Latin Bands at CMJ 2012

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CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival in New York City is titled a marathon for a pretty good reason. With over 1,300 artists performing in 80+ venues all over NYC for four consecutive days (October 16th-20th), you’re going to need preparation to make sure you go watch the right bands. The great news is that we’ll make it easier for you and give you your guide to the best Latin acts of 2012 CMJ.

Also, be sure to check out our map to see where these bands will be performing.

¿Cuándo? Wed, Oct. 17th @ 7pm
¿Dónde? Webster Hall

This Dominican bombshell is not afraid of experimenting with new sounds: Maluca Mala takes her mambo roots through the filter of New York’s nightlife, clashing against global ghetto bass trends and all the time keeping it sexy and glam with her divaesque antics. The real Latina response to M.I.A. has a new free mixtape out (China Food) but still no new singles that compare to her strong debut, “El Tigueraso,” a couple of years ago on Mad Decent. -JD

China Food Mixtape by Maluca Mala

¿Cuándo? Fri, Oct. 19th @ 11pm
¿Dónde? DROM

The Brooklyn-based, but Miami-bred trio first captured our attention with their chic resurrected-from-the-dead outfits and frazzled wigs, and then, with their sassy, disco-infused, and electro-jazz sound. These newcomers are more than Something in Spanish. The band consists of Cuban/Colombian vocalist Michelle Perez, a Nicaraguan by the name of Julio Monterrey on synths, and an Irish man, David Mason, on electro drums. The trio is on a “mission is to heal and nurture all” fans — in a spooky yet awkwardly sexy way, I’m sure. Oh, and don’t forget to download their latest album I & II below. -IR

II by somethinginspanish

[NYC/Puerto Rico]
¿Cuándo? Wed, Oct. 17th @ 7pm
¿Dónde? Webster Hall

Remember these two? Back in 2004, these sexy Boriqua identical twins became instant popstars at the peak of the reggaetón crossover phenomenon with their contagious top-40 hits “Move Ya Body” and “Oye Mi Canto.” Nina Sky had the world chanting along “Boriqua, morena, dominicano, colombiano…” Now they’re trying a comeback, with a new image, new style, a lot less reggaeton (obviously), and more Rihanna-style commercial R&B, en inglés. They’re also giving away a whole album for free. -JD

“Nicole & Natalie” (Album) – Full Download by Nina_Sky

[NYC/Puerto Rico]
¿Cuándo? Fri, Oct. 19th @ 12pm
¿Dónde? Rockwood Music Hall

NYC’s Monica Lionheart captures more than just passing glances in her spring debut, Indian Summer. Formerly of Zigmat and Pacha Massive, this bilingual songstress singed to Nacional Records this summer as a solo artists, and now gets the chance to showcase those harmonious and seductively synthesized vocals we all dig. Check out this chic singer as she’ll captivate your heart too with her Latina afro puffs, breezy-like vocals, and cool-chill swag onstage. -IR

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¿Cuándo? Tues, Oct. 16th @ 7pm
¿Dónde? The Knitting Factory

Brooklyn-born producer Ursula 1000 makes cool funky beats that are ideal for lounge bars or TV series soundtracks. A lot of his influences come from the Latin side of the spectrum when it comes to old school chill-out grooves, usually borrowing inspiration from cha-cha-chá, boogaloo and Latin jazz. Plus he’s a sought-after remixer, and he recently did this magnificent rework of ZZK’s Fauna. Check it out below. -JD

Fauna – Hongo x Hongo – Ursula 1000 Remix by zzkrecords

¿Cuándo? Thurs, Oct. 18th @ 10:30pm
¿Dónde? The Delancey

The post-pop quintet from Colombia by way of Brooklyn crafts some preeety gorgeous melodies that’s like candy to our ears. Fronted by Juliana Ronderos — who hones sweet-like electro-melodic vocals, this emerging band makes ’80s-esque krout-pop sound dope, and charms with their pretty faces and delightful stage presence. You don’t wanna miss these guys. They’re also giving away their Crossing Colors EP! -IR

[Washington DC]
¿Cuándo? Thurs, Oct. 18th @ 8pm
¿Dónde? Littlefield

They are one of our favorite borderline-Latin new bands. True, none of their members are really Latinos but their cross-cultural funk blend includes plenty of Latin roots mixed in with Afro-beat and other styles. The Funk Ark also does some bad-ass all-instrumental cumbias and even cover Peruvian Chicha classics in their repertoire. Oh, and did we mention that their latest album was produced by Adrian Quesada (of Grupo Fantasma)? -JD

The Funk Ark – Diaspora by afrobeatblog

[Kansas City]
¿Cuándo? Tuesday, Oct. 16th @ 6pm
¿Dónde? The Rock Shop

What happens when percussionist and friends join a songwriter by the name of Enrique Chi, to fuse the sounds of his bi-cultural heritage by blending Afro Cuban rhythms with melodic indie rock? Incendiary tunes such from their latest album Aguariente (free download below) are ignited into the atmosphere, radiating from a group with a powerful live dynamic, ambitious enough to bridge the gap between both worlds. These songs are perfect examples of how a band like Making Movies has potential to make mainstream crossover appeal with their infectious mambo, cumbia, and reaggaeton rhythms, spliced in with indie rock aesthetics, bilingual tunes, and a final ingredient of mainstream pop rock sound glossed over.

[Rhode Island/Guatemala/DR]
¿Cuándo? Thurs, Oct. 18th @ 9pm
DCTV Firehouse

In recent years the MPC sampler, formerly mainly a studio tool, has become a predominant instrument for live shows. People with really fast fingers and a lot of coordination use it to produce beats of the fly, thus taking the spotlight away from hip-hop DJs/turntablists who used to have the monopoly in flaunting hand skills on stage. Even with that horrible moniker, AraabMuzik (no he’s not Arab, he’s actually of Dominican and Guatemalan descent) has managed to become one of the most renowned MPC jugglers in the US and when he’s not poking those pads frenetically with his fingertips on stage he’s in the studio producing beats for mainstream rappers like 50 Cent. -JD

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¿Cuándo? Sat, Oct. 20th @ 10pm
¿Dónde? Gramercy Theatre

Brazil’s trailblazing trio are young, über-cute, and fun to just look at! Singing in their native Portuguese, Bonde do Rolê produces an avalanche of electropical bass, kuduro, and sultry Brazilian fusions. Since their raved-about 2007 debut With Lasers, the São Paulo natives finally showcased their sophomore album Tropicalbacanal this summer which impressed our minds and ears with their catchy, charming, and bouncy sound. Though I can’t understand most of the Portuguese language, it seems like most of their lyrics are about dancing and having lots of sex….. fun! -IR

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