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Carlos Nino  in London, United Kingdom
Latinos in London  on 2012-12-26

London's Best Latino albums 2012

Latinos in London's editor has assembled our favorite albums of 2012.  Browse through and check out what music our editors have been listening to and watching live this year.  We recognized the efforts of these artists and bands who delivered these projects with the difficulties that sometimes this means for an artist because of the lack of support from the music industry and still remain.  For all our latin artists and latin music lovers please receive from us our sincere congratulations on the great work done this year for the quality and the effort to release a CD putting the Latino music in a high level around the UK.  For us is a chance to let them know the value of his work and continue our campaign to support the local music scene by attending concerts and buying their music , so you can understand the great work that these ambassadors of Latin American music made outside their country of origin.

This list is not a competition! is a recognition to our latin american people and those who love and are involved with latin culture, also an opportunity for you to understand the community, go out and see the bands, visit the exhibitions and know the artists and if you like listen their music or buy their art.  So, that's why we deicide to give a compliment to our local artists, those who are working really hard and make us proud; also more unbelievable a recognition for some of them who are not latinos but also are in love with our culture! Check it out!

Editors' Choice : Best London's Latino albums 2012  

[This list is without ranking them in order]

01 - Wara - EP

Wara is a young 9-piece London based band that fuses a variety of sounds from Cuba and beyond (Timba, salsa, Afro-Cuban, reggaeton, zouk, soukous, reggae...) with a big dose of the London stuff: funk, soul, reggae, hip-hop and even dubstep and d'n'b, resulting in a unique, explosive sound full of raw energy and positive vibes.

02 - Manteca - Oye EP

Manteca is one of the finest Latin groups in the UK today. Fronted by Colombian vocalist Martha Acosta and bass guitarist Javier Fioramonti, Their debut release on Freestyle Records "Tremendo Boogaloo" received rave reviews from all over the world with Fat City describing it as "Two killer dancefloor latin jazz tracks which will make even the most stubborn wallflower shake their hips" . This year their new EP :OYE is on the top of latin music around London and their sound is getting better and better getting into the top latin venues in London and European festivals! A wicked band to see live!

03 - Dorance Lorza & Sexteto Cafe - Rumbero de Corazon

Dorance Lorza, Sexteto Cafe's bandleader plays Tres, guitar, bandola and vibrophone player, arranger, musical director, producer and rising name on the international salsa scene in London town, after his last CD 10 years of Salsa, Dorance and his band achieve this new album with great reviews.

04 - Lokandes - Positive Energy

Lokandes play a unique, red hot fusion of Afro-Andean and Latin sounds. Taking the melodies and energy of Andean music and bringing it bang up to date with Son, Reggae and funky Afro-Latin rhythms. The band unites musicians and instruments from Peru, Bolivia, Spain, France, China and the UK, and sets their highly original music, alongside socially conscious lyrics, to a tight rhythms section.

05 - Son Yambu - La Maravilla

Son Yambu play authentic Cuban son - the essential Afro-Cuban sound that originated on the streets of eastern Cuba and gave rise to modern salsa. This music is an intoxicating fusion of Spanish and African rhythms and, coming from Santiago De Cuba (the birthplace of son), the band are passionate about maintaining the traditions of the genre. The band members all have a lifetime’s experience playing son, both as recording artists and in live performances at venues around the world.

06 - Conjunto Sabroso - Ya tengo lo que quería (I've got what i wanted)

Conjunto Sabroso is one of London’s most established and popular Latin bands. Renowned for their authentic swing and lively presence on stage, featuring a vibrant horn section and powerful percussion keeping audiences glued to the dance floor wherever they play. Fronted by charismatic Colombian singer Luz Elena Caicedo,and under the musical direction of renowned multi-percussionist Wilmer Sifontes from Venezuela. The band has brought together some of the most outstanding and experienced musicians in the Latin circuit,to produce their own distinctive and original sound. This new album shows the effort and the proffesionalism of this musicians who day by day continue playing the music they love with passion on stage to keep the tradition of latin music inside our hearts.

10 - London's Calling - Various Artists

London's Calling - a unique album featuring 14 exclusive cover versions of classic London songs re-imagined by the cream of the city's multicultural music scene. Featuring an Ethio-jazz version of Lilly Allen's 'LDN' from the Krar Collective, Lokkhi Terra's Bengali-Cuban take on The Small Face's 'Itchycoo Park', two belting versions of The Clash's 'London Calling' , Cumbe, Jardares pro fuera and much more - London's Calling features a multi-cultural collective of London-based musicians paying tribute to the most international of cities in a way you've heard before.

