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Get Up And Dance. Latin Music For Everyone.

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Music of the past, present, and future. The 9 essential albums that have shaped the sound of Locos por Juana.

 

Music and color are linked as far as I’m concerned. Certain tones resonate best with certain hues. When I want to get a quick sense of what a new band will sound like, I always check out what they look like. What colors do they surround themselves with?

Take Locos por Juana for example. They are about to release their 5th studio album and even if you know nothing about them, you can see that this album is filled with bright bold music. You just know that this album will make you move. You’re primed to dance.


 

 


What the cover art doesn’t tell you is that Locos por Juana have been nominated for multiple Grammy awards and that their sound combines influences from all over South America and the Caribbean including Cumbia, Champeta, Reggae, Raggamuffin, Dub, Hip-Hop, Funk, and Rock. The L.A. Times calls Locos por Juana “a funky, pan-Latin amalgam,” that “pulls listeners into a reverse Gulf Stream churning through the Straits of Florida south to Jamaica, Venezuela and Colombia, and over to Puerto Rico.”

As for the band themselves, they just call their style and music a “Latin Urban Orchestra.” Take a listen their first single, Afro Sound (Remix) feat. Palenke Soultribe, and you’ll hear why. Just try and count all the influences that you hear and all the colors that you see.
 



I bet you started nodding your head or tapping your feet within the first 3 seconds of the video, no? Their beats are infectious. When I saw Locos por Juana last year at an outdoor festival, their performance was literally a dance tractor-beam. They pulled in everyone from all around. I saw a 2 year old shaking and shimmying. I saw an 80 year old woman dancing salsa. I even thought I saw a few people in wheelchairs get up and dance.

Locos por Juana are masters of the groove. They are emcees of the party. And their horn section is out of this world. Their combination of sounds is fresh, current, and utterly relatable. It is Latin music for everybody.  It’s no wonder that The Miami Herald dubbed them “Miami’s beloved Latin-Reggae-Hip-Hop mashup master.” And so, in wanting to gain a bit more insight into the roots of their style, I asked the band to share with us their favorite music recommendations.

Since Locos por Juana represents a modern interpretation of all the genres and artists that came before them, I wanted to know more about their influences. Who do they listen to and who shaped their sound?

Here are the top 9 albums that have influenced the Locos por Juana sound. Since there are 3 core musicians in the band, each artist took turns at sharing their personal favorites and they also mentioned the most relevant track and talked about their thoughts and feelings as to why the album was important to them. If you'd like to learn more about each album or to listen, just click on the album cover image.



 Bonito que Canta by Petrona Martinez

You have to hear: Bonito Que Canta. “This is the traditional music from the coast of Colombia, and Petrona is one of the best” Javier "Lakambra" Delgado - Drummer

 

 

 

Poeta Del Pueblo by Ruben Blades

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0013FCW16&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=headfi0e-20
Favorite song: Pedro Navaja,
Why: "The lyrics and the rhythm!" Itagui Correa - Lead Vocals

 

 

 

Beast of No Nation by Fela Kuti

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B004CT4UBK&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=headfi0e-20
Favorite Track:  Beast of No Nation
“Music is the Weapon and Fela knew how to use it. This track is a perfect example of Afro Beat; from African Drums to Jazz Guitars and Funky Horns to revolutionary lyrics.” "Mr Mark" Kondrat - Guitar

 

 


 Bari by Ojos de Brujo

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B004RCXNKQ&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=headfi0e-20
Track: Zambra “One of the best fusion bands ever and this track shows it!” Javier "Lakambra" Delgado - Drummer

 

 


Exodus by Bob Marley

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B000001FY5&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=headfi0e-20

Favorite song: Natural Mystic
"(World Reggae ) pure soul from the legend"  Itagui Correa - Lead Vocals
 

 


Animal by Pink Floyd

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B004ZN9UZO&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=headfi0e-20
You have to hear: Dogs
"The groove of the bass and rhythm guitars is pure 70's Rock.. And the guitar solos!!"   "Mr Mark" Kondrat - Guitar

 



Mute Math by Mute Math

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B000I0QJJ8&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=headfi0e-20

.Track: Typical

"I love the Production, the recording and especially the Drum Sounds"   Javier "Lakambra" Delgado - Drummer

 

 


Las Penas Alegres by Petrona Martinez

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00435JJ3W&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=headfi0e-20
Favorite song - Mi Mama que me Pario
"This is traditional Colombian folklore"  Itagui Correa - Lead Vocals

 



Proxima Estacion, Esperanza by Manu Chao

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00005BF9Z&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=headfi0e-20
Favorite Track - Me Gustas
"I love the lyrics and the minimalist production with all the street sounds. My favorite line is "Me gusta Colombiana Me Gustas Tu!" "Mr Mark" Kondrat - Guitar

 


 

Check out the video for Revolution Ska (la musica) and see which of the above influences can you hear? I'd love to hear your thoughts and to continue this conversation.
 

