Five years is a milestone that’s noteworthy enough, especially for an independent label in trying times. Based in Berlin, the imprint is operated by Robin “El Búho” Perkins and Agustín “Barrio Lindo” Rivaldo, a pair of producers in their own right, English and Argentinean respectively though archetypal global citizens in truth. For the last half decade, they’ve curated a catalogue of cool, comfortably lightweight downtempo jams that consistently impress with their character, their quality, and their artful balance of rawness and refinement. The equatorial heat and humidity is consistent, as the label taps talent focused in or on the cornucopia of musical cultures spilling from the coastlines of the Caribbean. Percolating percussion is ever present, and it’s in there that one here’s the proverbial “artist’s hand”, as well as in the frequent raspy flutes, clattering marimbas, and plucking of guitar-like things. Perkins and Rivaldo close out 2020, a year that saw among other things the label’s excellent endeavour for endangered birds, with a double LP looking back over their best moments. The lovely cumbia “Canario” (birds, always the birds!) by Mexico’s Karen & Los Remedios is this writer’s pick of the pack, it’s from their Botanas EP of this past fall, though the numbers here are uniformly above average (that doesn’t make sense, mathematically, does it…). Here’s to another five years of fine music ahead, and many more after that.
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