Best Tracks of 2011

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Ladies and gents, for the second year in a row, Chile takes the nod. The musical artistry spurting from that long, narrow coastal country had us wowed over and over again, even despite all the rubble with mass student mobilizations and then Occupy The Entire World movements. But hey, maybe it’s the howling angst, political turmoil and catastrophes that inspire exceptional works of art, or at least it did for Ana Tijoux, Adrianigual and a few others who have our admiration.

It’s no surprise that Mexico keeps doing big things, and in 2011 this country once again proved itself worthy, musically. You’ll know what we mean when you check out our picks for the Best Tracks of 2011. Ranging from a diverse set of music compositions from indie pop, to electro rock, shoegaze, tribal guarachero, ruidosón, and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll, we’ve heard an astounding number from artists like Quiero Club, Disco Ruido, Le Butcherettes, Kinky, 3Ball MTY, Bam Bam, María Y José, Torreblanca, Toy Selectah and Rey Pila. We also have some folky tunes, bossa nova inspired ones, ñu cumbia amalgamations, moombahton mixes and some hip hop — and audible taste from our beloved Latino America.

Our original Best Songs of 2011 list was over twice as long and we wish to include them all, but twenty-five is the number, folks, and not all are suited for the Best of 2011 title. These below were the ones that were set on repeat in our heads, we bonded to, we celebrated and got piss drunk, made us laugh, made us cry and made us fall in love.

So without further ado, here are our li’l treasures for Best Tracks of 2011. And from all of us here at Remezcla Música, happy listening…


by Zechs Marquise
[USA/Puerto Rico]

If I was from the past and somehow through time travel, woke up in 2011, the epic 7 and 1/2 minute long “Everlasting Beacon of Light” would blow my mind…Oh wait, I am from this time and it STILL blows an everlasting beacon of light into my skull. Probably the most artistic, prog rock-y song on this list, and still probably the best song to get a lapdance to. If this doesn’t make you want to get naked I don’t know what will. Words can’t even describe how brilliant this song is. Listen for yourself. -Stephen Christopher

Zechs Marquise – Everlasting Beacon of Light by INgroovesmarketing


by Orquesta ft. Zuzuka

21 year old Dublin-based producer Orquesta and Zuzuka Poderosa, (Zuzuka Power Tour slootas! Don’t you forget!) team up to bring us this sweet head poppin’ tropical sound, in PORTUGAYSAH, from the Dona Sandra EP. The story of Dona Sandra is about a young woman who moves to Mozambique to try and forget her lost love. This hot summer night Brooklyn underground Baile Funk-Carioca Bass rapper, DJ, and bartender oozes a fun, sexy, cool aura that makes you wanna dance with her all night long, probably on a roof top or some sweaty NYC nightclub. This year she rocked our Remezcla Xmas Party. Oi, Douuna Zandrahh! -Stephen Christopher

Orquesta – Dona Sandra (ft. Zuzuka Poderosa) by Zuzuka Poderosa


by The Zombie Kids

These zombies ain’t nothing like the ones in The Walking Dead. I wanna see some gore, gimme some blood, and guts and brain matter. Oh! And a chainsaw. What a rampant case of false advertising! These dudes aren’t zombies, nor are they kids and they look so quintessentially cool with all those random interpolations of hipster irony around them that the video almost seems like it was done as a collage with cut-outs from Vice Magazine. Still, I can’t really hate on them, the song is hella tight and at the end of the day I just wish I could look as good with feathers on my jacket (I’d totally wear that in my dystopian future fantasy to go out and hunt “walkers” with a katana and a baseball bat). -Juan Data

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by María Y José

When Tijuana’s violentão musical prodigy alarmed us with this noisy igniting track, it instantly became our narco-són soundtrack of the year. Lyrically stepping into druglord territory, bumming tribal guarachero beats, then amalgamating it to his very own ruidosón, “Rey de Reyes” proved epic to our eardrums. Weather referencing Los Tigres’ Jefe de Jefes, the bible or both, this track inspired nalgas bouncing on the dance floor with an AK 47 and powdered noses. -Isabela Raygoza

Rey de Reyes by María y José


by Torreblanca

Torreblanca’s debut Bella Época was one of our favorite albums of the year and “Sí” is a great answer to the question of why we loved it. The song is a quirky, piano-driven number that highlights singer-songwriter Torreblanca’s voice, and is buoyed by backup vocalist/instrumentalist Andrea Balency. It’s these basic elements that make this song as well as the entire album a wonderful, auditory experience. -Afroxander

