Category World/International

Mal Maïz – Historia de un Inmigrante (Self-released) [LOCAL]

On their debut release, BTV Afro-Latin ensemble Mal Maiz brings a hard-grooving blend of funk, rock, cumbia and more, serving as an expression of bandleader Maïz Vargas’ Costa Rican culture and his experiences as an immigrant in America.   Track Picks: 2, 3 FCC: 6 RIYL: Santana, Ozomatli, Grupo Fantasma, Malo

Orquesta Akokán (Daptone) 16 Rayos

A relatively new group to the Cuban music scene, these folks are bringing back the sounds of the Golden Age of this music. These tunes hold up against decades of classics and they bring out the best of this genre in these original tracks done in the old style. Try: Mi Conga Es De Akokan, […]

Making Movies (Cosmica Artists) XOPA

A great fusion of Latin, Rock, and Dance music with solid male vocals. If there was another El Mariachi movie, these songs would be a great Soundtrack. Fuzzed out guitars, traditional instruments, and high energy vocals make this a must listen; a very BIG sound on every track. Try: XOPA, Porcelina, Sala De Los Pecadores, […]

Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul (DEEWEE / Because) Topical Dancer

A very fun and unique release here by Belgium Caribbean musical partners. They tackle current social issues like racism, sexism, and more all with a flair and playfulness.  Activism aside, these are just great dance tracks and it will make you think and maybe laugh at the absurdity of humans. Try: Blenda, Ceci n’est pas […]

Velcro (SR) Te la Buscaste

Puerto Rican MC, DJ, Producer, and Local Legend  with a 20+ year career gives us a diverse and well balanced release here. Every song has its own flavor and his lyrical stylings keep things fresh. If you want Latin Hip-Hop at its best, look no further! Try: No Bulto, La Caza, Ficciones, Pa’ La Loiza, […]

Silly Tang (Hawaii Bonsai) Sub Sonidero

Everything this label puts out is always hot! This is Tropical Bass at its best, with classic cambia riffs combined with slammin’ bass. This release gets a little dark at time with some gritty male vocals; the stuff of nightmares at times, but in a good way. Try: Cumbia de Ciudad Real Feat. Pluto, Bailando […]

Pachyman (ATO Records) The Return Of Pachyman

A new album with an old dub feel, Puerto Rican rub-a-dub king Pachyman brings an instant classic of an album. I think Mr. Perry would be proud of this one! Easy skanking at its best and hopefully Pachyman is helping this music make a comeback. Try: Big Energy, El Benson, Strictly Vibes, Sunset Sound, Champion […]

Sofi Tukker + Amadou & Mariam (Red Hot) Mon Cheri REMIXES

Super fun Remixes of this track, done in many styles and all are great! Beautiful Portuguese female vocals, remixed and backed by uplifting beats. Lots of Latin influences here with some traditional instruments and big bass. If you like one, you will like them all! Try: ALL! RIYL: SOFI TUKKER x Amadou & Mariam, Ultra […]

Tim Bernardes (Psychic Hotline) Mil Coisas Invisíveis

Like a Brazilian Fleet Foxes for sure; lovely male vox that sounds like a contemporary classic. A romantic album for sure, with an emphasis on his voice as the main instrument, but with unique and fun instrumentals to back him – great guitar work. Try: Mistificar, Fases, Nascer, BB, Ultima Vez, Realmente Lindo RIYL: Fleet […]

Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento (Ansonia Records) Meridian Brothers & El Grupo Renacimiento

The 11th album from these Colombian brothers as they explore 70s Salsa. A more traditional Latin sound on this album, but it’s still fresh as hell. Try: Metamorfosis, Triste Son, Poema, Hipnosis, La mujer sin corazón RIYL: Quantic, Ondatrópica, Chancha Via Circuito, Bomba Estéreo FCC: None

Los Bitchos (Anjunadeep) Leave the Bones

Really fun album from this London based 4 piece all female instrumental band. I hear so many great kinds of music in this album; Klezmer, Polka, Hawaiian, Cumbia, Psych-Rock, Dessert Blues and more! If this doesn’t get the party started, you need to find a different party! Try: Good To Go!, Pista, Las Panteras, Change […]

Lakou Mizik & Joseph Ray (Anjunadeep) Leave the Bones

Beautiful Haitian music, some are somber prayers/chants, some are upbeat anthems, and all represent the diverse musical history of Haiti. You can feel the emotion and spirit in this music, and the production is phenomenal; ever song sounds big, dramatic, multilayered, and are peppered with texture and subtle sounds.  Try: XO, Nos Soltamos, Tu Tonto, […]

Divino Niño (Winspear) Last Spa on Earth

Colombian born musicians living in Chicago bring us an eclectic album fusing the best of dreamy pop, reggaeton, and electronic music. Think Manu Chao meets Empire of the Sun! Try: XO, Nos Soltamos, Tu Tonto, Especial, Papelito, Drive RIYL: Bomba Estereo, Toro y Moi, Crumb, Cuco, El Guincho, Buscabulla, Manu Chau FCC: None

