazon ****half
Ibrahim Ferrer - Mi Sueño ****half
Telmary - A Diario ****
Rodrigo y Gabriela - Rodrigo y Gabriela ***half
Aterciopelados - Oye ****
Los Amigos Invisibles - Superpop Venezuela ***half
Various - Los Cocorocos **half
Pitbull - El Mariel **
Luny Tunes - Los Benjamins *half
Tego Calderon - The Underdog *****
Mana - Amar Es Combatir **
Andres Calamaro - Tinta Roja ***half
Don Omar - King of Kings *half
Gustavo Cerati - Ahi Vamos *****
Jean - On **
Calle 13 - Calle 13 ****

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