Un poquito más duro, un poquito más suave: New music from Latin America (Audio)
When I went to school at the University of California, Berkeley, there was an infamous building called Dwinelle Hall, a labyrinthine structure reminiscent of M.C. Escher’s Relativity. There was a running joke that freshmen would enter the building and finally figure their way out by graduation. And there was a myth about the building — the wings had been constructed by feuding brothers who refused to cooperate or even consult with each other, hence the crazy staircases and dead ends. The truth about Dwinelle Hall, I only recently found out, is that it was originally two separate buildings that were connected well after they opened.
In a lot of ways, this week’s Alt.Latino reminded me of Dwinelle Hall. Usually Felix and I work together on producing each show, comparing our picks and deciding what our theme will be. Will it be a rock ‘n’ roll show or have a hip-hop vibe? But I was sick during the pre-production week, lying in a pile of Kleenex in a cold-medicine stupor, imagining I was on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Which is why I dragged myself to the studio with a handful of songs that pretty much sound like a party on a yacht in Paradise.
Then I realized Felix had decided to do a show with very mellow, even melancholy, music ideal for a rainy winter day. So we decided to do both.
We start off this week with danceable remixes and party starters in Columbian flavors. We really have it all: the champeta attack of La Makina Del Karibe, the Caribbean stylings of El Guincho (in an unexpected but very lovely duo with Chilean electro pop princess Javiera Mena), Novalima’s unique blend of Afro-Peruvian tradition and international club music, and DJ Maga Bo’s fantastic remix of Colombian Bullerengue icon Petrona Martinez.
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