Dowdelin (Underdog) Lanmou Lanmou

“Creole afro-futurism at its finest, with strains of reggae, zouk, jazz, afrobeat” sums it up well. Very unique styles on this sophomore release, a great fusion of styles. Upbeat, fun, positive, soulful, and celebratory tunes. Try: Simé Love, Tan Mou, Lanmou Lanmou, Shadow on the Wall RIYL: The Bongo Hop, Voilaaa, Ibibio Sound Machine, Nubiyan […]

L.A.B. (Echo Beach) L.A.B. in Dub

NZ based Reggae-pop tunes by Italian producer Paolo Baldini. Minimal vocals and trippy fun instrumentals, always a god time! Try: Shadows Dub, The Watchman Dub, Baby Will You Let Me Dub, Rocketship Dub RIYL: Dub, JBB, Six60, Sons of Zion, TEEKS, Tomorrow People FCC: None

Pierre Kwenders (Arts and Crafts) José Louis and the Paradox of Love

Congolese-born, Montreal-based musician, songwriter, and DJ Pierre Kwenders  brings us an eclectic album reflecting his worldwide travels and influences. Sweet vocals in several languages, backed by jazz, Congolese rumba, electronic, and more fuse together to create an incredibly dynamic album. Some tracks have more of a Reggaeton feel, others more like Amapiano, and some transcend […]

Sessa (Mexican Summer) Estrela Acesa

The traditional spirit of Brazilian music is alive in this release, right up there with the greats. Slow ballads and upbeat tracks ready for Carnival make this album a fun journey without any dull moments. Perfect instrumentation using traditional instruments in new styles, with layers like dance tracks and fun accents.  Try: Gostar do Mundo, […]

Ibibio Sound Machine (Merge Records) Electricity

The forth album from this London based group. Groovy dance music that takes you back and shows you the future. Afrofuturistic tunes that mix many genres into hypnotic dance tunes for many occasions. Try: All That You Want, Electricity, Protection From Evil, Wanna See Your Face Again RIYL: Angelique Kidjo, Hot Chip, Ibeyi, Fela, William […]

Bomba Estéreo (SONY Music Latin) Deja

Electro-folkloric dance music from Colombia – so good! Traditional instruments and vocals, with modern bass and fun samples. Beautiful vocals and nature sounds layered in to make an organic and uplifting album. This album will make you want to dance!! Try: WDeja, Se Acabó, Conexión Total, Agua, Ahora, Soledad, Profundo, Tierra RIYL: Tropical Bass, Amazonica, […]

Kokoroko (Brownswood) Could We Be More

Very strong debut album from London based 8-piece band. Jazz is felt in each track, but so is afrobeat, highlife, soul, funk, Caribbean, and more. Beautiful instrumentals played by masters of their craft, and the few vocals that are included are perfect additions that don’t take away from the rest. Try: War Dance, We Give […]

Reptilian Connection (Hawaii Bonsai) Bubbles in Silence

This little release is heavy on the far out spacey sounds. Sometimes a little dark, it could be the soundtrack to Sci-Fi Horror flick featuring killer Zombie Samurai. Great heavy liquid bass and fun meandering journeys through sound. Try: ALL RIYL: Zero 0ne, Shpongle, Bonobo FCC: None *TBs Favs

Adrian Quesada (ATO) Boleros Psicodélicos

Paying homage to balada  music of the 60s & 70s, Adrian puts together a really fun album here that feels like a relic of the past. Dramatic Vocals and spy music instrumentation heavy of the organ makes this album feel like a Soundtrack to a Latin James Bond movie never made. Try: Mentiras Con Cariño, […]

Navy (Pretty Boy Worldwide) Bleu EP

They call her the High-Priestess of Caribbean Hip-Hop Soul, hailing from Dominica Navy infuses R&B with reggae and pop. Her voice alone is reason enough to give this album a spin; she has a beautiful singing voice and flips to a more edgy meter seamlessly.  Try: Patra, Scorpio’s Letter, One Shot, RIYL: Sanitgold, Jamila Woods, […]

Sonido Berzerk (Hawaii Bonsai) Anita

A small but mighty release from this awesome label. Fun dance tracks with slammin’ bass and unique samples; you can definitely feel the Brazilian here – very Carnival!  Try: ALL  RIYL: Tropical Bass, Amazonia,  FCC: None *TBs Favs

Quantic & Nidia Gongora (Tru Thoughts) Almas Conectadas

This is not the first time these two have teamed up, but the first full album collaboration. Nidia’s vocals are always on point, with deep texture and soul. Combine that with hip takes on traditional styles of Colombian/Latin music and it makes for an incredible musical collaboration. There is something here for everyone and hopefully […]