Back when Mint Field released Pasar de las Luces the band was living in Tijuana, crafting these spaced-out psychedelic tunes; they were one of the highlights of my 2018 SXSW. Now, they’ve moved to Mexico City, signed to Felte Records and prepared a brand new single for us. Our first listen has some obvious changes in the band’s sound, though not entirely stepping away form where we first heard them. Here, they’ve sort of flipped the script…instead of filling the negative space with atmospherics and noise, they’ve just left it completely open, letting the notes resonate in that emptiness. There’s a burst of their old selves coming through at the 2 minute mark, but the song seems to move in a more meditative state, much like the tune’s accompanying video. Still, as interesting as ever.
It’s seems strange to me that we cover so much music from Canada, yet our closest neighbor (here in Texas at least) gets minimal coverage. But, thanks to Devil in the Woods returning, I’ve been turned on to some great tunes, like this new single from Mexico City’s MUUK. It’s an instrumental number that works with sort of four distinct movements. At first, you get sort of a lost radio message, something that seems to hiss at you from the past. Then the song drops in, guitars sharpening themselves over ambient noises, building on the pulse of electronics. We venture into a soft respite with a meandering guitar chord sort of skittering about while the percussive element and soundbites intoxicate the listener. It all crashes down emphatically with the heavier hand coming in the song’s final quarter, releasing all the song’s earlier tension in one final closing moment.
I think I first discovered Devil in the Woods sometime in the early 00s; the label had put out releases by personal favorites like Bright Eyes and Grandaddy (not to mention Death Cab, GBV, etc.). But, like all great things, changing musical climates and various other forces put the label up on the shelf for a bit. That was until founder Mike Cloward dropped into Mexico and felt reinvigorated by the goings-on in that scene. So, today the label is jumping back into the fray, with planned releases from Nik Freitas, Twin Tones and Espectroplastma…the latter two dropping in from la ciudad de Mexico. Below we’ve got a track from the 7″ with Espectroplasma, which recalls sort of an industrialized version of what you’d expect to find on Holodeck Records. Jumping in full force, the label also has plans for other titles on the horizon, so join me in welcoming the label back into the fold.
I was tempted to write this entire post in Spanish, but the red lines from my spell check were driving me crazy. This is the second single from Juan Wauter‘s new album, La Onda de Juan Pablo, with this song revolving around a stop in Mexico City. If you’ve spent any time in the city, or the country, you might recognize some of the signature sounds filtering through Wauter’s tune, like the stellar accordion; it also just feels like being in that city, lively and calm all at once. While the whole album is in Spanish, you’ve got to give to Juan for going out on a limb and tracing his Latin roots and spinning it into accessible tunes. The new album will drop at the end of January via Captured Tracks.
I realize that ACL is completely done now and many folks have the festival in their rearview as we move on to the next thing, but I’ve got one last related piece to share with you. Our final interview, and possibly our most interesting, comes today from new wave band Rey Pila. The ATH crew was excited for this one because we got to practice some of our Spanish with the Brooklyn based, but Mexico born band. Follow the jump for full interview.