NPR's Ned Wharton, music director for Weekend Edition Sunday, reviews three alternative Latin releases by Radio Mundial, Cordero, and Kinky.
New York collective of high-energy Latin rockers headed up by brothers Jean and Richard Shepherd. The boys from Radio Mundial ("World Radio") were born in Brooklyn and raised in Miami by a Puerto Rican mother and a Peruvian father. Several cuts on La Raiz ("The Root") feature the 10-string cuatro that Jean learned to play from his uncle in the mountains of Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rican Ani Cordero grew up as one of the few Latino kids in Atlanta, Ga. She picked up the drums at age 14, immersed herself in the local punk culture and ultimately made her way to Brooklyn, where she's assembled a multi-culti group called Cordero. Somos Cordero ("We Are Cordero") includes some hot horn playing from members of the Antibales Afrobeat Orchestra.
The Mexican group Kinky helped usher in the current alternative Latin craze with their 2002 hit "Mas" (from the self-titled Kinky CD) which was picked up by TV shows and advertisements including a recent Nissan spot. Their most recent release is Atlas (pictured).