Tag Archives: Latin Music

Album of the Day: Brijean, “Walkie Talkie”


Percussionist Brijean Murphy is perhaps best known for her collaborations with Toro Y Moi, Poolside, and U.S. Girls, but on Walkie Talkie, she steps out on her own. The result is a smooth, sumptuous, and soulful record—one that feels like a journey through tropical house. 

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La Bruja de Texcoco Delivers a Folkloric Flux Manifesto

Nono Nogales

Photos by Ñoño Nogales

Origin stories don’t get any more thrilling or fantastical than that of Octavio Mendoza Anario, the artist who records as La Bruja de Texcoco (translated: The Witch of Texcoco). She had been hired to play violin with a group of friends at a party of concheros—traditional musicians who play guitars made from armadillo shells. That evening, in the middle of the event, a woman suddenly started convulsing. A curandero (a traditional healer) from the outskirts of Texcoco, a small town in Mexico, turned to Anario and delivered a plea: she must heal this woman.

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From Tiny Record Shop to International Influencer, Mr Bongo Continues to Deliver Surprises

mr bongo

Gareth Stephens and Founder David Buttle, inset photo by Laurie Diaz.

“I’d be flying out to Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, New York, L.A., with 10 empty suitcases and filling them up with Latin jazz records—both new releases and secondhand stuff,” remembers David “Mr Bongo” Buttle. “When I’d get back to London, there’d be people waiting for me at the airport—literally I’d be coming off the plane, and they’d be opening up boxes and cases in the airport to buy the records off me.”
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“It’s The Sex Pistols Meets Pérez Prado”: Inside Orkesta Mendoza’s Riotous Cumbia Punk

Orkesta Mendoza
Orkesta Mendoza. Photo by Josh Harrison.

Orkesta Mendoza’s adventurous second record ¡Vamos A Guarachar! paints a vivid portrait of Latin American folklore. It takes listeners on a celebratory journey, one where mestizo-infused genres like boogaloo, cumbia, chicha, and mambo intersect. “It’s like a little road trip of Latin America,” Sergio Mendoza boasts. Mendoza is the founding member of the Tucson-based ensemble, who embrace their Latino roots while showcasing an impressive musical range. “It was really hard for everyone to tell where the album was going, because there are a lot of different styles,” explains the 35-year-old bandleader.

Mendoza grew up between the first and developing worlds. He was born in Nogales, Arizona and raised in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico—two hinterland towns separated by a 45-minute drive, and divided by the US-Mexico border. The borderlands are a particularly diasporic, transnational region known for their rich cultural hybrids, which emerge as a result of the Mexican and Latinx immigrants who settle there in the hopes of crossing over to el otro lado (as the locals call the United States). Music from North America, Mexico, Central and South America intertwine and influence one another there—a cultural and geographical phenomenon that impacted Mendoza’s artistic development.

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