When Spain’s La Vendición Records was starting out last year, label heads pledged that their goal was for artists to retain control over their work. Under this rhetoric, they’ve maintained an impressively international roster, showcased in pack releases that unite singles with LPs and mixtapes in a show of force that can feel like Christmas to fans of the independent label’s addictive, ever more slick tracks.
Now we have the third buffet of content, Vendición AW17, following in the label’s tradition of labeling its releases with fashion week nomenclature. For all the community-minded talk, the crew’s nucleus has to be Pxxr Gvng, the Spanish hip-hop crew that has successfully infiltrated trap, reggaeton, and couture runways, and whose team provided the core movers of La Vendición. It was a shrewd move on their part to center themselves at the core of a world of music makers with whom they collaborate.
AW17 features artists from California, Switzerland, and Chile, among other spots, but the sound of the Pxxrs is very present. Emcee Kaydy Cain drops an EP called All Week, fresh on the heels of Cain’s first solo LP release Calle Amor. Yung Beef has a collaboration with Grenada rapper Javielito aka Toxicwidow, who is featured on three AW17 singles.
Newcomer Atanok Si identifies as a metal core artist, and his album here, Select Dreams, diversifies and adds a more adventurous, stainless steel touch to AW17. It would have been difficult to fit more genres on its opening track “BDSM,” between the metal snarling and reggaeton hooks. Other guests are largely emcees — Santiago trapper Pablo Chill-E has an ode to his arsenal, Dafresito and Beibiboi. Sonoma producer AC3 touches down with “No Waste Love,” one of the pack’s best Mr. Steal Your Girl, rock with it lust moments.
The release’s sole female representation comes from Bay Area española La Favi and a light-touch, jangling reggaeton single “Crazy.” Her contribution is actually a three track DIY remix pack — the complete version of “Crazy,” its a cappella, and the instrumental. Here again is La Vendición’s pledge to keep the focus on the artist’s needs — AW17’s combination of LPs, singles, mixtapes, and this triad is the mark of a group of artists who have maintained unique artistic tracks and promotional needs.
La Vendición’s AW17 is out now. To stream all 12 releases, head over to La Vendición’s website.
Update, 10/31/2017: Given Kaydy Cain’s 2015 music video for “Hazte Cuenta,” in which he is shown drugging and kidnapping a woman, we reached out to La Vendición to clarify Cain’s views on violence against women. Representatives for Kaydy Cain declined to comment.