Help me find some good latin dance music.
June 7, 2006 2:35 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for some vibrant and upbeat latino music.

As a very white guy it is sometimes difficult for me to find music in a language other than french or english. I live in Montreal and often listen to the Université de Montréal's radio station CISM. On saturday afternoons they have a show called La Rumba du Samedi where they play lots of latino music, but because I listen to the radio exclusively in the car I can't write down the artists or songs they feature. I wrote an e-mail to the DJs asking for a playlist or something but they never responded, so I am turning to you, Mefites. I especially like the very dancy, very upbeat latino music, an example would be Los Fabulosos Cadillac's "El Matador". Any suggestions would be welcome.
posted by Vindaloo to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
posted by BillBishop at 2:40 PM on June 7, 2006

Two bands I like a lot: Bio Ritmo and Mana - Mana has a 2-disc live CD that's really great.
posted by ersatzkat at 2:48 PM on June 7, 2006

Sergio Mendes makes some great dance music - try the song "Magalenha" for starters.
posted by anjamu at 2:50 PM on June 7, 2006

Bacilos are probably along the lines of what you're looking for. "Mi Primer Millón" is an amusing song off of "Caraluna." Also check out the title track from that album.
posted by veggieboy at 3:02 PM on June 7, 2006

Um... What kind of "Latino Music"? Tejano? Samba? Salsa? Norteño? Nortec? Garage? Psych? Prog? Pop?

There's a lot lot lot of music from Latin countries. I'm listening to Brazillian post-punk right now.

Buena Vista Social Club comp might be a good place to start...
posted by klangklangston at 3:18 PM on June 7, 2006


Willie Colon/The Big Break -- La Gran Fuga.

Awesome album.
posted by milarepa at 3:20 PM on June 7, 2006

You should check out Plastilina Mosh or Kinky.

Another great choice is Molotov.
posted by Penks at 3:31 PM on June 7, 2006

Elvis Crespo! Sonora Dinamita! (Merengue and cumbia, respectively.)

Both very fun and dancey.
posted by seancake at 3:47 PM on June 7, 2006

Cafe Tacuba - any Album (Styles - rock, punk, funk)
Aterciopelados - any Album (rock, pop)
Ozomatli - Any (Rap, latin jazz, hip hop, cumbias)
Enanitos Verdes - Big Bang (Rock)
Julieta Venegas - Acqui (alternative pop, singer/songwriter)
Poncho Sanchez - Conga Blue (Latin jazz)
Quetzal - Quetzal (Rock, folk, salsa, cumbia)
Ojos de Brujo - Ojos de Brujo, and Bari (Flamenco, hip-hop)
Moenia - Mixes (Dance, electronica )
Molotov - Apocalypshit (Rap-Metal)
Jaguares - Baja el Azul tu Misterio (rock)
Nek - Nek (pop)
Caifanes - Any(rock)
Mana - Any(rock)
posted by lilnemo at 3:49 PM on June 7, 2006

check out

It's a fantastic radio station, though they play a lot more than just latin music.

Also, I live and die by Yma Sumac's albums.
posted by hermitosis at 4:05 PM on June 7, 2006

My sister got me hooked on Belanova. Two songs off their current album are very dancy/electronica sounding -- Te Quedas o Te Vas, and Me Pregunto.
posted by brain cloud at 4:08 PM on June 7, 2006

How could I forget Cafe Tacvba? Thanks, lilnemo.

Also, Maná is probably closer to what you're looking for (although I hate that fucking band).

Nitpick, lilnemo: Jaguares and Caifanes are basically the same band. I think they only changed one member if any.
posted by Penks at 4:24 PM on June 7, 2006

Nitpick, lilnemo: Jaguares and Caifanes are basically the same band. I think they only changed one member if any.

True. I couldn't help myself.

Almost forgot:
A.N.I.M.A.L. (metal)
Control Machete (rap, tropical)

And please, for the love of god.

