My friend Alexis Ortiz from Cami Music hipped me to La Mecanica Popular‘s brand of “Psychedelic Salsa.” After she shared them, I remember trying to find more music and info from them save from the 2 tracks they had up on their soundcloud. Fate put me at their late December 2012 show at The Shrine in Harlem – one of my favorite venues to see music in New York City. It was December 23rd, also the birthday of my favorite #Shero – la cubana iconic Latin Soul artist – La Lupe.
That night – Efrain Rozas, La Mecanica Popular‘s band leader and mastermind – led a special dedication for La Lupe on her day of birth. I screamed in delight that there would be a band in NYC who could mix the rooted sound of salsa dura [read this review in Sound & Colours: ‘Salsa Dura with A Twist”] with a spaced-out future sound of multiple layered synths *AND* dedicate their show to the great voz architect of soul in the tropics who brought it stateside!? YES! To me, they were *the* definition of #FUTUREROOTS – a philosophy and term I had been throwing around and even used as a platform from 2011 – 2012 to promote shows in NYC. I could only have hoped that I could be a part of their movement.
Fast forward to 2013. Around the time of LAMC [Latin Alternative Music Conference], I received an email from Dewar’s Whiskey that they were conducting a battle of the bands of sorts – The Search for The Next Great Latin Sound – to compete for a chance to open for Juanes in Miami called #Dewaristas. Usually skeptical of these sorts of brand activations, it seemed like a good opportunity where a great band COULD win. I passed it onto about a dozen bands who I respect and follow. 3 of those bands – Las Cafeteras, Calma Carmona and La Mecanica Popular – made it to regional finals, with Las Cafeteras and La Mecanica Popular part of the final 3 competing to open for Juanes this month. Check out the video from when LMP played the New York City showcase:
“La banda suena de puta madre!” – Juanes
Anyhow, all this is to say, I am thrilled to offer support to La Mecanica Popular as they release a new video this week – “La Paz Del Freak” via Names You Can Trust – an awesome all-vinyl label based out of Brooklyn. The band makes music for a 2013 that we’re actually living in: future-rooted, tropical, digital, globalized, alive and creative. There’s a vanguard of these artists all over the world bringing us back to good instrumental tropical sounds who are willing to experiment and go outside of the box – what I’ve dubbed #WORLDWILD. For those making Salsa, the band’s dubbed it #ThirdWaveSalsa…I love that!
— La Mecanica Popular (@LaMecanicaSalsa) August 29, 2013
Anyhow, this is just the beginning. I can’t wait to continue telling the world about them, so get OUT OF THIS WORLD and get down to the #PsychedelicSalsa sounds of La Mecanica Popular! Share like I have if you dig it!
Oh yeah, the band plays at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC TOMORROW, September 3rd at 10 PM: [Get Tickets Here].
Vote for them as part of #Dewaristas: http://dewaristas.dewars.com/band/la-mecanica-popular/ and get your fix on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mecanicapopular