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[REMEZCLA MUSICA]

Best Tracks of 2010

BY Remezcla Estaff | PUBLISHED: Monday, December 20th, 2010
Best Tracks of 2010

It was the year of Chile. You know despite that whole thing with the miners and that, um, earthquake business, it was pretty much a banner year musically for the southernmost country. Just one look at our Best Tracks of 2010 and you’ll be convinced, like we are, that Chile is churning out some, if not the most, interesting music in Latin America. Whether cumbia, hip hop, psychadelia, pop, folk, or rock, we were pleasantly surprised by the sounds Chile concocted.

Mexico is no slacker either, but we expect Mexico to be great. And 2010 was no exception, as we saw releases by Carla Morrison, Hello Seahorse!, Mexican Institute of Sound, Ely Guerra, María y José, Niña Dioz, Ceci Bastida, y más. But we couldn’t fit them all in our Best of 2010 list. We narrowed it down to 25 tunes that made our souls sing. Twenty five that defined 2010 and make 2011 seem a bit brighter. Why do we do this? To pay homage to the people who soundtracked our days and reminded us just how great it is to be who we are. Sure, some great ones were left on the Remezcla fringes (sorry, insert artist name here!), but not everyone is meant for greatness. At least not in 2010.

It’s a pretty arbitrary thing to choose the best Latin songs of an entire year. Music is completely subjective. One man’s Cerati is another man’s Merenbooty Girls. And of course we haven’t heard every song from 2010, but we’ve heard a few. So within the pool of songs heard and adored this year, we’ve crowned a couple.

Check out our list and our justifications below as we tally up the Best Tracks of 2010. And from all of us here at Remezcla Música, happy listening in 2011…

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mex guns25. “Dame Lo”
by Mexicans with Guns
[Mexico]

Guaracha-infused dubstep in the hands of a masked Tex-Mex producer: that’s an explosive equation right there. Add a video packed with pachucos and hot cholas (with guns, duh!) and all the Chicano imagery you can muster thrown together, and what you get is the Mexploitation soundtrack of the future. -Juan Data

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capri24. “Europa Europa”
by Capri
[Argentina]

That Argentines are indeed Eurocentric shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Capri–Argentina’s ultimate rich-boy hipster–embodies this national fascination with everything European better than anybody else with “Europa Europa,” the first single off his magnificent album Discotape. “You go to Europe with few clothes, you come back and you’re a princess.” -Juan Data

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julieta23. “Amores Platónicos”
by Julieta Venegas
[Mexico]

Latin America’s queen of indie pop has been quite busy this year, what with releasing her fifth album, Otra Cosa, collaborating with artists like El Guincho and Ceci Bastida, making Grammy award-winning butterfly fart videos and, you know, giving birth to a child. One of the most impressive tracks from her latest album is “Amores Platónicos,” a song that’s deceptively simple with its buoyant piano arrangement and candid lyrics, but reveals itself to be more complex than it first appears, as Venegas’ songs tend to do. She knows her way around a melody. There’s no denying it. -Blanca Méndez

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hacienda22. “Whose Heart are You Breaking”
by Hacienda
[Mexico]

As soon as you hit play on “Whose Heart are you Breaking” you think you’re in a trailer for Transformers or Tron or something. You just feel like something ominous and life threatening is coming at you. But then the bluesy riffs take off and suddenly you’re in a modern-day saloon. The Texas-bred, brother-cousin band is on their second album, Big Red and Barbacoa, and have made the most out of having Black Keys brainchild Dan Auerbach as producer, solidifying them as one of the most slept-on bands out there. But the beauty of Hacienda’s songs are always in the lyrics, poetically crafted and harmony prone. It’s the sound of the west, badass but soft on the inside. -Paola Capó-García

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chikita21. “All I Need’s A Little More”
by Chikita Violenta
[Mexico]

