Global Beat Mexico: Axel Catalán, Plano, MC Quba and friends

Written by Marion Hodges

Global Beat Mexico returns to ease us into 2023 with extremely chill sounds from Plano, Axel Catalán and Masta Quba. Photos by Permanent Now, Daniel Patlan and Masta Quba courtesy of the artist.

KCRW’s Global Beat is a series highlighting emerging artists from around the world. Our second season takes us to Mexico, hosted by KCRW DJ Raul Campos alongside our curators, Mexico City DJ and music supervisor Junf, director of Festival NRMAL Moni Saldaña, and NPR’s Betto Arcos.

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Global Beat Mexico begins 2023 with a full slate of Junf-selected bangers representing avant-folk, daytime disco, and globe trotting hip-hop collabs.

More: Global Beat Mexico’s indomitable Holiday Spirit

Axel Catalán – “Mariposa

Axel Catalán is part of a new avant-folk vanguard coming out of Michoacán. His music widens the horizons of traditional acoustic sounds by utilizing staple instruments like the jarana, and the cajón peruano in new ways. 

Migrating monarch butterflies will often spend their winter months in Michoacán before finding their way back to California, and points beyond in the Spring. Junf selects “Mariposa” (Spanish for butterfly) in honor of the “monarch butterflies that travel all the way to Los Angeles.”

Plano – “Amanece

Plano are CDMX DJ duo Rodrigo Casarín and Juan Andrés Vergara. “Amanece” reveals an easy musical chemistry that’ll call to mind the first time you heard LA’s daytime disco pioneers, Poolside, apply their spin to “Harvest Moon.” 

Masta Quba – “Conmigo (Feat. P. Jaguar & A.C.O)”

Hip-hop plays a crucial role in bridging Mexican, Spanish, and Central American cultures. You’ll find this fact charmingly revealed through the ultra-sharp beats and bars provided by Mexico’s MC Masta Quba, Spain’s P. Jaguar, and Peru’s A.C.O on “Conmigo.”

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