Pan Caliente’s Top Albums of 2018

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Oh, you thought we weren’t gonna put out our top 10 albums of 2018? Nah, wouldn’t leave you hangin’ like that. The end of 2o18 was just frenzied, that’s all. And, now that the Reyes Magos brought us our gifts, we can share with you our lists.

  1. Tropa Magica – Tropa Magica

Born out of the ashes of Thee Commons, bothers Rene & David Pacheco pivoted and reworked their sounds to not be as cumbia centric. It was an unexpected move but the result was a rather a melodic and rock and roll-y record.

  1. Guadalupe Plata – Guadalupe Plata (2018)

The psychedelic noise makers from Úbeda, Spain once again delivered a record that soundtracked our end of the year with their dark and bluesy sounds of boogie music. We have to admire their Weezer-esque approach to naming their albums too.

  1. Monsieur Periné – Encanto Tropical

Aptly entitled “Tropical Charm” the Colombian outfit craft delicate, tropical pop. Even more so impressive was their collaboration with Vicentico of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and Leonel Garcia of Sin bandera.

  1. ROSALÍA – El Mal Querer

The nuevo Flamenco sound is finally breaking out into the larger consciousness, and Rosalía is leading that movement. There is some overlap with the Latin Urban scene, but on this record, she keeps her identity strong and rooted through each of the movements. Her sound could become intrinsic to the identity of her native Spain. It also helps that the album was co-produced by fellow Spaniard, El Guincho.

  1. La Mecanica Popular – Roza Cruz

This album is an instrumental sonic delight! Chicha style, psychedelic guitars layered over afrolatin percussion. Echoed pianos and fleshed out solos that take you back to an era when bands recorded live in one room and left it all raw with their brilliance and imperfections alike on analog tape.

  1. Centavrvs – Somos Uno

This second offering from the Musica Indie super group of sorts (comprised of members from Neon Walrus, Los Dorados, Timmy & the Monsters), has the romanticism of the Latin American landscape with a strong emphasis on updating its musical rhythms and heritage as a tribute.

  1. Rubio – Pez

Initially released early in the year as 5 separate EPs, each entitled with one letter of R U B I O ‘s name, Pez was the culmination of a breakout year for the former front-woman of Chilean band Miss Garrison. Her dark synth world carries with it defiant vocals and emotions enraptured by echoes and musical accents.

  1. Gato Preto – Tempo

This Global Bass goodness was put on our radars around SXSW and we couldn’t stop playing it all year! It’s the perfect fusion of polyrhythmic African sounds with 808s and synths that make your booty shake.

  1. Aterciopelados – Claroscura

A return to form for the duo from Bogota, who have been at it now for 25+ years. Andrea Echeverri’s introspective lyrics and Hector’s instrumentation leave it all out on the table for their fans who were yearning for another great record.

  1. Balún – Prisma Tropical

After year of yearning and waiting and hoping the band was making new music… the world finally got Prisma Tropical… and it’s magical. The Brooklyn-based quartet have positioned themselves as leaders of the Musica Indie scene and are primed to possibly crossover with their delectable Dreambow.