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Old 01-12-2010, 12:25 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Time for a belated update...

Puerto Rico

Robi Draco Rosa - Vagabundo (1996)

Born Robert Edward Rosa Suárez, Robi Draco Rosa here is one of the more prominent and multi-talented in the modern-day Latin American music industry, being a well-renowned singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, dancer and actor in his native Puerto Rico. Born in New York City and grown up and therefore spent most of his life in Puerto Rico, Rosa first rose to fame as a member of the boy band Menudo in the 80s (which, to give you some sense of the whole thing, was also an early career stepping stone for the craptacular Ricky Martin).

Since going solo, Rosa and Martin's careers couldn't have branched off into much more different tangents. Whereas Martin would go on to pollute the airwaves for generations to come with Shitting La Vida Loca, Rosa would tread the much more admirable path of learning a few instruments and mastering the songwriting craft in an effort to be taken seriously as a musician and songwriter by releasing four concept albums since 1990. In the pursuit of his own sound Rosa took a lot of influence from American alternative rock and grunge in particular, and that's no more obvious than guitar-centric and time change-heavy Madre Tierra, which bursts into the sonic picture of the album right after the ethereal introduction provided by Hablando Del Amor.

I'd say this is the man's best album but, to tell you the truth, it's the only one of his I actually have. What I do know though is that I definitely like what I hear, and what I hear is a very radiant highlight of the very rich Latin American alternative rock scene of the 90s. Imagine the aforementioned Caifanes of Mexico with a lot less post-punk and a lot more grunge to their sound. While Robi Draco Rosa doesn't quite come off as interesting and memorable as Caifanes, he certainly delivers a very good album which varies in mood and tempo superbly. Nothing earth-shattering, but definitely worth a spin.
The best bits: Llanto Subterraneo, Penelope, Delirios


Holger Czukay, Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit - Full Circle (1982)

Yes, I'm aware we're not exactly dealing with an entirely German outfit per se. Short of pulling a Kraftwerk-shaped rabbit out of the hat for my German album of choice though (and while, admittedly, I don't exactly have krautrock coming out of my ears), short of going for the classics we all know and love (which isn't really the idea with this thread) I can't think of a better way to sum up the red-blooded, Germanic musical form that is krautrock than with this superb album. This is, for those of you who aren't so big on the names behind the music, the coming together of Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit of the mighty Can with legendary PIL bassist Jah Wobble over a mini-album of a mere six tracks.

Basically, what we've got at the end of the day is an album that sounds like pure krautrock to these ears. It's a sound built around the sound of Liebezeit's typically metronome-like pace-keeping behind the drum and percussion sets, Czukay's razor-sharp guitar licks and synth as well as Wobble's fiercely dubby basslines that just demand to be heard, and then the beautiful, dissonant mess that follows. The vocal parts, on the rare occasions you'll find them put to tape here, are traded between the trio from tune to tune, as the album is much less about vocals and a lot more about the unique combination of three absolute giants of music (in my view anyway) and the sonic pictures that their creative partnership couples through the power of the instrumental piece.

Great stuff then, and a necessity for all the krautrock and post-punk lovers out there.
The best bits: How Much Are They?, Full Circle R.P.S. (No. 7), Twilight World

I also just remembered that promise of a mixtape I made, so keep an eye out for that in the fairly near future...
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:21 PM   #42 (permalink)
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And here it is! You may as well listen to the tracks in any order, as it's quite an eclectic little mix...

Around the World In 80 Posts
Mix #1

1. Ján Boleslav Kladivo [Slovakia] - Mariena
2. Junkie XL [Netherlands] - Such a Tease
3. Marcel Khalife [Lebanon] - Enni Ekhtartoka Ya Watani
4. Guyer's Connection [Switzerland] - La Transformation
5. Robi Draco Rosa [Puerto Rico] - Penelope
6. Matata [Kenya] - Good Samaritan
7. Holger Czukay, Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit [Germany] - Twilight World
8. Caifanes [Mexico] - Debajo De Tu Piel
9. Yat-Kha [Russia] - Sodom I Gomora
10. Sore [Indonesia] - Keangkuhanku
11. Anouar Brahem [Tunisia] - Kerkenah
12. Soda Stereo [Argentina] - Ojo De La Tormenta

Enjoy! If it's samples you want before downloading, just track back through the thread for an idea of what you'll be getting yourself into with this mix.
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:31 PM   #43 (permalink)
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love robi...vagabundo is a great album. he is what got me into spanish language music.
Confusion will be my epitaph...
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:40 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Burning Down View Post
I really like the one from Argentina! Thanks for posting that.
If you liked that one then you should definitely get some of Cerati's solo stuff
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