Latino

J Balvin's Mi Gente gets some Willy n' Bé by Randy Ortiz

Already being a fan of J Balvin and seeing how he's constantly elevating the latino artist market with interesting collaborations and visual style, gladly he has no plans to stop this wonderful way of releasing music with this being a recent example. This time he has Mauritian-French DJ/producer Willy William and Beyoncé on his Mi Gente smash hit, this beat stays dope and props to Bé for that Spanish flow. Liking the raw simple style of the video, it seems to mix in Youtube clips, choreographed recordings and karaoke sing-a-long text at the bottom. 
To also know that you can do something small yet good and help recent victims to the natural disasters, Beyoncé is also donating her proceeds of this song to charity. Some interesting collabos J Balvin keeps banging out and this one keeps the bar at a high once again.

El Mató A Un Policia Motorizado - El Tesoro by Randy Ortiz

It's been a while since I've posted anything from El Mató A Un Policia Motorizado (Argentina) but they are back! Their new album titled La Síntesis O’Konor on Nacional Records (June 23rd) is coming up and lucky for anyone with ears, I'm fortunate to be premiering 'El Tesoro' which is a new track off their upcoming album. Listen below and escape into the melodic guitars and lose yourself in what might be your favorite new song to leave on repeat. It's such a clean yet fuzzy sound that just makes you crank up the volume and lose yourself in between the guitars and bass as Santiago's voice carries you around the music-scape.
No estoy seguro de cuántas veces he repetido esta canción, jaja... que canción muchachones! Also peep out their spacey album art after the video and let them know what you think on Twitter!

El Mato a un Policia Motorizado con La Dinastia Scorpio by Randy Ortiz

Argentinean band El Mato a un Policia Motorizado (great name) is coming to the US soon and they are adding some tracks to 'La Dinastia Scorpio', their previously released album is now new again with 4 extra songs. This is such a comfortable album, in a good way of course. While digging thru code and layouts I was also digging their sound and it made time fly and my play counts rise. From the first track 'Mujeres Bellas y Fuertes', off-kilter 'Prenderte Fuero' and the trippy 'Nuevos Discos', it's all fun and yet another reason why I'm loving spanish rock much more as of late. There's always that "thing" that's turned me off about some Latino rock bands then forgiving certain things because I just knew they were ultimately good, I think in the time that we live in and the rock (like this) that is literally exploding out of everywhere, we are lucky that we can all hear it loud and clear.

While still rockin', it also has a folky feel to it that soothes the overall album sound where you'll not want to skip a track. I had 'Yoni' and 'Noche Negra' on repeat for about half an hour, at the same time that it sounds funny, this is exactly one of those albums where if you lose the cd somewhere and then find it it'll light up your day. The love song 'El Fuego Que Hemos Construido' has a great twinkle in sound where it feels like it was made with true emotion, you can see it play in your head as the guy sings to the girl as the beautiful guitar sways at 5:24. A good deal of Harmony oozes out of 'El Dia del Huracan' then they end the album with 'El Magnetismo' and it makes you feel alone while still wanting to protect. Well done guys.

I'm bummed I won't be able to see their US debut at the Mercury Lounge (NYC) on July 9th, they will also be a part of the LAMC Showcase in acoustic form in SOB's (NYC) on July 11th. This spectacular album goes on sale on July 29th. Thanks to the awesome folks at Nacional Records for helping bring bands like this to the states. They always fight the good fight.

Sante Les Amis' Brasil... Es Verdad! by Randy Ortiz

At first it's all quiet then with a funky ba-da-pa-da-paaah, the colors jump on screen and the bass starts to tell your body stuff while the Cuíca does it's thing. It has a Los Amigos Invisibles feel with a rocking out vibe and that's not a bad thing, as a matter of fact it's a damn good thing. We NEED more funky, we want more funky and Sante Les Amis got my attention the right way, now to wait patiently for their upcoming (May 27th) album  'Sudamericana' like a good Giant. Uruguay is def in the house!

Calle 13 Rips Thru Adentro by Randy Ortiz

René of Calle 13 just ripped a new one on all those wanna be thugs and small-minded gang mentality sheep, he explodes from the heart and flows like a vicious dragon blazing everything negative in its way. He spits about how those that think a gun and a gang make them men and how would they like it if it was their own family. Then goes to bat on his own Maserati which he bought when he "made it" but ended up feeling uncomfortable owning it so (The) Willie Mays gives him an assist. The man has passion and lets you know damn well what it is. See the lyrics here, sorry it's in spanish only but if I find a translation I'll post it.

Such a Lovely… Suicide Note?! by Randy Ortiz

0-E0FxOlfyvhuWN8f9In my (insert astronomical number) listen to Mercedes Sosa’s cover of ‘Gracias A La Vida,’ I decided to see exactly who created this masterpiece of a song. It’s the creation of Chilean great Violeta Parra whom was a base for the reinvention of folk music in Chile, which then the reach of her ‘Chile’s New Song’ (Nueva Canción Chilena) spread to the world over. Further reading into Violeta’s history filled with culture, music and political meaning, she ended up committing suicide (after a previously failed attempt) due to episodes of loneliness, political differences in her country and mostly the separation from her husband Gilbert Favre. Before that happened she made two songs that will forever resonate with her tragic end, both were ‘Run Run Se Fue pal Norte’ where she speaks on her husband leaving and ‘Gracias A La Vida’ a celebration of life and/or suicide note. They say ‘Gracias A La Vida’ might have been her last thank you note to life before committing suicide and celebrating what it has given her but at the same time a mirrored twist to what pain she felt and how the new part of her life was playing out. At first listen you think “wow what poetry and beautiful lyrics,” but insert a little real life and it can take a totally different meaning. I still think this song is one of the best life celebratory lyrics given ever regardless of what it might truly be about, thank you Violeta Parra for giving us such beauty amongst the pain.

“Cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano, Cuando miro al bueno tan lejos del malo.”

Originally posted on Medium.

Revisit: Fania All Stars in Africa by Randy Ortiz

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2-ZmO13_dI[/youtube] Nothing says good morning on a Saturday like watching the Fania All Star greats perform but since we either can't see them or some artists physically can't perform this might be the next best thing. This was on 1974 in the Statu Hai stadium at Kinsasha, Zaire, it was also filmed and released as “Fania All Stars Live in Africa.” Amazing times for music.

For more information on Fania All Stars visit Fania's site or if interested in purchasing the dvd visit their shop.

You've Come A Long Way Bachata by Randy Ortiz

Que Fria! By Randy OrtizFrom the dusty floors of the local Dominican dive to sold out seats in Madison Square Garden, Bachata has seen it's fair share of criticism and huge success throughout its history. I remember the big Bachata boom and when I first started liking it (early 90's) where it welcomed acts like Antony Santos and Luis Vargas amongst others, also the overall opinion folks had in DR years ago told by my father. He used the term "música de barra" which translates to bar music, according to him you would only hear that in places where the alcohol runs as loose as the women did. Not necessarily family friendly or a place that people spoke highly of, it was embraced by campesinos and mostly ignored by middle-class or those with money. In recent years it has skyrocketed into something that goes beyond being enjoyed only by Dominicans or Latino people.

Bachata songs are mostly about heartbreak or love and some have incorporated more modern-day electronic instruments into its bitter-sweet sound as well, to best compare the type of lyric or basis you can say it's our version of country music or Blues. From its beginnings and ties to the bars it was perfect to go along with your visit to heartbreak city, it was also looked down upon in society due to its nature and sound. It went under the same bashing/scrutiny Rock, Punk and Hip-Hop went thru and some people from older generations still won't think of it as good music. When you first listen to a Bachata song the first thing that you'll notice is the high-pitched guitar play and bass which dictate the dancing rhythm (step 1, 2, 3 front, step 1, 2, 3 back) and swaying of the dance floor. By the time the 90's came around it already went thru certain transitions, from bar music to double entendre (Luis Segura comes to mind) to highly requested party music and now stadium acts.

It's gone from Ramon Cordero being the faint backdrop sounds of a heartbroken man looking down at a bottle to Romeo Santos selling out MSG and the concert being played on HBO, quite a gigantic feat for a genre from a small tropical country. Now you see people from all sorts of backgrounds AND countries enjoying what many of us have been for quite some time, no longer is its home a place of sadness and despair. I'm sure the roots were firmly placed in releasing the pain from within but now it's all sorts of emotions and stories, it can be highly infectious and loved once heard.

It shows the power of music and natural progression of society embracing something which was unnecessarily frowned upon and that my friends is a beautiful thing.

What's Going On Dominican Republic?! by Randy Ortiz

Image courtesy of WGMeetsToday is a bit saddening... I've been reading a good deal of DR news and media issues going around recently, unfortunately it seems that Dominican Republic is in need of some major society help and restructuring now more than ever. It doesn't help that there's a poverty issue as well, the youth concentrate on materialistic ideals and certain media personalities are acting a fool publicly. Couple these issues in with lack of knowledge in certain instances and you can have a major problem with delinquency, energy spent on the wrong things and shameful portrayals in the media. It truly makes me sad to see this unfolding because it's a beautiful country and I know my Dominicans are better than this. We tend to be a bit loud and usually ready to party but in the end you will find people who are kind, honest, family oriented and always willing to help someone. Certain family ideals are being tossed out the window because money is at dire need, dishonest (muggings, robbery, drugs) work is rampant at an alarming rate from what I keep seeing/reading... but where do you go and make things better? More and more kids are hitting the streets with horrible (if any) schooling and bad intentions, I think it might be wise to concentrate on getting thru to them before we try the adults. Corruption in government isn't new especially in the Dominican Republic but with strong young voices in positive action, I think things can start to turn around for the better and much of the crime can turn towards a productive future which can disseminate throughout the country. Yes the adults are the ones in positions to dictate but the youth can truly make a change as it seems they are in control of society right now, the problem is that the older folk (set in their ways) just wrap it up with "damn kids messing everything up" but don't help or see why they do it. I am vowing to do my part to help with what I can from the US to the country I love so much and care about, I will be looking up resources to get something started over there for a brighter day for kids as they are the ones that will govern in the future.

If anyone has any information that would prove beneficial to this cause, please email us with it and hopefully less misguided youths stay in the streets. If you are an organization or group interested in collaborating feel free to inform us about your company or movement.