Latin Bands at SXSW – Part III

Read more

Sonidero Nacional
Monterrey, Mexico

The multi-tasking DJ/producer Toy Selectah and crew are coming to SXSW, bringing what he has dubbed as neo-cumbia – a fearless infusion of reggaeton, hip-hop and (of course) cumbia. This ensemble from Monterrey samples artists that range anywhere from Daddy Yankee to Jay-Z to Julieta Venegas to Juanes, using cumbia as its main backdrop. In many ways you can consider Sonidero Nacional a solid representation of the evolution of urban Latin American music – a mélange that blurs genre boundaries and quite simply seeks to get people on their feet.

No Te Va Gustar
Montevideo, Uruguay

More commonly knows as NTVG, this 8-piece band from Uruguay has been captivating audiences since 1994 with their rock en español and not-so-subtle ska undertones. They are considered one of the most established bands of the Cono Sur, and have garnered quite a loyal fan base throughout Europe and Australia, but haven’t really made their way to the United States. With five studio albums that have reached platinum status in sales, NGTV’s SXSW performance will at the least showcase their sound and let new listeners know exactly what it is that has been captivating audiences around the world for so many years.

Systema Solar
Magdalena, Colombia

Systema Solar seems to want to challenge the notion that Colombian music is limited to cumbia. While it is definitely included in their mixture of sounds, the members of Systema, hailing mostly from Colombia’s Caribbean coast, are laying claim to Afro-Caribbean sounds, including champeta, bullerengue and fandango, and combining them with downright electronic beats and hip-hop. Judging by their 2009  album and their bright, energetic videos, the band’s sound is definitely an approachable concoction, and by SXSW’s end their live performance will surely leave a deep imprint on our memory.

Zaragoza, Spain

This popular duo from Spain, comprised of Eva Amaral and Juan Aguirre, is making their way to the United States for the first time. Their mellow songs, replete with sentimentality and longing for a significant other, have resulted in four studio albums in Spanish and one in English, plus numerous MTV Europe awards and nominations since they started the band in 1998. They have collaborated with artists such as Moby and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, and have used their wide popularity in their home country and throughout Europe to bring attention to the political causes they are committed to – namely, stopping violence against women and Oxfam.

Hong Kong Blood Opera
Hermosillo, Mexico

Hong Kong Blood Opera’s name is enough proof to understand that this young band is a fan of blood, gore and, most importantly, all things raw and visceral in nature, which they convey effectively through their music. Influenced by bands such as Motorhead, The Hives and Pantera, HKBO has already made a name for itself touring all throughout Mexico and the United States, capturing audiences with their combination of synthesizers and industrial rock. This is the second time they hit SXSW, and they should be on your must-see list if you want to experience an intense, ballsy performance.

Da Punto Beat
Mexico City, Mexico

Festival favorites Da Punto Beat operate as a sort of Mexican sound collective, internationally known for prepping electronic compilations that feature smooth funk rhythms galore, whilst luring you to the dance floor. As alums of Benicassim (Spain), Way Out West (Sweden) and Manifest (Mexico), they have solidified their reputation with memorable live performances and will no doubt continue to gain popularity after SXSW.