Tag Archives: Balún

10 Latin-American Artists Driving Chiptune’s Next Big Wave

chiptune-1244In today’s pop culture-obsessed world, most people are at least tangentially familiar with the nostalgic kitsch of chiptune, a colorful and whimsical universe of electronic music that has remained an underground niche throughout most of its brief history. Characterized by energetic, high-pitched melodies, chip music was born out of the Japanese video game boom of the 1970s, later becoming a DIY favorite at small demoscenes across Europe where hacking outdated tech evolved into a glitchy new art form. However, as chip music’s cultural significance has expanded globally, Latin America has remained largely omitted from the conversation, despite its chiptune scene’s wealth of perspectives and fusions. Continue reading

Artist of the Week: On Their New LP, Balún Put a Global Spin on Dreampop

Artist Of The Week BalunBalún’s long-awaited second album, Prisma Tropical, begins with the sound of bassist and multi-instrumentalist Nora Ruiz’s cuatro and the chirping of coquí frogs. She recorded the composition on her phone at home in San Juan, gently plucking out an original composition on the 10-stringed traditional Puerto Rican instrument. The frogs, which are both symbolic of Puerto Rico and ubiquitous there, were fortuitous ambient noise.

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