LA-based producer Rafi El has been blending electronic urban music with Latin American influences for awhile now, culminating in last year’s Ay De Mi record. Now he’s back for more, thanks to the one-two punch double single “Culebra / Bacanal.” Both songs seem to be screaming to be played at your next party.
“Culebra” is a cover of Peruvian chicha exponents Los Invasores Del Progreso, and it’s probably what you would expect from Rafi El, though that doesn’t mean it’s a predictable move. Keep in mind that Rafi knows his way around a great cover, as proven by his update of Depeche Mode’s “Siempre Quiero Más.” The track is modern, full of synths and electronic sounds counterpointing the more traditional melody to bring out something truly special. On “Bacanal,” things get more hectic; the song recasts reggaeton as rave music for dance-starved neon youths in the middle of the Andean jungle.
This is just a small reminder that Rafi El is still out there, and a new full-length is on the horizon for the artist in 2016. Check out both songs via the Brooklyn-based Dutty Artz label.