Ghetto Kumbé

Ghetto Kumbé: Afro-Caribbean meets Afro House

Ghetto Kumbé

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As New York enters October and actual, no-actually-this-is-it Fall, I’m already looking ahead at next summer. Ghetto Kumbé is partly to blame, with its upbeat grooves and its insistence to enjoy life and get up and dance. Soy Selva is out October 16th.

From Galletas Calientes Records:

“Ghetto Kumbé is a three-man Afro-Colombian band fusing the Afro-Caribbean roots of Colombia with the hypnotic power of African house beats.

“Soy Selva” (translated as “I’m Jungle”), produced with London native producer The Busy Twist, is about the ancient people of Colombia, their traditions, their relations with mother nature, universal respect and ritual dancing. With the additional featuring of Ghanaian singer Zongo Abongo on “Dagbani Dance”, things have definitely come full circle for this new EP, involving three continents in this innovative musical adventure.”

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber
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Los Amos del Universo

Los Amos del Universo: experimental neo-psychedelia from Peru

Los Amos del Universo

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So this is what a late ’60s dance party inside a burning rocket ship crashing into earth sounds like. Los Amos del Universo takes Krautrock and meshes it with Jimi Hendrix-like guitars into something overwhelming and chaotic and beautiful.

Peru’s Superspace Records is home to Universo and other great bands taking on neo-psychedelia and making it exciting and relevant rather than rehashing it like your older brother’s college roommate. The label is also home to techno house, glitch, acid rock, indietronica, and other genres your older brother’s college roommate ruined for you but Superspace will redeem for you.

From Bandcamp:

“The masters of the universe corresponds to a desire to pay homage to the krautrock of the 70’s, it is also the result of the reunion of its members, which presents an evolution of its members in the creative field. The masters of the universe was born and was born in the town of Belloto Norte, commune of Quilpué, Chile during the month of January 2017.”

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber
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Les Mentettes

Les Mentettes: “Buenos Aires Stereo Sound”

Les Mentettes

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Be right back, gonna get my groove on and break-dance in a cool Reebok commercial that’s playing Les Mentettes‘ killer synth-pop. I can’t actually break-dance, but the Argentinian group makes me feel just hip enough that I can do anything.

From Facebook:

“Les Mentettes makes dreamy indie pop studded with off-beat instruments, catchy yet haunting hooks and a style that both nods to and transcends their influences. Led by singers Adrián Rivoira and Eugenia Brusa, the Argentinian band has deep roots. The two started out playing together as kids, performing at school concerts in the early 90s. Coming from very different musical backgrounds, the Rivoira and Brusa as well as their bandmates have a myriad of influences that range from Ziggy Stardust to Nina Simone and Brian Wilson.

In 2008, they formed [and] released their first full-length album, Let’s Mentettes. The following year, music conductor Manuloop arranged their songs for orchestra. They recorded [Orchestra] with over thirty musicians, bringing a variety of instruments to the group’s sound, including, trombone, oboe and glockenspiel. In 2011, the band, now a hybrid of rock band and orchestra, released their third album, Song for an Imaginary Film. Their latest EP release, Bouh!, is a return to their sparkling indie-pop roots. Whether playing with an orchestra or not, [they] exudes warmth and a beguiling playfulness.”

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber
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Makoto Kino

Makoto Kino: Mexican experimental artist layers melodies and repetitive drones

Makoto Kino

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I can’t look away – from the steadily flashing lights, the mysterious purple room that could be The Black Lodge, to the collage of random assortments of pedals and instruments and cherished (or discarded) anime trinkets. It’s all stunning. In the center is Mexican experimental artist Makoto Kino layering melodies and repetitive drones and turning the room into a fortress of sound. It’s like she’s trying to bring the Loveless album cover to life at 2 a.m. while everyone is still asleep and dreaming. It’s almost otherworldly, and it’s quite beautiful.

Kino’s album is out now on Bandcamp. More information can be found here.

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber
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Meridian Brothers

Meridian Brothers: “Futuristic Tropicalism” from Colombia

Meridian Brothers

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At first, Meridian Brothers’ psych-folk might sound kitschy and novel, especially to someone unfamiliar with one of Bogotá’s most beloved avant-garde acts. Perhaps as kitschy and novel as the album cover shown above. But there’s an urgency throughout the excellent ¿Dónde Estás María? – listen closely and you’ll hear the same fuzzy, driving grooves that you hear in your favorite Vampire Weekend songs. It might be weird, but you can’t say it’s lazy or not well written. And this band has been doing tropicalia longer, and better, than any late ’00s indie band still trying to be relevant.

