Charly Gynn Is an Underground Jefa, Big Soto Is a Tireless Genre Explorer & More in New Music

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This is a weekly compilation of bite-sized song & EP reviews from our music writers. Discover new favs, read nuanced criticism of the week’s hottest releases & more.

Big Soto ft. Farruko & Kobi Cantillo – “Vacile”

 

Once one of Venezuela’s local biggest trap sensations, Big Soto has now become a tireless genre explorer, and on his latest single, he dip his toes in the Afro-pop waters. On the first single from his upcoming album The Good Trip, “Vacile,” Big Soto, fellow Venezuelan singer Kobi Cantillo and reggaeton star Farruko are deep in confusion, dealing with women who won’t be clear about their relationship status. Do they want to date or just play around? They seem down for movies and dinner, but the guys want to set the record straight.  —Cheky

ENYE – “Tamarindo”

Off his debut EP, ‘Fruits of My Labor’, ENYE’s track “Tamarindo” is an homage to the old school reggaetón we all grew up on. Dancing with the presentation of the fruit through its color and shape, ENYE raps about a bicho—which takes on different meanings across the Latin American diaspora. The idea of the fruit being a symbol for the phallic makes this a powerhouse queer anthem. —Daniel Gonzalez 

Marabu – “Capítulo 3: CALMÔ”

FUNDAMENTO is a remarkable album conceived by the Brazilian young artists Marabu and Levi Keniata. The album is one of a kind, with a baile funk opera led by Marabu’s amazing sense of storytelling and fine art sound collages patched by Keniata. CALMÔ, a samba song, is the act that takes place shortly after the hero is introduced. Marabu sings about finally meeting with his loved one as the unique cuíca—an instrument that swings between melody and percussion—plays. A dream that, just like the song’s electronic textures, fades out. —Felipe Maia

Charly Gynn, Jace Kimura – “Como Yo No Hay”

Charly Gynn and Jace Kimura, founders of Mexico City perreo netlabel Tempvs Music, have teamed up for a sexy new dance floor affirmation titled “Como Yo No Hay.” Inspired by a series of freestyles posted to Gynn’s social media over the course of quarantine, the boastful track showcases her nimble flow with raps about hustling, financial independence and being an underground jefa. “Como Yo No Hay” also puts Kimura’s signature production stile on display, drawing from sinister club sounds and the old school reggaeton beats that raised him. —Richard Villegas

Tunacola – “Santiago”

On “Santiago,” Tunacola’s frontman Richi Luna sees the Chilean capital’s decline from afar and spills all of his frustration while dancing his sorrows away on this track. Driven by a wonky synth line and glitzy disco aesthetics, the song sees Santiago as a resting patient who doesn’t seem to get better after being hit by social unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic. Luna cries for the lost clubs and venues that used to represent a much-needed escape from the troubled reality, so he brings the essence of those spaces to us through the song. —Cheky

RROCHA ft. Zudizilla – “DE QUE LADO (Capítulo 1)”

 

“De que lado” is the second single off of indie singer Rrocha’s upcoming album, Conterrâneos Estrangeiros. It takes a different path from the one in his first release, “Rua.” The new production reiterates the artist’s trippy chillwave ambitions while exploring sound possibilities taken from rap and R&B. We listen to spaced beats and good rhymes delivered by Zudizilla—a rising rapper from the Brazilian southside, a region that doesn’t have a long-time hip hop tradition. —Felipe Maia

Crudo Pimento – “The Garden”

It’s not easy to cover any song by German experimental industrial giants Einstürzende Neubauten; it’s challenging to replicate the sound of banging on anvils and other heavy-duty machinery to really do them justice. That didn’t deter Crudo Pimento from taking a stab, bringing a more tuneful approach to “The Garden” while also injecting it with tension that finds little pockets of relief throughout the song. In the process, they reconfigure dissonance into beauty. —Marcos Hassan

Duppy Gun ft. Any Voice – “Do Me So” [Prod. by Smurphy]

Mexican experimental, electronic artist Smurphy is known for taking chances with her music to make rhythmically-centered experimentations and soothing-yet-challenging soundscapes. However, every once in a while she takes to make irresistible dancehall riddims, something she excels at as heard in this EP. All cuts are based on the same beat by the skillful producer with different vocalists and collaborators making it their own. Any voice stands out, bringing the lyrical heat to the premises; while Smurphy’s experimental tendencies work in service of the drums, getting your hips shaking as they should. —Marcos Hassan