This Album Imagines What Conjunto Music Will Sound Like a Century from Now

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Read more

Have you ever imagined what Conjunto music is going to sound like 100 years from now? It’s a question musicians Charlie Vela and Jonathan Leal wondered that drove them to create Futuro Conjunto, a limited-edition album they created with Latino musicians from across the United States.

Along with the 20-track album, which features songs like “MUNDO: Futurasquache,” “Pinche Starship Enterprise” and “XXochitl: La Madre de las Estrellas,” Futuro Conjunto includes a multimedia component on its interactive website.

There, viewers can watch videos that take them on a journey into the future to see what some of the big stories are a century from now. For example, Vela and Leal hypothesize that in 2043, a new religion called Techuranderismo will emerge that blends communal healing with ancestral communication to “reanimate the world’s spirit.”

Also, if you’re still around in 2110, that is the year the Second Mexican American War begins when water shortages force “hydro-scavengers” to travel to the Rio Grande.

“It’s almost like the Star Wars Expanded Universe where there’s comics, novels, movies and cartoons that are all part of the same thing,” Vela told Remezcla during an interview this week.

It’s the music, however, that is the big draw for Futuro Conjunto. Vela and Leal wrote the songs together and then collaborated with singers and special guest musicians. Esteban Jordan III, son of late musician Steve Jordan, plays the accordion on one of the tracks. Each musician also stars as a fictional character in the Future Conjunto world.

Currently, Vela and Leal are trying to reach their goal of 180 pre-orders by May 16, 2021, so they can move forward with the vinyl production later this year. Pre-order the album, which will include a full-color companion book with artwork, narrative timelines, character descriptions and other bonus material.