¿Dónde Estás María? will be released on September 8th.

From Bandcamp:

“The boundary-pushing Colombian group returns to Soundway Records with another unique album: dreamy psych-folk, blending traditional Latin rock with tropicalia, and lush string and choral arrangements.

Meridian Brothers’ sound is a huge palette of influences and inspirations. Drawing from traditional Latin rock (including Colombian, Argentinian and Mexican) as well as Brazilian tropicalia, for this album Alvarez incorporates string instruments – in particular the cello, both bowed and plucked – a timbre rarely used in his previous works.”

Meridian Brothers: Website Facebook Twitter SoundCloud

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber
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RAKTA

RAKTA: experimental all-female post-punk from Sao Paulo

rakta

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For those who are familiar with the new waves of raw post-punk, RAKTA shouldn’t be a surprise. For those who aren’t, they could be a good starting point. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to define whether this all-female band from São Paulo in Brazil really belongs to any actual current wave, but categorizing them is certainly not a priority anyway. Like they claimed on an interview with CVLT Nation, “we are not attached to any [genre], and this is what we are trying to advocate.”

One of the most impressive features about RAKTA is the primitive nonchalance with which they go from horror soundtrack sounding synths and mystical intertwined vocals that repeat echoed hex mantras to walls of oppressive percussion that stand in obdurate opposition to the seductiveness of the most popular rhythms coming from their homeland. Their music belongs to a dark ritualism that isn’t traceable to any genre-related framework, and that often flows into a devilish and fascinating tableau resounding with noise, drone, and even electronic music.

Even when their experimental fury shatters common post-punk structures, though, there’s always a certain hypnotic feeling that allows the listener to remain focused and attracted to their sound. Over the course of a six-year long career, the band improved their formula with each release – most of them being cohesive EPs with powerful and defined aesthetics – and reached their peak with III. On the album, released by Iron Lung Records in the States, five long songs create a sonic universe that is truly unique in today’s music world and which perfectly represents what RAKTA are about.

RAKTA: Facebook Bandcamp

Writer and musician from Milan, Italy. Hardcore punk background, DIY enthusiast, Balkan culture scholar. Check him out on Twitter at @advaence
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Gatitx Discos

Gatitx Discos: “friendship without borders”

Gatitx Discos

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You guys, I’m in love. Gatitx Discos is one of my favorite newer indie labels, based in Lima, Peru and putting out excellent cassettes from bands around Peru, Chile, and Argentina. From fuzzy noisepop to shoegaze to straight up punk and everything in-between, there’s something here for everyone. I encourage a full listen to a few new favorite bands.

From Bandcamp:

“One is the anniversary edition of the label, made in Lima, Peru, in cassette format limited to only 30 copies. Participating Peruvian, Chilean and Argentinean bands, is a kind of homage to friendship without borders.”

Gatitx Discos: Facebook

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber
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Enfant

Enfant: experimental electronic music from Bolivia

Enfant

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Quite ambitious with the Bukowski intro, eh? His poem “Style” kicks off this wonderfully weird album by Bolivian experimental electronic group Enfant, that makes music as void and bleak as this woman’s faceless face. Stick around for the whole album.

Enfant: Facebook

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber
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Dona Onete

Dona Onete: “the grande dame of Amazonian song”

Dona Onete

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There’s plenty of life in Dona Onete‘s singing, as if the 77-year-old just discovered the joys of love and romance and can’t help but to sing. Her whole life story (read below) is quite remarkable and enhances the Amazonian rhythms.

From Bandcamp:

“Dona Onete – ‘the grande dame of Amazonian song’ – returns with further tales from the river Amazon on her sophomore album Banzeiro.

Whether she’s championing gay rights, singing about the delights of indecent proposals or praising a former lover for his ‘crazy ways of making love’, Banzeiro is defined by Onete’s honest reflections on life, love and sex, as well as her delight in the everyday pleasures of life in the Amazon, whether that’s spicy seasoning, salty kisses or fishy-smelling water.

Formerly a history teacher, folklore researcher, union representative, culture secretary and children’s author – “I never thought I would be a singer” she claims – Onete recorded her debut album Feitiço Caboclo at 73. A cult figure in Brazil and an ambassador for Amazonian culture, the music she sings is a unique mix of rhythms from native Brazilians, African slaves and the Caribbean – epitomised in the joyous carimbós that are her trademark.”

Dona Onete: Website Facebook Twitter

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber
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