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by Le Butcherettes

Okay, so you may have thought Karen O was skankin’ it up on vocals and this was some new side project, BUT this catchy tune has a whole lotta love for being titled “Henry Don’t Got Love”. Playful doot doot doo’s during heavy rockin’ powerchords are something I miss and haven’t heard in a NON cheeseball way for a while. Best track for being coolest riotgrrls of the year! Órale Le Butcherettes, órale! -Stephen Christopher

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by Bam Bam

Bam Bam’s latest album Futura Vía is full of gems, but “Hipnódromo” takes the cake thanks mainly to that riff that sounds like rays of sunshine zapping your face. Then there’s that bass line that makes you want to rollerskate down the beach in your neon-est swim wear. Did we mention that the vocal-style is inspired by old-school Brit rock (early The Kinks/The Beatles, etc.)? IT’S ALL THERE! -Afroxander

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by Disco Ruido

With a live band consisted of guest vocalists, who got their start by performing only in night clubs and other social events, and the name is DISCO Ruido and all, it’s no surprise they’ve quickly become, for lack of better words, the muthafuckin’ SHIT in the Mexico City electro scene. “Go Twisters” can easily be written off as just another goofy Doo-DAH Doo-DAH same bass line, dancy disco tune, but it makes the list for it’s catchy chorus and fun pop tune vibe. It may be the kind of song you picture dumpy lesbians dancing to at the club, but it’s somehow still a good time. It has this weird way of sounding novelty and at times (when she’s not doing her “Chick Habit” styled vocals) almost Joy Division serious, dramatic at the same time. Maybe it’s just the toms, but the way it transitions in the song is precious. IT’S PRECIOUS. Like a My Little Pony commercial. What does Go Twisters even mean? I don’t know, and I don’t care. What does “bawitdaba da bangdabag diggy diggy up jump the boogy” mean?? Exactly. It’s snappy and humans usually like that sort of thing, that is, unless they are pretentious art fags. You aren’t a pretentious art fag, are you?-Stephen Christopher.

Disco Ruido – Go Twisters


by Dillon Francis & Diplo ft. Maluca
[USA/Dominican Republic]

Moombahton was kind of like the buzz word of 2011, flooding the blogosphere with way more soundcloud remixes that we could even possibly digest. Like with every sudden craze of the kind, most of it is digital rubbish that will be forgotten in a couple of years when we look back and laugh “do you remember that moomba-what? what was that all about?” So don’t worry if you feel left behind and you’re just barely discovering dubstep (OMG, that’s so 2007!) because honestly there’s only a handful of tracks that really deserve your attention and that keep some sort of connection to the original Latin (or shall we say semi-Latin) roots of this hybrid genre. One of them, no doubt about it, is “Que Que” (shouldn’t it be “Qué Qué”?) by Dominican dancefloor goddess Maluca (the Latina M.I.A.?), produced by the two whitest white boys to ever crossover to the electropical field. -Juan Data

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by Kali Mutsa

Our love for Chile’s music scene extends to Kali Mutsa who, with “Jauja,” blends elements of trip-hop, Bhangra, Andean and electronic sounds with ease. Her style is reminiscent of M.I.A.’s earlier, more dance-oriented work minus the politics. It’s trippy, hypnotic and über-sexy! -Afroxander

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by Guarco

With delicate bossa nova finger plucking and a beautiful nylon acoustic lead, “Monster” makes me wish that if deliriousness and Amazonian Loch Ness nightmares sounded this gorgeous, then please dip my brain in some popular ’60s substance and take me to the other side. And if those first 30 seconds during that brief minor chord change doesn’t make your belly sinks a little too, right before those dense percussive samba beats, then I don’t know what fantasy you’re on. -Isabela Raygoza

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by Toy Selectah ft. Rey Pila

Living in Mexico City, I’m not sure how I’ve managed to go a year without seeing a DJ set by the wildest name in music this side of the border. Toy Selectah has been on our radar for a hot second, and the inovation from this cat has not gone unnoticed. The ferocity of sound, the ruthless production and rigorous mixing of one of Latin America’s sexiest innovators is definitely something to celebrate this fin de año. Rey Pila wowed me recently at a small festival and this combination with Toy Selectah makes for a mob squad inspired porno-effect soundtrack that we know we wish we could stuff into a stocking along with some other naughty treats. -Jose Luis Benavides

