Global Beat México: Karen y Los Remedios, Von Galo, La Isla Centeno

Written by Marion Hodges

Vintage contemporaries via Von Gallo, La Isla Centeno and Karen y Los Remedios. Von Gallo and La Isla Centeno photos courtesy of the artists, and Karen y Los Remedios photo by Luciana Garza.

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.

Just can’t get enough Junf? You’re in luck as our CDMX Music Supervisor and DJ-about-town is in the selector’s seat once again. He’s brought with him tales of hangs with FREAKS ONLY host Travis Holcombe in Mexico City, the upcoming Vive Latino festival, and fresh vibes via Monterrey-based nu-disco polymath, Von Galo.

More: Global Beat México: Sympathy for the devil, and folktronic jams

Karen y Los Remedios – “Mi Gran Dolor” 

A researcher of arts and social sciences by day, CDMX’s Ana Karen G Barajas uses her spare time to create tracks like “Mi Gran Dolor,” which can best be described as haunted cumbia. It’s a whole mood. Pro tip: If you’re reading this in Austin, be sure to catch Karen y Los Remedios live at South by Southwest

Von Galo – “Phoenix”  

Monterrey-based, nu-disco polymath Von Gallo has crafted each beat, vocal, and instrumental interlude by hand to deliver this breezy (and jazzy) selection. 

La Isla Centeno – “Todavía

Guadalajara musicians Maria Centeno and Lito de la Isla join forces as La Isla Centeno, a gentle indie-pop duo with a deep reverence for the classic folk, bolero, and rhumba sounds favored by Mexican music legends along the lines of José Alfredo Jiménez and Chavela Vargas. Thanks to the feather-light touch applied by La Isla Centeno on “Todavía,” these vintage sounds shine through in a modern context. 

Fun fact: La Isla Centeno were on the bill for last year’s Vive Latino. The 2023 edition happens this weekend at Foro Sol in CDMX, and there’s still time to get in on the fun. 

More: Global Beat México: New February 2023 music releases

More: Explore the full Global Beat archives