So I'm still processing everything amazing that was the Latin Alternative Music Conference last week in New York. Still so much on my mind! When I last updated, I was across the street from the conference hotel at one of the busiest Starbucks I've ever been to. After quickly updating, I headed over to the Gramercy Theatre for one of the many prime LAMC showcases.
So I'm out here. NYC is incredible! LAMC is even more incredible! I don't know where to start since there's been so much going on. Last night, the conference started with a show at Mercury Lounge. While getting to the venue a little later than expected, I was able to catch the last three acts: Alex Anwandter, Monica Lionheart and La Santa Cecilia. Everyone got down last night.
When you combine two amazingly talented rhythmic guitarists with a 13-piece Cuban orchestra, you get to Area 52. With this album being the first collaboratively done between El Rodri and La Gabi and an orchestra combined of Havana's finest young players, you get this mesmerizing musical piece of art. “The album is called Area 52 because we felt like Mulder and
Scully approaching this — it was just a crazy idea, to see if a big
Cuban band could play our music, a step in the dark. We knew it was out
there, everyone has heard of Area 51, but we wanted to take it a little
further,” Rodrigo says. “We saw it as a trip into the unknown, an
experiment,” he continues. “Okay we knew the producer, and had spoken to
the arranger on Skype; but we didn’t know the musicians or the studio,
or Cuba for that matter.”
Be sure to hear another cut off this album next week's One World on January 26!
With the start of the new year, there's been a good amount of new music I've played on One World. One of my favorite releases right now is Shawn Lee's Incredible Tabla Band "Tabla Rock" put out recently on one of my favorite labels, Ubiquity Records. Inspired by the Incredible Bongo Band's classic 1972 "Bongo Rock" album, Shawn Lee completely re-did the album after having noted that it'd never been re-done in an Indian style. Here's the band's version of one of the most heavily sampled drum breaks of all time:
Last night, I premiered some new music on One World!
When it comes to digital cumbia, ZZK Records based out of Buenos Aires, Argentina is at the forefront of this sound. Super Gauchin, the latest duo signed to the label with their first release, uses modified video game consoles to uniquely structure their own take on traditonally-rooted cumbia rhythms.
The iconic Southern California-based label, Ubiquity, released a wondrous new EP from cross-cultural instrumental group, the Echocentrics, entitled Echoland: A Tribute to Timbaland. As the title itself dictates, Echocentrics' front-man Adrian Quesada (also involved with acts such as Ocote Soul Sounds, Grupo Fantasma and Brownout) covers classic hip-hop producer Timbaland productions, particularly using the melt-worthy Brazil-based vocalist Tita Lima in his reinterpretation of the late R&B singer Aaliyah's timeless song "We Need a Resolution".