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Midsummer 2018 New Music Roundup

Members of Le Butcherettes L-R: Alejandra Robles Luna (drums), Rikardo Rodríguez-López (guitar), Marfred Rodríguez-López (bass) and Teresa Suárez Coscío (frontwoman, voice, guitar and keyboard.)
Lyndsey Byrnes
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Courtesy of the artist
Members of Le Butcherettes L-R: Alejandra Robles Luna (drums), Rikardo Rodríguez-López (guitar), Marfred Rodríguez-López (bass) and Teresa Suárez Coscío (frontwoman, voice, guitar and keyboard.)

We're halfway through the summer. I've spent the first half covering summer music festivals and checking out new bands along the east coast. Now it's time to go through the mailbag and pull out some of the best new music that's accumulated during my travels.

So, as usual, our annual Midsummer New Music Roundup showcases a wide swath of genres and styles ... which brings me to the sub-plot for this week. I've been wondering lately if the term "Latin music" is useful any more. Much of the music I hear doesn't have much of a traditional Latin base of rhythms or instrumentation. Some artists sing in Spanish but many sing or rap in English these days. So I put that question to the artists we featured this week. You can hear their answers in the podcast.

Their answers give us plenty of food for thought and I'd like to keep the conversation going. Let us know what you think on Twitter: you can find us at https://twitter.com/AltLatino.


Antonio Arnedo, Benjamim Taubkin, João Taubkin, Sergio Reze, "Festa"


Okonkolo, "Cantos"


Tulengua, "Don't Blow Your Cool"


Bryant Myers feat. Bad Bunny, "Triste"


Making Movies, "Ritmo De Mi Pueblo"


Elio Villafranca, "La Burla De Los Congos"


Le Butcherettes, "struggle/STRUGGLE"

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Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.