Although La Entropica, a Chilean electro-pop artist, is unknown right now, watch out. She released a great EP last year that combined elegant but distorted vocals with dark, pulsing electronic beats. In this cover, of Los Prisoneros “Con suavidad,” however, we see her pare her sound down and use a slightly more aggressive, hip-hop inflected beat. This sparer sound serves her well, highlighting her deep, rich voice and phrasing. Although this may be a function of the song she’s covering, it seems that she has found a sound that fits her. Expect to hear more about La Entropica later this year as well — Fakuta even mentioned a possible collaboration on her upcoming album.
Finally, “Viene de mi” gets a music video! “Viene,” La Yegros’s most well-known song, perfectly combines lead singer Marianna Yegros’s earthy, folky vocals, informed by her upbringing in the rural Misiones Province, with a toned down nu-cumbia beat courtesy of her husband, King Coya. This is precisely what makes “Viene” so unique, especially when compared to other artists on ZZK’s roster. “Viene” softens the harsh, digital cumbia that has become so popular in Buenos Aires, and brings it back to its roots. The way that La Yegros combines these disparate influences is duly reflected in the video itself; she flits between identities, playing warriors, homemakers, society ladies, wrestlers, and maté pourers. These multiple identities, at times even opposing identities, relate to the disparate influences of the song itself and demonstrate how deftly La Yegros navigates the traditional and the contemporary.
“Camins,” the debut track of Barcelona based duo Desert, composed of producer Eloi Caballe and vocalist Christina Checi, who was formerly a member of Granit. Checi, who with Granit made slowed-down dream pop in the vein of Beach House, is enlivened by Caballe’s production and “Camins” is a delightful product; ita maintains a dreamy ambiance while also being danceable. In essence, it’s perfect 4am music, captivating but not forceful, entrancing but not pounding.
Ruidosón pioneer and Tijuana native Tony Gallardo always finds the darkside of the dancefloor, and “Club Negro,” the first single off of his most recent album, “C L U B N E G R O,” is no exception. Set over a sinister concoction of quick, staccato drums and a spaced out tribal beat, Gallardo raps about a hedonistic night out. His lyrics, which combine social commentary about the epidemic of violence along the US-Mexican border with a distinct pop sensibility, are catchy but dangerous, with the chorus literally being “En el nombre de Satán ustedes morirán,” (in the name of Satan you all will die). Yet, the cleaned up production of his most recent album means that even if the “Club Negro” Gallardo is in is a Satanic one, it’s an eminently danceable one.
Although I loved “Líder Juvenil,” and thought that his Tony Gallardo II project was great, I’m glad that Maria y Jose has returned. This song, and another recent track of his, “Ultra,” have this magnetic, pulsing dark core, and I can’t stop listening to them. No one else combines ruidoson and hip-hop aesthetics quite like Gallardo; he truly is the “rey de reyes” of his genre. His video also reflects this. He takes some common tropes of rap videos from the last decade and creates a fractured yet engaging plot. Does she die at the end? Is it that she “dies” because she loses herself in the music? Is she a liminal figure, lost between light and dark? The ambiguity of the ending adds complexity to a deceptively simple song. However, I also take issue with his portrayal of violence; he might be trying to subvert representations of violence, but it still is a deeply unsettling video.
B33, the first single off of her upcoming album, is a real gem. It takes 90s r&b rhythms and applies them to electric production in a new way; this isn’t just a Spanish-language repeat of Purity Ring, Autre Ne Veut, or Sky Ferreira. Bflecha rethinks these rhythms, and does deconstruct them, but also preserves their mass appeal and catchiness (the chorus, ecuaciónes para cruzar el cielo, is about half of the song). Her unique video only affirms how this is a new interpretation of deconstricted 90s r&b. She creates a new world that is both futuristic and anachronistic, just like the song itself.
Lainus released “Baile Contemporaneo” a few years ago, and it was one of my favorite songs. It actually led to my interest in contemporary Latin American music. He’s a really great artist, combining a few vernacular elements with his pop/electronic sound. “Montañitas” is his first new release in awhile, and although it does capture the same sound as “Baile Contemporaneo,” “Baile” was released at the height of chillwave, and “Montañitas,” although poppier and a tad bit more psychadelic, may feel slightly dated.
Con Suaviadad (Los Prisoneros cover) by La Entropica
La Entropica, a Chilean electropop artist, is unknown right now, but that may soon change. She released a great EP last year that combined a unique sound combining an almost wall-of-sound style electronic production with elegant vocals. In this cover, however, we see her pare her sound down and use a slightly more aggressive, disco inflected beat. Her vocals are also more audible, and although this may be a function of the song she’s covering, it seems that she has really found a sound. Watch out for her — she’ll be featured on Fakuta’s forthcoming album (which will likely be released this year).