What Alt.Latino's Playing: Funk Disco, 'Screwmbia' And More
LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
While Rachel is away, I get to play. I get to spend time with two of my favorite people here at NPR, the Alt.Latino crew. Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras are the hosts of that weekly podcast. Buenos dias.
FELIX CONTRERAS: Buenos dias, como estas?
JASMINE GARSD: Hola.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You guys have been doing a lot of interviews on your show so you saved some new music for us I hope.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Felix, what are we listening to? Sounds kind of perky.
CONTRERAS: OK, yeah, it is perky, very perky. This is a guy named Rene Lopez. He made music in the '90s. He had some bands going in the '90s that's like funk and RandB. And more to the point, he's one of these outposts of Latin soul, OK? Latin soul - and in this case, the song we're hearing now, it's one of his jams of the month that he's sending out through the Internet every month. This is called "Slide Into My Arms." It's classic '70s funk disco.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SLIDE INTO MY ARMS")
RENE LOPEZ: (Singing) Slide, baby, slide into my arms, into my arms.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Jasmine, are you going to mellow things out or keep us...
GARSD: No, no, I never mellow things out.
GARSD: So I'm living in Texas right now, and Texas has this amazing music scene. And one of the things that's going on in Texas is something called screwmbia, which is cumbia but chopped and screwed, like, really slow and dragged out. And the best band that's doing it - it's two DJs. Their name is Royal Highness. And a really cool story - I love this DJ duo so I've been messaging back and forth, you know, just like, oh, when can I meet you guys. I just got to drive out your studio. And the guy told me where he lives. He's my neighbor.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, my God. Oh, no.
GARSD: So I've been collecting their songs and this dude is cooking them right next door to me.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, wow.
GARSD: This is "Ay Papa."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AY PAPA")
ROYAL HIGHNESS: (Singing in Spanish).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I love it. Great, great, great. All right, Felix, what do you got for us next?
CONTRERAS: OK, I'm going to mellow things out.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right.
CONTRERAS: OK, so this is a new album from a band called Los Cenzontles.
(SOUNDBITE OF LOS CENZONTLES SONG)
CONTRERAS: And the album's called "Alma Campirana." They're from the Bay Area. Their whole thing is they're doing a lot of traditional Mexican music. So much so that they also run a cultural center in the Bay Area where they can teach people, young and old, how to play traditional music.
On this album, the guitar player, Eugene Rodriguez, is playing a 12-string guitar, which is not normally heard in traditional Mexican music. And what I did is bring in a corrido, OK? And it's a song called "Mejor Me Voy," - better that I go. This is a serious tequila drinking, sad, sad song, and it's a classic corrido.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Is there any other kind?
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MEJOR ME VOY")
LOS CENZONTLES: (Singing in Spanish).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So I'm now going to put my tequila glass away. I've been quietly drinking here, just inspired me. And I'm going to let you wrap it up, Jasmine. What are we going to listen to after that?
GARSD: I recently fell in love with this awesome Colombian RandB singer, Gabriel Garzon-Montano. He's like a little mix of Prince, Miguel. He's French-Colombian. He lives in New York. His album actually came out last year, but I'm just now getting into it. It's called "Bishoune: Alma Del Huila." And this song is called "Keep On Running."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KEEP ON RUNNING")
GABRIEL GARZON-MONTANO: (Singing) Keep on, keep running, running and running. Keep on, keep running, can't seem to get away. Keep on, keep running.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras are the hosts of NPR Music's Alt.Latino. Every week, they bring us cool music, interviews and, in this case, brokenhearted tears.
CONTRERAS: With tequila.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: With tequila.
GARSD: Don't forget.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Always with tequila. Thank you for joining us today, guys.
CONTRERAS: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: De nada.
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