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Alt.Latino’s finish of summer season playlist showcases music from Colombia, Mexico and Austin, Texas : NPR

NPR’s Alt.Latino is that includes a few of the summer season’s hottest releases in Latin music.



Don’t try to regulate your radio. There’s nothing improper. NPR Music’s Alt.Latino has taken management to deliver you some music, and we are going to return to you as quickly as you’re grooving. Felix Contreras, this feels like a soundtrack to a different world.

FELIX CONTRERAS, BYLINE: That is certainly the world of a Colombian band referred to as Los Cotopla Boyz. The band describes their sound as millennial cumbia. They usually say their mission is to avoid wasting the celebration within the, quote, “post-pandemic dystopian multiverse of at present,” proper?

GURA: All proper.

CONTRERAS: Lofty objectives for a band that’s a part of a motion in Colombia that hyperlinks the Afro-Colombian traditions of cumbia with futurism and a nod towards these cool digital devices of the Sixties. Their album is known as “Millennial Cumbia For The Finish Of The World,” and we performed an instrumental to open the section this week. However the remainder of the album is filled with playful lyrics and infrequently simply plain outdated foolish however with killer grooves. It is from one among my favourite document labels, the oldsters at ZZK and AYA Data.


GURA: I really like that. The digital devices you talked about – the cowbell it feels like as effectively, Felix. What else is in your present rotation?

CONTRERAS: OK, fully shifting gears.

GURA: All proper.


EL TRI: (Talking Spanish).

CONTRERAS: I introduced in a monitor from a brand new album by a band from Mexico. And, you realize, I hate to make use of analogies like saying so-and-so are the Rolling Stones of Mexico, et cetera. However I bought to say, this band has been waving the flag of blues-based rock ‘n’ roll in Mexico for over 50 years.

GURA: Fifty years.

CONTRERAS: Yep. And they’re simply as a lot a musical establishment in Latin America because the Stones. They’re referred to as El Tri, and so they’re led by the very charismatic lead singer named Alex Lora. Music followers all through Latin America and right here in the US can acknowledge his raspy voice with only one notice. And I am unable to announce the title of the album.

GURA: OK (laughter).

CONTRERAS: It is a Mexican slang phrase that Lora makes use of to have a good time the resilience of on a regular basis Mexicans to not solely persevere within the face of so many challenges of their nation, but additionally to take action with a gusto and lust for all times in all of its glories. That spoken intro we heard is from a tune referred to as “Con Mis Amigos,” and it says, do not stroll forward of me as a result of I will not observe. Do not stroll behind me as a result of I will not lead. Stroll aspect by aspect so we will get there collectively. And I at all times thought he had the poetic sensibilities of a Bob Dylan. However once more, I do not wish to make these analogies.


EL TRI: (Singing in Spanish).

GURA: You are reluctant to make these analogies. I do know you are even handed. There should be a purpose for making them, Felix. Why do I get the sensation we’ll shift gears as soon as once more?

CONTRERAS: Since you’ve in all probability been listening to me and Ayesha speaking about music, and I modify issues up.

GURA: (Laughter).

CONTRERAS: , subsequent up is an artist that I am very keen on. And he is an instance of the form of expertise that’s on the market that definitely deserves a lot wider recognition. Rene Lopez, or Rene Lopez, is a vocalist in New York whose dad was a part of the Fania salsa scene again within the ’70s. So he grew up with that world, but additionally with some critical R&B from the ’70s and ’80s. And I’ve at all times thought that his music combines the most effective of each of these worlds, a really bicultural and even multicultural existence. He is an indie artist who typically self-releases his albums.

Man, I like his voice, his musical sensibilities, his prolific output. And he has an album popping out subsequent month in September. However he launched a single to offer us a glimpse of a special route he is taking his music. I’ve heard the entire album and, as ordinary, it is so spectacular. That is the only referred to as “Boy.”


RENE LOPEZ: (Singing) Boy, you bought me feeling I am scared. Could not climb as excessive, however I at all times tried. I will not be your pawn.

GURA: Felix, it has such an enormous sound, such a wealthy sound as effectively.

CONTRERAS: Yeah. Yeah, and it is – like I mentioned, it is a totally different factor for him as a result of normally it is acoustic guitar-based or piano-based. I am very, very impressed along with his new stuff as effectively, man. Cannot go improper.

GURA: Give us yet another, for those who would.

CONTRERAS: OK, we began with futurism and we’ll finish with futurism – this time from Austin, Texas.

GURA: Honest sufficient.


CONTRERAS: I am a sucker for the groovy, retro and neo-soul that is coming from Austin and South Texas today. The band is known as Caramelo Haze.


CARAMELO HAZE: (Singing in Spanish).

CONTRERAS: It is actually an all-star band pulling from some killer Austin outfits like Brownout, the Black Pumas, Grupo Fantasma, who as soon as backed Prince, and the Southern California group Quetzal. Their debut album is known as “NOESTASAQUI,” which suggests she or he’s not right here, and it is all run collectively in a single phrase. They describe it as, quote, “a novel twist of Afro-Colombian folklore meets steamy South Texas soul, the place psychedelic Americana is mixed with the hovering highland sounds of central Mexico.”

GURA: Sounds good.

CONTRERAS: Yeah, proper? A lot of phrases, however the proof is within the pudding as a result of to my ears, that is precisely what it feels like – sonic futurism in your Sunday mornings from one other favourite document label of mine, Nacional Data. Love this document lots.


GURA: The brand new Austin sound. I adore it. Felix Contreras, host of the Alt.Latino podcast from NPR Music. And, Felix, I perceive you are coming again subsequent month with some massive information.

CONTRERAS: Man, I’ve bought such massive information. I am dying to inform all people, however we’ll have to attend, man. It should be an enormous deal.

GURA: A killer tease. Felix, thanks very a lot.

CONTRERAS: Thanks, man. I actually admire it. Thanks.


CARAMELO HAZE: (Singing in Spanish).

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