Over the weekend, Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta had a release party for their latest piece of vinyl now out on Electric Cowbell Records. The night was full of amazing music! Dos Santos enlisted the help of their friends, Los Vicios de Papá and Beats y Bateria.Read More
It was a bit chilly out last Wednesday, so it was fortunate that The LIFE Project: Chicago brought the heat for the first of what might become a ritual at the East Room, showcasing talented artists doing work here, in Chicago. When I saw the Boogie Down's bill, I smiled to myself because all three bands have gotten play here at NR and it couldn't be a better time to check in on how they've developed since last we spoke. Súbele & Lester Rey y Los Leones are both quality ensembles that are truly coming into their own; and the diverse powerhouse that is ¡ESSO! Afrojam Funkbeat stopped by for a special live performance of some of their remixed material off the Pueblo Unido mixtape.Read More
A few days have passed and the music is still flowing through my being. Memories of performances from the weekend dance about and blend together as if I was mixing records:
Camilo Lara and Toy Selectah's "Te Andan Buscando" starts things off then makes way for Master Blaster Soundsytem's "Borrale", which opens up some space for Bumbac Joe and his accompanying congo player. The disco-funk that DJ Afro kicks bounces its way into the mix while Dellarge jumps in for a tag-team set. Then the record scratches...
Bardo Martinez of Los Angeles vintage band, Chicano Batman, made a comment in a Billboard Magazine piece this year: "That's really how I am, listening to that variety of music all the time. It's very important to hear music when you're a kid; it gives you a soundtrack for your life." Up until that point, I had been feverishly listening to their music over and over again - falling into trance after trance of reminiscent joy not quite understanding what was going on, or why. Really, at that point, I was still so emotionally involved in where the sounds were moving me, I didn't care to think about the why. Then I read Bardo's thought and it flashed - I knew what was happening here: I had just discovered a childhood-defining group in Chicano Batman.
Sonido Gallo Negro might be the most interesting group to play Ruido Fest next weekend. The simplest way to describe their sound: Cumbia on acid. But it's much more than that; there's a ton of history encoded in their music and it needs to be unpacked in order to gain a deep appreciation of what goes into their sound. If one is to speak of Gallo Negro, one must speak of 60's Peruvian Psychedelica - they must speak of cumbia chicha - and they must speak of Morricone...or, at least, allude to the sounds of Spaghetti Westerns. But even that doesn't quite get us there...Read More
Positioning is important; something Mariel Mariel seems to have understood when she left her home in Santiago for Mexico City in pursuit of her music. Leaving one's family and friends can be difficult. We get entrenched. We fear the unknown. Or maybe we fear the aftermath of failure. There are numerous ways we reason ourselves into paralysis; but regardless, positioning is important and in this case - inspiration was at stake.Read More
El Sonido Sonic Octopus - the name was compelling. I hadn't had a listen yet, but something told me I was about to tangle with a phonic kraken; and it was thrilling. El Sonido Sonic Octopus - just let it sit for a second...