Global Beat México: Lázaro Cristóbal Comala, Chéjere, Los Amparito

Written by Marion Hodges

Feel the spirit with Los Amparito, Chéjere and Lázaro Cristóbal Comala. Photos courtesy of the artists.

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.

NPR’s Betto Arcos returns to share more marvelous Mexican sounds. From a minimalist gospel hymn to the devil, to a sweet and spare new entry to the “folktronica” canon, prepare to be enamored.

And mark your calendar. On Wednesday April 5, Mr. Arcos will be at Fingerprints Music in Long Beach for a live taping of Global Beat: México. The event will also feature an in depth conversation between Arcos and Global Beat host Raul Campos about his 2021 book, “Music Stories from the Cosmic Barrio.” These chats will be followed by a book signing, and a very special performance from a surprise musical guest. Watch this space for more details. 

More: Global Beat México: New February 2023 music releases

Lázaro Cristóbal Comala – “El diablo ha hecho más por mí que dios (Feat. Ikal Ethia)” 

Arcos leads this week with a statement piece. Both in title and execution, “El diablos ha hecho más por mí que dios,” essentially serves as a gospel hymn to the devil. Find it as part of Comala’s acclaimed 2022 LP Belmont

This hauntingly spare track calls to mind British composer Gavin Bryars’ 1975 release for Brian Eno’s Obscure Records — “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet.” Dig the backstory of that one here, it’s quite the tale. 

Chéjere – “La Voz del Viento” 

Influences from Cuba, Colombia and Peru commingle with Mexican traditions to create this buoyant number, and Mariel Henry’s soaring lead vocals take it over the top.  

Los Amparito – “Ya No Recuerdes (Feat. Guazuncho)” 

When was the last time you had the dulcet strains of folktronica filling your room? Guadalajaran Carlos Pesina (aka Los Amparito) wants the answer to that question to be “today,” and we strongly suggest you take him up on the offer. “Ya No Recuerdes” — Pesina’s collab with Argentinian artist Iñaki Zubieta (aka Guazuncho) from his 2022 album Recalentados — is a stellar addition to the canon of this delightfully niche genre.

More: Global Beat México: Grammy-nom’d sleek-chic, old soul folk, cumbia’s evolution

More: Explore the Global Beat archives