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by El Dusty (aka DJ Dus)

Very few people noticed it when it first came out, early 2011, as part of a new Texan music compilation. But then its amazing video dropped and it instantly turned the song into a massive viral hit that even caught the attention of German producer Daniel Haaksman who re-released the track on Man Recordings. Peligrosa’s acolyte DJ Dus sampled a cumbia standard tune by Mike Laure that had been already turned into a dancefloor classic when covered by Chilean cumbia-punk outfit Chico Trujillo, but his bass-heavy version at 120BPM took it to a whole new unpredictable level and turned it into a peak-of-the-night dancefloor-destroying juggernaut that will be a must-have on everybody’s playlists for the upcoming NYE’s parties. -Juan Data

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by Quiero Club

Every day is a perfect day with Quiero Club on the stereo/iPod/audio-device-of-choice. And the word “carefree” doesn’t even begin to describe this song and video. This indie-pop anthem came to us from Mexico’s Happy-Fi label, which is completely appropriate considering the music QC makes. “Dias Perfectos” finds its happiness in accepting existential angst and crisis with a few guitars and keyboards. -Afroxander

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by 3Ball MTY

Stepping into the ring like three Mexican boxers in this video, DJ trio Erick Rincon, Sheeqo Beat, and Otto — all too young to even drink legally in the U.S. — have been banging the heck out of the Monterrey tribal guarachero scene. This is the most MTV I think Remezcla has ever gotten, but it’s worth it. Despite the cheesy lyrics, unnecessary booty shots, the chafa effects, and the awkward Tarantino-spliced screens toward the end, this tribal beat that 3Ball MTY zips along just keeps the momentum and the energy going. And how could you ever turn down a chance to see those crazy pointy, jester boots in action? You gotta love the management ad at the end too, just in case you wanna contact these cute kids to DJ you’re next party. Girl, you know I’m calling that Nextel number as we speak. -Jose Luis Benavides

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by Bajofondo Presenta Campo

Ñu-cumbia reached a new apex, production-wise at least, when it got into the hands of the supreme purveyors of highly refined LatinAlt music; that is Oscar-winner Gustavo Santaolalla and his Bajofondo collective. Campo is the fourth solo release by a Bajofondo member as a side-project (counting two by Supervielle and one by Santullo) and it was conceived by the Uruguayan Juan Campodónico (who besides Bajofondo has produced artists such as Jorge Drexler, Ximena Sariñana and El Cuarteto de Nos) but includes pretty much all the Bajofondo line-up adding their inimitable Midas touch. “La Marcha Tropical” is one of two tracks from this self-titled album that indulges into the popular Afro-Colombian rhythm and curiously both include lyrics in English. -Juan Data

La Marcha Tropical by CAMPO


by Francios Peglau

This song goes to prove that sometimes low tempo bass lines and sound simplicity in its pristine form can mentally and corporally evoke Bliss. Yes, Bliss with a capital B. And sure, the thought of this sad puppy-eyed Peruvian via UK singer-songwriter may have fooled with my sex drive a bit, but in all do respect and sincerity, “Holiday” proves that a revival of the singer-songwriter teeters to a high for this upcoming year. And indeed, this track is definitely a soundtrack for that melancholic dreamer, the old soul romantic, and the dream folk aficionado. So let’s spend the holiday’s in the sun… -Isabela Raygoza

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by Kinky ft. Mala Rodríguez

This number by Kinky features the newly converted sex vixen Mala Rodriguez, who at this years Vive Latino festival sported a barely there outfit inspired by Victoria Secret’s skimp and tease tejidos. Kinky’s name has always promised a sensual approach to electro-pop, y La Mala, pues siempre ha seguido su namesake. This combo is a disco-deviation that slips into the synth underbelly. Put this track on and watch your winter blues melt in the sun. Indie champions always make for good bed buddies, and I can’t help but remember when Kinky surprised us all by hopping on stage for Mala’s performance this year (again at Vive). I’m telling you, in honor of that set and a wild year in the music industry, Remezcla tips its hat to the ho-ho-ho-ish antics of the MC mistress and her Kinky compañeros. -Jose Luis Benavides

