The Latin Alternative Music Conference (hosted by KCRW’s very own Raul Campos!) celebrated 16 sweet years this July as KCRW captured the various sights and sounds of this expansive festival that takes place in venues throughout the greater NYC area.
While there are many great performances, here are 5 highlights and a couple of artists to pay attention to and check out live when they come to your neighborhood.
1. Systema Solar
On the opening day for LAMC @ Central Park, the most enthusiastic cries were for Systema Solar. Their repertoire skips between house, techno, and hip-hop while incorporating cumbia, porro, and champeta styles into their live performances. This self-described “musical-visual collective” has a primal and indigenous foundation.
Catch them @ The Roxy on July 19th!
2. Buscabulla at Highline Ballroom
Recipients of the LAMC 2015 Discovery Artist Award — Puerto Rican transplants Buscabulla are garnering well-deserved attention as a fledgling duo out of Brooklyn. Raquel Berrios’s silky vocals wrap around songs arising from a mélange of influences. Her husband and fellow “troublemaker” Luis Alfredo Del Valle started collaborating and developed a significant SoundCloud following before a music-contest led to a self-titled EP produced by Dev Hynes of Blood Orange.
3. LAMC Showcase at The Highline Ballroom, July 9th
It’s just too difficult to choose a singular performance from this jam-packed showcase. First Miami’s Venezuuelan-born Mr. Pauer kicked things off with a cavalcade of gorgeous and talented collaborators. Later on, the singer-songwriter Gepe — whose Chilean electro folk-rock set was accompanied by a duo of colorful dancers.
Mexican-born L.A. denizen Ceci Bastida continued the sonic showcase, filling the room with her clever electro-pop stylings and socially conscious lyricism. And fellow Mexican Torreblanca closed the night with his unique multi-instrumental art rock sound.
4. Kinky at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park
A pressing venue curfew gave Kinky an edge on stage to satiate an expectant crowd. KCRW listeners have long been familiar with the Mexican band’s energy and exciting live performances, but perhaps it was the rush to make it through as much of their set as possible that encouraged them with pumping fists and exalted ecstasy. Kinky will be part of Reventón Super Estrella, this Saturday July 18th in Los Angeles.
5. Q&A with Vicentico at LAMC in Manhattan & live performance at Summerstage Central Park
Vicentico, the Argentine vocalist and songwriter of the legendary Los Fabulosos Cadillacs sat down for a Q&A hosted by Raul Campos alongside collaborators Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth (of Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club) on the seminal LFC album, Rey Azucar — discussing the 20th Anniversary of the album’s release.
At Summerstage, the park-filled audience sang in chorus to every lyric of every song sung!