 

If you liked what you heard above, then dig a little deeper:

Want more in-depth music reviews? Check out these other music features:

 

 


Mike Dias is a huge fan of music, of telling stories, and of laughing. And lucky for him, he’s somehow managed to make somewhat of living from this. He designs funny and creative apps for the iPhone. He is the music supervisor for Ultimate Ears and he writes about music and the music industry. He’s always happy to talk about artists, apps, and headphones so feel free to reach out about any of those topics. Email him directly.

 

If you enjoyed this piece, you’ll probably like some of the other things Mike does too. Get more music recommendations at @michael_a_dias or read more interviews and artist profiles on his Facebook Page. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, download Mike’s latest free app, Mad Lips, and make all of your photos come to life. And if you’ve ever thought about owning custom Ultimate Ears, talk to Mike first. He’ll answer all your questions in an honest and funny way.

 

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post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 

I wanted to follow up with the above post and share some additional details about the new album. Somos de la calle was indipenantly released through the band's own label, La Juana Music, and is now available on all digital stores. There are a total of 12 tracks — 4 of which are collaborations. The album was written and produced by the three main members of the band (Itagüí, Mark Kondrat and Javier Delgado), and also includes a few other guest vocalists and musicians who participated in the album.
 
"Afro-Sound" was released last summer. It was an original song from the previous album, 'Evolución' (Evolution) which began as a remix and later evolved into an exchange of ideas with the group Soultribe Palenke of Los Angeles.
 
Se Fue La Luz" (Lights Went Out) is a collaboration with the Colombian 2010 Latin Grammy winners Choc Quib Town. It took several sessions to complete after the groups met five years ago during Locos Por Juana's visit to Colombia. The theme is the perfect fusion of the sounds from the Atlantic and the Pacific,  Chandé from Barranquilla in the Atlantic and sounds from Chocó on the Pacific.
 
The band met Rocky Dawuni a couple of years ago during a concert in Los Angeles and from the onset there was a mutual admiration.  The rebellious nature of the African artist together with Itagui's revolutionary lyrics brought forth the creating of the song "Champeta Rebel" (La Policía).  It was a collaboration of defiant lyrics in English and Spanish fused with African rhythms and champeta, a perfect integration between the two genres, which is a typical characteristic of Locos Por Juana's sound.
 
The last collaboration, "Somos De La Calle" (We Are From The Streets), bears the same name of the album. It is an encounter with local musicians from Miami, the band's hometown.  Artofficial and Conjunto Progresso are the two groups featured on the song, both with a very Cuban sound that represent the music and culture of the island which has had profound impact on Locos Por Juana who have been residents of Miami from a young age.

 

Here is the full track list:
La Trampa
Rebel Champeta  feat. Rocky Dawuni
Se Fue La Luz  feat. Choc Quib Town
Llego el Loco (Saoco)
Dame Una Noche
Somos De La Calle  feat. Artofficial & Conjunto Progresso
Miami Rockers!!
We Do It Again
Las Maquinas
Levántate
Revolution Ska (La Música)
Afro-Sound  feat. Palenke Soul tribe

 

And here's a bit of extra info on the tracks that aren't compilations:

 

To complement the album, "La Trampa" (The Trap), a track infused with bossa nova rhythms, Reggae and cumbia, promotes being clever and sharp, two characteristics of anyone that has had enough experiences on the street.  
Guitarist Mark Kondrat affirms that the song "Dame Una Noche" (Give Me One Night), is "a happy danceable track with a sound that's very Locos Por Juana, with cheerful and fun lyrics that narrate an interesting story, one that many may see as our typical style."
 
"Llego el Loco" (Saoco) [The Crazy One Arrived] was born as a tribute to Puerto Rico, where Saoco is synonymous with flavor.  It is a track with urban elements with a Puerto Rican sounds and typical wind instruments native to Colombian cumbia.
 
"Miami Rockers" is a tribute to Miami, home to the members of Locos por Juana, where they emerged in the underground scene over 10 years ago.  Today their music is considered an integral party of the city's music scene.  The mixture of sounds and cultures of Miami has been instrumental in the exploration and creation of the band's sound.
 
"We Do It Again" emerged as a song for the fans that identify the band but do not speak Spanish.  These are the fans who come out to see them in festivals all over the United States and Canada, where Locos Por Juana have been invited to represent the world music movement.
 
"La Maquina" (The Machine) is a reflection of the presence of technology in our daily lives.  Without diminishing its importance, this song invites us to think of leading a more natural and organic life.  The lyrics and guitar chords are simple and incorporate Reggae rhythms.
 
Lastly, "Levántate" (Get Up) y "Revolution Ska (La Música)" are songs with a very direct and positive message, that encompass the revolutionary style of the band's lyrics.

 

 

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