Latin Albums To Look Out For In 2013 (part 1)

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When I first heard about the formation of this group, I choked, literally on my food, and was heavily curious to how this would sound. If you haven’t heard of Raul & Mexia yet, get familiar because this is the stuff that has all the crossover ingredients for generations of Latinos today. And we’ll surely find out soon when the album drops February 19th. Not only is their upcoming album produced by famed Toy Selectah (producer of 3Ball MTY), but Raul and Mexia are also the sons of Hernán Hernandez from the legendary Los Tigres Del Norte. Yes, I’ll give you hints that there are some Norteño-centric tracks as well as tribal. Stay tuned.  -IR

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It’s been a while since they released Mar Dulce–almost five years already! True, they kept busy with their solo side projects (Supervielle, Santullo, Campo and Santaolalla’s Oscar-winning soundtracks), but we were starting to get a little impatient: were they ever going to release a new album, the whole Bajofondo collective together again? The answer came last December in the form of a single, “Pide Piso,” that premiered on selected Argentine websites, along with news about their third official album, Presente, to drop on April 2nd (in South America) on Sony Masterworks (yes, they changed labels and that was probably part of the reason they took so long to come out with a new album). We’re still waiting on US release date. In the meantime, we can look at the album cover and speculate on the new directions they might take: the female leg covered with fishnet remains pretty much the same, but this time around the leg seems to belong to an Afro-descendant–does that mean they’ll be exploring the Afro-roots of tango? Maybe. And perhaps also adding a little more candombe into the mix? We seriously can’t wait for this one. -JD


On his previous albums, Devendra Banhart wasn’t really classified or reviewed under the “Latin” genre (like the rest of the people on this list, if you can draw comparisons), which I’ve personally found odd considering that one of his main music inspirations is Caetano Veloso. Besides being heavily influenced by tropicalia, singing in Spanish on numerous tracks, and even doing a collaboration with actor Gael García Bernal, this Venezuelan, US-bred freak folk pioneer finally announced new album after a four year hiatus, since What Will We Be. Though, we did have our high suspicions that new works were underway since he recently collaborated with Mexican darling Natalia Lafourcade in “Amor, Amor de mis Amores.” Given that this upcoming will be titled Mala, out March 12th, we also speculate that it’ll be “obviously” Latin-esque focused. A ver.

Like most of his album covers, he drew this one too. Pitchfork is streaming the first single now, listen to it HERE. -IR

Zuzuka Poderosa, Carioca Bass EP
[Brazil/New York]

Last year, she delighted us with her “Carioca Bass Mixtape,” put together by Kush Arora. Now our favorite Brazilian expat brings the favela raw dance party back with her EP of the same title. There are two new original songs (also produced by Kush Arora), and a bunch of dope remixes by the likes of Jubilee, Nego Moçambique, Sonora and more.

It may still be winter on this side of the planet, but down in Rio, it’s the summer’s peak and people are starting to get ready for carnaval season. So this EP, to drop on January 29th, will be bringing up some of that heat from below the equator. -JD


Emerging onto the digital cumbia scene since 2006, and keeping busy with releasing and experimenting with ñu-cumbia-centric mixtapes, remixes, and singles, Frikstailers finally sets to release their highly anticipated debut album on February 25th titled El Son De Paz. Even though the duo has commonly been classified under the ñu-cumbia genre, this group proved to go beyond categorization as they’ve become masters in meticulously sampling multilayered compositions of pop tracks (which also includes dancehall, hip hop, cumbia, kudro, baile funk and others) onto new previously undiscovered and unheard of sounds. For someone of this talent and rare creativity, I’d speculate they must have some insane-ness in them. -IR

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