SXSW Music: Must-See Latin
Puerto Rican rap, Mexico City shoegazing, and seven other acts en español
Vaya FuturoWed. 15, Hotel Vegas at Volstead, 8:30pm
A tapestry of jangly pop and shoegaze psychedelia, Vaya Futuro tinkers with atmospherics through the twist of a synth knob or the stomp of a reverb pedal. The Mexico City quartet filters dreamy, celestial melodies through walls of jammed guitars and feather-light timbres on Ideas a Medias.
Las KelliesWed. 15, Half Step, 9pm; Thu. 16, Tap Room at the Market, 11pm
Buenos Aires' Las Kellies serpentine in and out of post-punk barrages, melodic dance breakbeats, and psychedelic fretwork, all blended with a casual garage lo-fi instrumentation. While their debut Shaking Dog! (2007) bursts with bouncy compositions, Kalimera two years later brims with the same blend of raw energy coupled with a tight pop gloss.
Ruido RosaWed. 15, Half Step, 11pm
Ruido Rosa barrages take-no-prisoners rock & roll. While the all-girl quartet aligns with the classic rock of Seventies distortion and buzzing bass crunch, the Mexico City outfit pulses a cacophony of guitar pyrotechnics and throat wails in singles "Dentro" and "Miedo a Caer."
Los Amigos InvisiblesWed. 15, Half Step, 1am
As multiple Latin Grammy Award winners, this Venezuelan quartet sports impressive chops from Bootsy Collins bass funk to Prince-like guitar shuffles in serving up cool jazz chords on Super Pop Venezuela (2005) and sunrise-bright Repeat After Me (2013).
Madame RécamierThu. 16, the Townsend, 8pm; Sat. 18, Palm Door on Sixth Patio, 9pm
Featherweight timbre switching between forlorn melodies and bouncy harmonies, Madame Récamier references classical, flamenco, and bossa nova filtered through a pop lens. The Mexico City songwriter ricochets from a wistful pop-rock balladeer in "Mira Mira" and lovesick femme fatale in "Quiero" to a soaring pensive heartbreaker in "Jamás Pensé."
Los Chinchillos del CaribeThu. 16, Half Step, 12mid
While Los Chinchillos del Caribe adorn themselves in luchador masks, crowns, and large-brimmed sombreros, they just want to make you dance. The Puerto Rican quintet spins an alternative take on cumbias by mixing them with elements of bass-heavy moombahton, sensual salsa grooves, and footloose merengue on their debut El Pugilato.
ArcoThu. 16, CU29, 1am
Blurring the lines between streamlined folk and pop, Spanish songwriter Arco takes intimate narratives with bright textures and winds them into lovelorn soft rock ballads, bouncy acoustic jangles, and spoken-word tumbleweed meanders. Sporting a raspy timbre, his debut Uno glistens varnished pop with arena rock touches and 12-string guitar flourishes.
Álvaro DíazThu. 16, Speakeasy Kabaret, 1am
Courting girls through fast cars and designer brands isn't new for hip-hop MCs or even for Álvaro Díaz from Puerto Rico in hyped single "Carro Rapido." With modern, airy synth production, the island's Drake equivalent sports an exuberant flow in bedroom-eyed "Groupie Love." His polyrhythmic rhyming splits between rapid-fire slang and a barrage of 808s.
Audri NixFri. 17, Malverde, 8pm
Despite a doe-eyed tone, Audri Nix isn't playing coy. The Puerto Rican raps with razor-sharp conviction behind smooth and loose Ableton synths in venom-tinged "Veneno." On El Nuevo Orden Vol. 1, the Boricua MC serves up bars by the pound, weaving industrial, spacey, and atmospheric.