There really isn’t anything violent about Mexican indie rock band, Chikita Violenta. In fact, most of their music is measured and subdued within the confines of a calculated narrative. “All I Need’s A Little More,” from their latest release, Tr3s, is an infectious cacophony that’s restrained, giving way to an almost anthemic climax. This band definitely knows how to tell a story in song. The syncopated handclaps and the guitar melody are timed to never quite make sense with one another, but it’s this kind of near-harmonious dissonance that makes the song so great. -Blanca Méndez

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violetas20. “El Verdor”
by Los Violetas
[Dominican Republic]

I was on the fence about D.R. duo Los Violetas. When I first heard “El Verdor” I thought, “This could be the intro song to a Colombian telenovela.” Don’t get me wrong, it could. Completely. But it would be a damn good one. So don’t be fooled by its über Latin pop shell and mom-approved sound. “El Verdor” has a lot of heart, catapulted by Au7ro and Fiona Shékuby’s wonderful voices, and it never fails to trap me into submission. But who knows, maybe we’ll hear it next year on the second season of “Niños Ricos, Pobres Padres.” Fingers crossed! -Paola Capó-García

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sunsplash19. “Fiera de Vinil”
by Sunsplash
[Venezuela/Brazil]

Venezuelan boy meets Brazilian girl in hipster epicenter (Brooklyn) and we all get splashed with their fresh, beach-friendly mix of indietronica and baile funk in Portuñol. Beleza! -Juan Data

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los rakas18. “Soy Raka”
by Los Rakas
[Panama]

And there I was, about to coin a new dance move after listening to “Soy Raka” for the first time and Los Rakas did it for me! But whether you can turf or not is irrelevant. This song is catchy regardless of your thuggin’ abilities. The Panama-birthed swagga’ dudes came out in 2010 echoing the big-beat buoyancy of The Cool Kids with the Latin touch only they could give it and now we’re all left repeating “Soy raka taka” well into the new year. -Paola Capó-García

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fantasmes17. “Invisible on the Brow”
by Fantasmes
[Puerto Rico]

Listening to “Invisible on the Brow” is like staring dead into space, thus its shoe-gaze approach is accomplished. When we introduced you to the Puerto Rican band months ago we were well aware that they’ve been rounding the PR scene for years, but it’s now with their second EP Sidetracked and upcoming debut album Epochs to Move that Fantasmes is really set to take off. Just one go at “Invisible on the Brow” on your headphones and you’ll see what we see: so much beauty. The song winds down, teetering toward the end until it disperses, like it never happened. But the feeling stays with you. -Paola Capó-García

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rey pila16. “No Longer Fun”
by Rey Pila
[Mexico]

Formerly of Los Dynamite, Diego Solorzano traded in his rock and roll swag for a little bit of dance floor dexterity as Rey Pila. The lively melody of “No Longer Fun” serves as a stark contrast to the unexpected underlying darkness of the song. In the accompanying video, which is somewhere between slightly and seriously (depending on your sense of humor) disturbing, Rey Pila is, like, “yeah, a lot of people are killing themselves in this video, NBD,” which pretty much sums up the tone of the song perfectly. -Blanca Méndez

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el guincho15. “Novias”
by El Guincho
[Spain]

Pablo Díaz-Reixa really knows how to make a pop song without compromising his weirdness. Case in point: this isn’t his only song on the list! “Novias,” off this year’s Pop Negro, is another one of his happy-go-lucky island tunes, but with a great fluctuating hook, “Haz como el resto de las mujeres.” Now imagine him playing it live at the oh-so tiny Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn, transforming it into a sweaty messy sound, and you have my favorite concert of 2010. -Paola Capó-García

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anita t14. “1977″
by Anita Tijoux
[Chile]

She used to be the best-kept secret of the Latin American hip-hop underground. Then in 2010, this song–and it’s great video–finally exposed her to the rest of the world. Everybody, from cosmopolatinos to influential gringos, fell in love with the chilean femcee and crowned her the new Spanish-speaking queen of the mic. -Juan Data

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ceci13. “Ellos Dicen”
by Ceci Bastida [ft. Sabbo]
[Mexico]

