Alt-Latin Act Monareta w/New Album


record drops in October via Nacional.

By Fred Mills


Colombian electronic duo Monareta sees
their new album Picotero issued by alternative Latin music specialists Nacioinal on October 7th. The
group has previously released two digital albums, ‘La Bonanza’ and a self-titled release, via Nacional’s digital
label but this one will get the full physical and digital rollout.



Fusing traditional cumbia and champeta (the Afro-Colombian
genre native to the streets of the country’s Caribbean coast) with contemporary
reggae, dub, calypso and even breakbeat stylings, Monareta’s been steadily
rising in public stature via its work in the soundtrack field (movies include
La Mujer de Mi Hermano” and TV shows like mun2’s “Chicas
“), and it also has a new song on the soundtrack for the
upcoming Warner Pictures film “Pride
& Glory



Origins-wise, composer, producer and vocalist Andres
Martinez initially started mixing break beats and hip hop flows several years
ago with keyboardist Camilo Sanabria in clubs and electronic music festivals
throughout their hometown of Bogota.
Talking about his group’s roots and the originals of its name, Martinez said in a statement issued by
Nacional, “Growing up, even as young as 11, I was really involved in the
local freestyle streetbike scene. It was the 80s and all the streetbikers in Colombia were heavily influenced by the
break-dance and electric boogaloo music styles arriving from the U.S. We heard
groups like the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy and they completely changed our
lives. The brands of our bikes were not Mongoose or GT. We had Monaretas. And
so that’s how we got the name for our group–it’s a homage to the ’80s
break-dance, hip hop, BMX and fashion scene sounds that came from abroad to
influence us in South America.”



Even as Monareta was coming together, Martinez
got the opportunity to study composition and film scoring at New York University
as a Fulbright scholar, duly relocating from Bogata to NYC. There Monareta was
able to grow an American fanbase in the progressive club atmosphere of Brooklyn. More recently, the group has split time living
in Colombia and Brooklyn,
while performing across the U.S.




Commenting on how he integrated his schooling with his
sound, Martinez
said, “It’s the whole idea of telling a story without showing images. In
our case, we don’t use many lyrics either. Instead, we use sound textures to
build atmospheres and allegories to certain images and ideas.”




The group will be touring heavily behind the new album.
Details tba.



In America
lately, the new wave of Latin music has been gaining increased acceptance
(thanks, in no small part, to the efforts of Nacional) – including among
non-Latino, English-speaking audiences. For a good overview of the scene and
the free-wheeling, broad-based genre, go to this Harp magazine article. It’s a piece we’re still pretty proud of, if
we do say so ourselves.




Track Listing:

1. La Batalla de Boyaca
2. El General Midi
3. Me Voy Pal Mar
4. Llama
5. Domingo Loving Style
6. Girlfriend in Providence
7. Todo El Voltaje
8. Break Tocaima
9. Matanza Funk
10. Alamamazonica
11. Gaitana
12. Esmeraldena
13. Raimundo Lllevate Al Mundo
14. Get The Rec



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