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by Ana Tijoux

In convenient synchrony with the worldwide Occupy Everything movement and more specifically the Chilean student protests of 2011, Ana Tijoux came up with an epic Spanish-language anthem for those outraged with corporate supremacy and oppressive governments. Over a beat that resembles an imperial march of sorts, the French-Chilean femcee shoots tight politically-charged verses and seems more comfortable than ever before with her singing voice on the chorus. Even with the record label pushing back its US release to early 2012, the song managed to crossover the youtube blockade and become a bootlegged underground hit, specially for those of us who sympathize with the 99%. -Juan Data

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by Adrianigual

Sure, Santiago de Chile’s disco pop duo may look like guapi American Apparel models who dress in really awesome ’90s garb and do cheesy funky dances while the run away from burning buildings. But don’t be fooled by the adolescents in revolt in a Capital in chaos. “Arde Santiago” came at an appropriate time when the social and political strike stroked the minds and actions of a generation in agony. The disco pop funk aesthetics of this tune combined with satirical lyrics of a city in crisis made it alright to hula hoop while rollerskating along with a youth mob as the city’s prominent buildings burn away. Éxito Mundial! -Isabela Raygoza

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by Neon Indian

There’s something about Neon Indian that makes you feel like you’re making out with your sweetheart on shrooms in an ’80s romance comedy drama movie. It’s as if everyone in a John Hughes film were new wave hippies doing sexually ridiculous (or ridiculously sexy?) shoulder moves for the ending and for THAT, we say this track is a 2011 highlight, literally. I’m gonna go get stoney macaroni now and buy some black light posters…maybe do some sensual, slow motion Zoolander poses while I’m at it. -Stephen Christopher

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by Francisca Valenzuela

Chile always comes strong with singles, videos and artists representing the very best of South American talent and artistic tradition. The hipster fad is here to stay, and with twinkling elegance Francisca Valenzuela’s chilled-out folky fervor has been wowing Remezcla and the world with her sincerity and simplicity. Her music and videos harp on the modern wealth, the ruffian aesthetic, and bohemian lifestyle but with the added sophistication of a seasoned artist. “Qué Sería” is no exception. We look forward to another year of stellar singles and superb video’s from one our favorite sweetheart singer/songwriters. -José Luis Benavides

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by CSS

Oh oh oh, it hits me like a rock. You know when you totally obsess over a song and when you forgot it and the power of “shuffle” randomly plays it again, it then hits you like a rock? Well I think I’ve been hit with plutonium, because not only is this the perfect summer anthem to the perfect spontaneous ‘shuffle’ selection, the perfect catchy chorus, AND the ultimate dance pop song all around. “Hits Me Like A Rock” is a brilliant and physical manifestation of sweet corporal grooves that’ll heat up ANY winter frosty NYC weather like BAM! Just listen to Lovefoxx, her breathy vocals here couldn’t sound sexier. When you are sick of listening to “Genius of Love” by Tom Tom Club you listen to CSS Hits Me Like A Rock! -Isabela Raygoza

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by La Vida Bohéme

When Venezuelas’ revolutionary fiesta quartet invaded the blogosphere and our New York City this year, words couldn’t accurately describe their igniting dance punk sound coming out of these Pollock-garb-inspired kids from Caracas, it was too much to handle. And this song, with a Ramones “Gabba Gabba Hey!” to Mano Negra musical influences, revamped the essence of what rock and roll used to be but then it wasn’t, and now it is, head high! Their urgent blast beat drumming, ode to Venezuela’s once ruled rock radio station “Radio Capital,” Henry’s accomplished falsetto — right before the angry fretwork break — and hints of cowbell, not only got us saying we gotta have more cowbell and definitely more La Vida Bohéme, but they make us eager and absolutely crazy for good ol’ Latin American punk rock music like there’s still hope. -Isabela Raygoza

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What happens if we run with our eyes closed and our arms wide open? And what happens if we yearn to run, dance, shine, and play with God? Just for a little while, at least for four minutes. Astro’s artistic projections in “Ciervos” off the indie rockers’ self-titled debut crafted a carefully nuanced and sensitive side to colliding and coexisting worlds, both the connection of human nature with a prancing naive and youthful deer, while transcending our minds in Astro realms if you will. This without a doubt is Remezcla’s ultimate 2011 anthem and this year’s #1 — it made us dance, it made us laugh, it made us celebrate, and made our hearts full. So let Vishnu borrow our eyes for a bit and we’ll overdose on fruits, trees, animal love, and sex with ample galore. -Isabela Raygoza

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Don’t agree? Sound off in the comments board below and let us know how horrible our taste is. Rank your own favorite 2011 tracks.