Ceci Bastida is almost robotic in her delivery. In “Ellos Dicen” she stays leveled and unaffected throughout, until she yells out “Ooowwwww,” a great break in a song that sounds like a science project. This awesome Sabbo-collaborated track helped us conjure up Jalogüin two months ago, but it’s Ceci’s unique touch, perfectly displayed in her standout Veo la Marea solo debut, that makes us remember this song as more than just a holiday-appropriate jam. -Paola Capó-García

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prehistoricos12. “Una nueva historia violenta”
by Prehistóricos
[Chile]

Like the primitive instincts of ancient ancient history, the music of Prehistóricos is deeply primordial. It is pure, no-filter honesty that will shake you to the core. We know, sounds intense. You might want to brace yourself and keep some tissues at hand because frontman Tomas Preuss is a heartbreaker. “Una nueva historia violenta” is as introspective as it is confessional, a gorgeous song made up of delicate layers gently unwrapped one by one with an instinct for perfect timing. -Blanca Méndez

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davila 66611. “Patitas”
by Dávila 666
[Puerto Rico]

Some might say all their songs sound the same. But didn’t they say that about The Ramones, too? All great punk bands stick to what they know: limited chord progressions and one-two style percussion. But what Dávila 666 does that others don’t is add to the punk formula, with damn catchy hooks, frenetic tambourine, and great videos like this one for “Patitas,” a song about cockroaches. It might not be deep, but with all those “ohs” and affirmations of “Tantas patitas me caminan por el la’o,” who gives a shit? -Paola Capó-García

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los punsetes10. “Tus Amigos”
by Los Punsetes
[Spain]

Madrid’s female-fronted garage quintet has hit a stride with their sophomore album, LP2. With all of 2010’s grandiose productions (the lo-fi, the electronica, or the cumbia steeped), Los Punsetes represent a subtle throwback approach to music, which you can either hate or love, respect or dismiss.

“Tus Amigos” is a great example of the group’s knack for the absurd and grungy jangly instrumentation. The song echoes those great ’90s coffee shop Seattle songs, while singer Ariadna, in all her atonal minimalism, delivers lyrics compelling you to ass rape your friends. What a lady! -Paola Capó-García

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diego garcia09. “You Were Never There”
by Diego García
[Argentina]

It’s tough to wrap your brain around Diego García, going from Interpol comparisons to José José ones. But the former Elefant frontman has his Argentine roots to pay homage to. The guitar-plucked “You Were Never There” is a sign of what’s to come for his solo debut, a trip back to the romantic era of José José and Sandro. With a lush arrangement and García’s throwback delivery, it’s one of the most beautiful songs of the year. 2011 will be a good year for the newly solo suave troubadour. -Paola Capó-García

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el guincho08. “FM Tan Sexy”
by El Guincho
[Spain]

You can’t really understand two consecutive words of what the heck he’s saying, but still, you can’t stop listening to it either. In Pop Negro’s second single there’s a lot of ’80s pop hidden under layers of sexy afro-tropicalia. There’s definitely something hypnotic about that unique mix. -Juan Data

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ceci07. “Empieza a Amanecer”
by Ceci Bastida [ft. Niña Dioz]
[Mexico]

It’s proof of greatness to say I’m just too distracted jamming out (vocally and corporally) to this song to write this mini review. Let me push pause. Ok. Now I can do this. When “Empieza a Amanecer” first landed in our grubby little hands it was summer and Ceci became the queen of it with this track. It’s a song served sunny side up, different from her dark Sabbo collaboration. And with our favorite Monterrey rhyming blondy on the case, how can it go wrong? Now excuse me, you’re interrupting my Ceci jam session. -Paola Capó-García

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triangulo06. “De la monarquía a la criptocracia”
by Triángulo de Amor Bizarro
[Spain]

