Hits To Warm Up To With Alt.Latino NPR's Rachel Martin speaks to Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd, hosts of the NPR podcast Alt.Latino, who serve up hot hits from Brazil, the Dominican Republic and California.

Hits To Warm Up To With Alt.Latino

Hits To Warm Up To With Alt.Latino

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NPR's Rachel Martin speaks to Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd, hosts of the NPR podcast Alt.Latino, who serve up hot hits from Brazil, the Dominican Republic and California.


The groundhog did not see his shadow, which means spring is on its way sooner than normal. But it can't come soon enough for our friends at Alt.Latino. Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd host the weekly podcast about Latino arts and culture. They come bearing gifts of music to heat up the remaining cold winter days. And this sounds kind of hot, what we're listening to right now. Welcome, guys.



MARTIN: So Jasmine, you're not a lover of winter, are you?

GARSD: Um, I like the activities associated with winter, like hot chocolate...

MARTIN: (Laughter).

GARSD: ...And movies, but no. I'm...

MARTIN: I thought you were going to say, like, skiing and sledding...

GARSD: Yeah, I'm - like, I'm South American, so...

MARTIN: It's never going to be your season.

GARSD: ...This is not for me. It's never going to be my season. But I get to listen to summer, spring-styled jams. This is one of my favorite DJ duos. It's Tropkillaz from Brazil. It's DJ Zegon and Andre Laudz. Oh, man - I follow them on Soundcloud, and every time they drop a new track, it's just awesome. Check it out.


GARSD: I guess you could be, like, listening to this and going down the - in your skis.

MARTIN: Uh-uh. That says, like, summer to me. I mean, that's, like, windows down...

GARSD: Yes, yes, yes.

MARTIN: ...Like, thump, thump.

CONTRERAS: (Laughter).

MARTIN: That's awesome.

GARSD: Yeah.

CONTRERAS: You have to see Rachel moving her hands.

MARTIN: I love it. I love that one.

CONTRERAS: Yeah, (unintelligible) it's awesome.

MARTIN: That's super cool. OK, Felix.

CONTRERAS: Top that?

MARTIN: Top that.

CONTRERAS: OK. Well, I'm from California, so I brought a California band to remind me of the warm central California sun - not as boisterous or as exciting or as moving as the track we just heard. But it's a new track from one of our favorite bands La Santa Cecilia. And they have a new album coming out. It's called "Buenaventura," and this track is called "Nunca Mas."


LA SANTA CECILIA: (Singing) Uno de tanta culpa se queda mudo, otros tienen memoria para olvidar. Si la violencia es en espejo que se rompe, y nuestra lagrimas caidas gritaran. Solo recuerda que mi cara tiene un nombre. Y nunca mas se callara. Y nunca mas se callara.

CONTRERAS: So this is a different kind of heat.

MARTIN: Yeah, but there - that soul in that voice - that's good.

CONTRERAS: Oh, yeah. Well, Marisol's voice is always going to raise the temperature. They're on a very solid trajectory through the music industry right now. They've gone from playing small clubs to bigger venues. They have fans like Elvis Costello among their following, and also, the band members have sort of settled into the life of traveling musicians, you know. They've gotten married. They've had kids. Marisol had her first baby. And to me, all of that reflects maturity, and this album shows it perfectly. Don't miss it, "Buenaventura."

MARTIN: All right. So let's close it out with one more song, Jasmine.

GARSD: Well, like you said, I've been in a tropical mood.

MARTIN: Aren't you always?

GARSD: I guess so.

MARTIN: You kind of are.

GARSD: I brought in this Dominican trio Mula. And the song "Retumba." And I have to shout out to the awesome blog that I found it on, "Remezcla," which turned me on to them. This is a Dominican trio. They're doing something really cool with a rhythm from the Caribbean which you're going to hear right now, which is dembow.


MULA: (Singing in Spanish).

CONTRERAS: That rhythm - it's so repetitive. It can be annoying, but a lot of people are using that rhythm and then adding a lot of different things to it. That rhythm is, like - it's so malleable and a lot of fun.

MARTIN: It seems like a party starter. That's kind of like...

CONTRERAS: And it's definitely a party starter, for sure.

MARTIN: ...The beginning of a good time.

OK, everyone. You can download Alt.Latino from wherever you get your podcasts and, of course, from the NPR One app.

Felix Contreras, Jasmine Garsd - they are the hosts of the NPR Music's Alt.Latino, keeping it warm as always.

CONTRERAS: (Laughter).

MARTIN: Thanks, you two.


GARSD: Thank you.


MULA: (Singing in Spanish).

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