Stay. Away. From. Reggaeton.
posted by lilnemo at 4:35 PM on June 7, 2006

Mambo Sinuendo, Ry Cooder & Manuel Galban
BillyBishop mentioned Los Amigos Invisibles - I second it, I love Arepa 3000.
Any of the Favela Chic compilations.
Clara Nunes com Vida is beautiful stuff.
Los Lobos La Pistola y El Corazon.

These are kinda all over the place - but excellent for any Latin collection.
posted by dog food sugar at 4:56 PM on June 7, 2006

Control Machete is good, but far from vibrant or upbeat.

A song you might like is "Mentirosa" by Elefante; not really upbeat, but it is vibrant.

Stay. Away. From. Reggaeton.

posted by Penks at 5:11 PM on June 7, 2006

DJ Dolores from Northeast Brazil. His CD called 'Aparelhagem' fits your criteria -- it's terrific. Despite the DJ in front of his name, he works with live musicians.

Even though Los Fabulosos Cadillacs is from Argentina, the song Matador has a Northeastern Brazilian beat. If you like that song, you'd probably like other Brazilian bands too, such as:

Mestre Ambrosio
Chico Science & Nação Zumbi

Samba de Coco Raízes de Arcoverde is infectiously catchy Afro-Brazilian dance music also.

Listen to samples here:
posted by umbú at 5:28 PM on June 7, 2006

I like Orishas, particularly their A Lo Cubano album. They do Cuban hip-hop with a very upbeat and musical slant.
posted by rhiannon at 5:50 PM on June 7, 2006

Manu Chao - Clandestino
posted by mayfly wake at 5:52 PM on June 7, 2006

You may want to look into Triple Seven (sort of rap/ hardcore) or La Ley, which is kinda upbeat and goofy.
posted by quin at 5:52 PM on June 7, 2006

Seconding Ozomatli. At the very least they're a brilliant "gateway" band. I personally also like Yerba Buena and Orixa for funky dance-or-just-listen music.
posted by synapse at 6:53 PM on June 7, 2006

Wow, lots of suggestions here! I've started tracking down some songs and artists, I'll give more feedback when I get a chance to listen to it all.
posted by Vindaloo at 6:58 PM on June 7, 2006

Los Skarnales Latin Ska is pretty fun (myspace link).
Orgullo de los Soneros is in the same family as Buena Vista Social Club stuff. If you like that - you'll like this.
Gotan Project: wonderful dramatic tango / electronica

I'm also looking forward to checking out the music here. Thanks everyone!
posted by dog food sugar at 8:16 PM on June 7, 2006

mayfly wake is spot on. Anything by Manu Chao makes good party music. "Me Gustas Tú" is a personal favorite.
posted by anjamu at 8:59 PM on June 7, 2006

Yerba Buena - Island Life / 2nd Manu Chau
posted by adamvasco at 3:47 AM on June 8, 2006

Buena Vista Social Club was a project that presented Cuban musicians, and is very approachable, so I third that recommendation. And while Gipsy Kings are from France, their music has a latin beat. And I recently discovered Gotan Project, which as was mentioned above has a neat take on the tango
posted by SteveInMaine at 6:07 AM on June 8, 2006

3rd Manu. And 2nd the Gypsy Kings. Also, Marc Anthony (who when he's fast-paced is awesome even though he's primarily a balladeer), India (fabulous, fabulous voice), Orishas, Diego Torres (in particular his unplugged album), Selena (very famous Tejano music singer), Gloria Estefan (I know she's Cuban-American but some of her stuff is really good), Elvis Crespo,
posted by heartquake at 8:11 AM on June 8, 2006

Ibrihim Ferrar, Bene Morey are a couple that I really like. They are more classic jazz type, Cuban singers. Contemporary sound, great vocals.

Second on the Mana and Buena Vista Social Club albums. I consider the Social Club to be a must have for any latino music collection.

Thanks for posting BTW, I have been wondering who would make good additions to my collection, and of course, Metafites come through blazing!
posted by fox_terrier_guy at 10:02 AM on June 8, 2006

Ernesto Lechner, author of Rock en Español: The Latin Alternative Rock Explosion recently talked with music critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRegotis on their weekly radio show Sound Opinions. Stream here, footnotes here.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:14 AM on June 9, 2006

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