Spain’s most intriguing rock band Triángulo de Amor Bizarro put out one of the year’s best albums. The intelligent and thought-provoking, shoegaze-tinged Año Santo deals with religious and political themes and how the overlap can get a little hazy sometimes. “De la monarquía a la criptocracia” is a disquieting, guitar-driven, adrenaline rush of a break up song. The video takes the disquiet to the level of disturbing, and we love it. -Blanca Méndez

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carla morrison05. “Lágrimas”
by Carla Morrison
[Mexico]

Carla Morrison has come a long way since her days in the short-lived Phoenix band Babaluca. Now the sweet, yet potent-voiced Morrison is quickly on her way to becoming Mexico’s sweetheart. From her intimate debut EP, Aprendiendo a Aprender, to her latest, more polished, Mientras Tú Dormías, Morrison has definitely shown her prowess as an artist. The darkly whimsical “Lágrimas,” from her debut, is unsettlingly beautiful. And the recent Future Feelings remix gives it even more of a Pan’s Labyrinth feel. -Blanca Méndez

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javiera mena04. “Hasta la Verdad”
by Javiera Mena
[Chile]

Javiera Mena is bringing back disco in a big way. Think grandiose orchestras with dance moves for days because that’s the name of her game. With the release of her sophomore album, Mena, this Chilean master proves that disco’s got heart. It might not be the most exciting song on the album, but slow burner “Hasta La Verdad” is a smart composition that doesn’t lose any energy in slowing down. The added drama of the string section in this brilliant arrangement turns the song into a subtle, yet still inspiring, symphony. -Blanca Méndez

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los rakas03. “Abrázame”
by Los Rakas [ft. Faviola, Uproot Andy Remix]
[Panama]

Ok, so it’s probably the worst music video. Ever. But luckily, it didn’t deter from the song. The Oakland-Panama cohorts did something rarely accomplished. They took someone else’s beat (Gyptian’s “Hold Yuh”), while it was still popular and radio saturated, and created something (in a different language!) completely different and completely better than the original. They teamed up with New York regular Uproot Andy, the most un-white white dude you’ll ever encounter on the Latin dance floor, and a breathy singer named Faviola (whose voice is like butta’!), and we ended up with THIS, a sweet and sexy track that made summer heat bearable. And now even in 20-degree weather we can’t stop singing it. -Paola Capó-García

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astro02. “Maestro Distorsión”
by Astro
[Chile]

On their debut EP Le Disc de Astrou, the Santiago-based band (Andrés, Octavio, and Lego and Zeta Moustache) toyed with sci-fi core and whim, with enough pleasant contrasts to become one of our favorite bands of the year. They’re what MGMT and Passion Pit no longer are but pretend to be. In just one year Astro got massive blog love from an EP so wonderfully fleshed that we can’t wait to hear an album’s worth in 2011. “Maestro Distorsión” was a great introduction to the band, infectious and big at heart, it almost made the top spot on our Best Of list. Andrés’ voice is from another planet, but there’s such vulnerability in his throat that the song doesn’t get stuck in its sci-fi electronica layout. It’s hard to not dance to it. But no need to fight it. They’re the real deal. -Paola Capó-García

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denver01. “Lo Que Quieras”
by Dënver
[Chile]

It starts with a promise. If winter seems too long, I could shorten it for you. If you like the planets, I could bring them to your door. And then a coy little hither, like a taunting child, whispers into your headphones. Then the strings smoothly saunter in and an army of horns pounds through the walls of your ears. And then it all stops, only to explode into a burst of lights and joy. They don’t make songs like this every day.

The entire song is a steady build into something that could undoubtedly make you cry. It’s an anthem of massive proportions without trying to be, one that looks back at a year marred by whatever it was marred by. The beauty is in how flexible “Lo que quieras” is. A few simple promises to someone you love or care for. You agree to give them the world or just a few minutes with God. Music like this serves as healing, or a phenomenal way to start your day. And that’s why Dënver is #1…because they made us want to get up in the morning. -Paola Capó-García

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Don’t agree? Sound off in the comments board below and let us know how horrible our taste is. Rank your own favorite 2010 tracks.



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