Lo Que Más Nos Gustó: Alt.Latino's Favorite Artists Of 2011

Girl In A Coma tops off our year-end celebration of the year's best music. i i

hide captionGirl In A Coma tops off our year-end celebration of the year's best music.

Courtesy of the artist
Girl In A Coma tops off our year-end celebration of the year's best music.

Girl In A Coma tops off our year-end celebration of the year's best music.

Courtesy of the artist

English / Spanish

This week's show might be one of the hardest we've ever had to put together. That's because there was so much amazing music this year, it was nearly impossible to fit it all into a one-hour show.

This was the year Felix became enamored with Austin-based band Girl In A Coma. I've rarely seen him as excited as he was when the group showed up for a pretty amazing Tiny Desk Concert. I had a similar reaction to the Puerto Rican garage band Davila 666, whose album Tan Bajo blew me away. While I haven't had the opportunity to see them live, I've heard rave reviews. Of all the bands we've played, few have as much crossover appeal as Davila 666.

Felix and I disagreed on a lot of points, but there were some artists we both thought were simply brilliant. Panamanian rap duo Los Rakas is one of the most exciting things to hit Latin rap since Calle 13. Colombian-American DJ Geko Jones is our favorite discovery of 2011. La Vida Boheme from Venezuela is what Latin rock is supposed to be all about, and Ecuadoran-American musician Helado Negro created an album that was both out of this world and firmly grounded in nature and Latin culture.

But this is far from a definitive list. We're counting on you, our listeners, to tell us about your favorite artists from this year. Who was in heavy rotation on your ipod? What new discoveries did you make?

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English / Spanish

Lo Que Mas Nos Gustó: Nuestros Artistas Favoritos Del 2011

El show de esta semana es uno de los mas dificiles que hemos tenido que armar. Y es que este año escuchamos una cantidad de música increíble, y fue casi imposible hacer que quepa todo en tan solo un show de una hora.

Este fue el año en el que Felix se enamoró completamente de la banda Girl In A Coma, basada en Austin, Texas. Rara vez lo he visto tan emocionado como cuando el grupo nos visitó aca en nuestros estudios y nos regaló un impresionante show acústico.

Yo tuve una reacción similar con la banda de garage rock Davila 666. Este fue el año en que los Boricuas nos regalaron el album Tan Bajo. Una producción tan impresionante que me dejó sin palabras. No he tenido el placer de verlos en vivo, pero según lo que me cuentan, parecen haber conquistado al público estadounidense. De todas las bandas que hemos escuchado este año, Davila 666 es una de las que mas audiencias no hispanas ha convocado.

Felix y yo no pudimos ponernos de acuerdo en mucho aspectos; sin embargo hubo artistas que a ambos nos parecieron simplemente estelares. El dúo de rap panameño Los Rakas es uno de los grupos mas talentosos del rap latino desde la llegada de Calle 13. El DJ de origen Colombiano Geko Jones es sin duda uno de nuestros artistas favoritos del 2011. La Vida Boheme, de Venezuela, es exactamente lo que el rock latino necesita hoy por hoy. Y las creaciones de un joven ecuatoriano llamado Helado Negro parecen originar tanto en una galaxia distante como en un bosque recóndito.

Por supuesto que esta no es una lista definitiva. Para eso contamos con ustedes, nuestros fieles oyente. ¿Cuales son tus artistas favoritos del año? ¿Quien dominó tu colección musical? ¿Que nuevos artistas descubriste en el 2011? ¿A quien se nos olvidó incluir?

Lo Que Mas Nos Gustó: Alt.Latino's Favorite Artists From 2011

Cover for Tan Bajo

Davila 666, 'Tan Bajo'

  • Song: Eso Que Me Haces

These Puerto Rican rockers recently said they are more popular in the Continental United States than on the island, and they might be onto something. With an infectiously raw sound and whiny but lovable vocals, they've become fixtures on the English-speaking garage rock circuit.

