From Indie Rock to Feminist Hip-Hop: A Playlist Guide to the Guatemalan Underground

Photo by Mariana Garcia

This week we celebrate the Independence Day of several Latin American nations – a time to honor both national pride and do a little soul-searching about our heritage. Guatemala joins the festivities today, so we asked Jurek González from premier Guatemalan label Bajo Presión Records to curate a playlist of great music from his home country. A lot of these releases lack the media exposure that music from other countries enjoys, so this 17-song collection serves as handy guide to Guatemala’s indie music world.

Along with the playlist comes some words from González. “[This is] a local and regional playlist with some projects that are in the scene, were part of the history, or burnt out way too fast. The music we’re interested in ranges from ‘powerviolence’ to ‘tropihipster,’ and this is reflected in the wide variety of projects we believe are worth knowing. With this list, we’re not saying that these are the only things or even the best things happening in the region,” he reminds us. Hinting at the diversity and prolific nature of the country’s underground music scenes, he continues, “some of the songs we wanted to include in this playlist were not even available digitally.”

Here’s a much-needed taste of the Guatemalan indie scene, courtesy of Bajo Presión.