Let’s play a word association game:
When I say, “South American music,” do you think Reggaeton and ranchera?
When I say, “a nice place” do you think Florida?
“Wait”, the hypothetical you says, “what’s with that second one? Florida sucks. Its only redeeming quality is that the inexhaustible supply of dead geriatrics can be used to construct artificial islands to escape the purgatory of mainland Florida.”
“Well,” the non-hypothetical me replies, “stop associating Reggaeton and ranchera with music.”
Reggaeton is a deadly concoction of the worst of reggae, hip-hop, and the Spanish language. Mix in the same hollow TUN..TUN..TUN beat in every song and you have the perfect treat for your sweet tooth. By sweet tooth I mean mental retardation.
Ranchera is some bizarre mix of polka and sombreros. It’s like German music and Latin music got together and popped out a child with horrific genetic deformities. Now that it’s been released this monstrosity haunts us at Mexican restaurants and constructions sites like some sort of Quasimodo ringing the bells of prenatal testing and abortion.
Banish these two genres from your minds and let me introduce Aurelio Martinez, a Garifuna artist from Honduras, and his album Garifuna Soul. Aurelio plays the Paranda music traditional to the Garifuna people, a marriage of African rhythms and Spanish guitar. Aurelio sings, plays the guitar, and is backed by a large band. The result is acoustic honey-wine. If you’ve ever found yourself enjoying Brazilian acoustic music, you’ll love Garifuna Soul. Furthermore, Aurelio Martinez is a nice stepping stone to exploring the wonderful genres of music you can find in Africa and South America.
Listen to Garifuna Soul for free on Aurelio’s MySpace page, download his music on Amazon and iTunes.