Coming at you from: Puerto Rico

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  • "Eso Que Me Haces"
  • Album: Tan Bajo
  • Artist: Davila 666
  • Label: In the Red Records
  • Released: 2011
YouTube
 
Omar Rodriguez Lopez

Omar Rodriguez Lopez, 'Old Money'

  • Song: Power of Myth
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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Power of Myth"
  • Album: Old Money
  • Artist: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
  • Label: Stones Throw
  • Released: 2009
YouTube
 
La Vida Boheme

La Vida Boheme, 'Nuestra'

  • Song: Nuestra

Critics who complain that Latin rock is stuck in the '90s need to take a good hard listen to La Vida Boheme. The Venezuelan band embodies everything Latin Rock should be. Intelligent, challenging and rebellious, they are proof that good rock en español is alive and putting up a fight.

Coming at you from: Venezuela

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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Nuestra"
  • Album: Nuestra
  • Artist: La Vida Boheme
  • Label: Nacional Records
  • Released: 2011
YouTube
 
Girl In A Coma

Girl In A Coma, 'Exits And All The Rest'

  • Song: Smart

These girls keep getting better with each album they release: Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva constantly raise the bar on drums and bass while Nina Diaz's guitar and songwriting has never sounded better. They have the look, the sound and the personal chemistry that make bands GREAT. And Nina's voice will have a place along side the great corrido belters as it matures and develops. For now, it's OK just where it is.

Coming at you from: San Antonio. TX


Girl In A Coma's Website

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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Smart "
  • Album: Exits & All The Rest
  • Artist: Girl In A Coma
  • Label: Blackheart Records
  • Released: 2011
YouTube
 
Astro

Astro, 'Astro'

  • Song: Ciervo

If you're a faithful listener of Alt.Latino, you know we have a weakness for Chilean indie pop. Astro is one of those rare albums in which every single song is a delicious treat.

Coming At You From: Chile

Astro's MySpace

YouTube
 
Los Rakas

Los Rakas, 'Chancletas Y Camisetas Bordada'

  • Song: Vengo de Panama

If Calle 13 is keeping Latin rap alive, then Oakland-based Panamanian duo Los Rakas gives it something to look forward to. Cousins Raka Rich and Raka Dun sound fresh and intelligent on their new EP Chancletas Y Camisetas Bordada.

Los Rakas' Website

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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Vengo de Panama"
  • Album: Chancletas y Camisetas Bordada
  • Artist: Los Rakas
YouTube
 
Cover for Canta Lechuza

Helado Negro, 'Canta Lechuza'

  • Song: 2o Dia

Roberto Carlos Lange must have seemed like such a silly name so he changed it to Helado Negro (Black Ice Cream). he hunkered down in a log cabin in Connecticut with a bunch of electronics and laptops after he abandoned his studio jam session format and looked inward. The result is probably the truest glimpse of either Helado Negro or Roberto Carlos Lange.

Coming At You From: Ecuador/USA

Helado Negro's Website

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Purchase Featured Music

  • "2o Dia"
  • Album: Canta Lechuza
  • Artist: Helado Negro
  • Label: Asthmatic Kitty
  • Released: 2011
YouTube
 
Geko Jones

Geko Jones, 'Pa La Escuela Nene'

  • Song: Pa La Escuela Nene

Our favorite discovery of 2011 is the Indiana Jones of DJs, travelling to the far corners of Colombia to unearth obscure tracks and remixing them with the artistry of a great chef. He has yet to produce a song we're not crazy about.

Coming At You From: Colombia/USA

Geko Jones's SoundCloud

 
Mati Zundel

Mati Zundel, 'Aero Tinku'

  • Song: Aero Tinku

You might not have heard of Zundel yet, but you're likely to. He produces a blend of folk, electronica and cumbia that could only have been concocted in the laboratories of our beloved ZZK Records. The Argentine musician's recent creations left us speechless, and we can't wait to hear more.

Coming At you from: Argentina

Mati Zundel's Website

 
Cover for Half Colombian, Half Mexican Bandit

Toy Selectah, 'Mex Machine'

  • Song: Half Colombian, Half Mexican Bandit

Toy Hernandez has been not so quietly collaborating with musicians from throughout Mexico from his home base of Monterrey. Like other top producers in other genres he's sought after for making great artists sound even better. We all benefit when the music grooves and in this case, he's working on his own music.

Coming At You From: Mexico

Toy Selectah's MySpace

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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Half Colombian, Half Mexican Bandit"
  • Album: Half Colombian, Half Mexican Bandit
  • Artist: Toy Selectah
  • Released: 2011
YouTube
 

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