11 - Reverso - Radio Comfort

'Radio Comfort' is the awaited and acclaimed result of the evolution and establishment of ska mestizo: the live sound of Reverso. This album steps up from their previous work and encapsulates the fresh and strong identity of the 7-piece band which dominates London's latin-ska scene. 'Radio Comfort' offers 11 new songs that are a fusion of ska and reggae with a wide palet of latin rhythms: merengue, salsa, tango, ballad, cumbia, and even balkan sounds. The lyrics cover a variety of topics with a hint of irony, humour, romance and hope. 'Radio Comfort' is exactly that: Comfort in Music!

12 - Jandira Silva - Festa de un Sonho Bom

Born in Rio de Janiero, Jandira is a highly talented singer whose voice conveys the power of popular Brazilian music. Singing professionally since 1997, her search for wider artistic horizons have taken her from Brazil to Lisbon where she became the resident vocalist at the Casino do Estoril. Now living in London she performs a wonderful selection of rhythmic, enchanting and seductive songs.

13 - Domingo Candelario - Soho

Singer/song writer Domingo Candelario was born in the heart of La Havana, Cuba. As a child he was greatly influenced and inspired by the Brazilian music that his parents listened to. He went on to develop his own unique style within the “Nueva Trova” movement which began in the late ‘60s and has its roots in traditional Cuban folk music, incorporating progressive and often politicized lyrics.

14 - George Peguero - Let's make it Salsa

Based in London and born in Cuba, multi award winner salsa singer George Peguero brings together a mash-up of top-notch performers and singers representing both regions. Let's Make It Salsa music CD. The result is an eclectic and electric combination of lively percussion, wild horn, and funky rhythms that hold true to the salsa form with some new and adventurous sound brimming with Caribbean and Latin flavors. After his CD released with a great show at Jazz Cafe this year we could see the other side of Cuban music with a different taste in London by George and his unique style.

15 - Cafecito - El Gato

Influenced by the musical styles of the great Cuban charanga bands such as Arcaño y sus Maravillas, and Las Estrellas Cubanas, and by Cuban jazz pianists Frank Emilio Flynn and Pedro “Peruchin” Justiz, and also a nod to 19th & 20th century Cuban classical piano composers such as Ignacio Cervantes and Manuel Saumell, Live Latin Band Cafecito plays an exhilarating pre-salsa style of music still heard on the streets of old Havana today — the music of the orquesta francesa - cha cha chas, danzones and boleros plus Latin jazz, which you will have heard a flavour of in the Buena Vista Social Club recordings. Our repertoire includes new arrangements of Cuban classics such as Frenesí, new takes on standards as diverse as John Coltrane's Giant Steps, Sidney Bechet's Petite Fleur and the Brazilian bossa nova Recado, as well as original compositions such as the danzón El Gato Que Tiene Hambre and El Aciano by Cafecito’s pianist, leader and musical director Janet Sherbourne.

16 - Atlantico - Cumbia Sabrosa

Via Southampton this great band released this month their new album Cumbia Sabrosa, a new alternative and traditional band bringing the traditional sounds of Colombia to the UK. The dynamic line up includes three Latin percussionists and three horn players together with accordion, bass and piano. Atlantico present "Musica Tropical" at it's very steamiest and most contagious. You just won't be able to sit still when this band is playing. Whether they are locked into the back-beat of Cumbia, galloping through the loping rhythm of a Porro, or throwing in some Mambo, Merengue or Colombia's own style of Salsa, you have to get up and move to the joyful rhythm. No dance lessons needed!

17 - Aji pa' ti - EP

Aji’ Pa Ti’ are a brilliant 6 piece Cuban/Colombian/Ecuadorian fusion band with contemporary acoustic music inspired by the traditional rhythms and melodies of African, Amerindian and European folklore in Latin America. Pretty much globally influenced bar Arabia and the Orient! So, if you wanna feel some heat and raunch with the Salsa, Bolero and Bambuco vibes, come and satisfy yourselves with the sounds of Bristol’s top Latin players! They smashed London this year at Passing Clouds and Hootananny leaving the best vibes and the people looking forward to see them live again!

18 - Santiago Quartet with Ahmed Dickinson C. - Latin Perspective

Santiago Quartet's debut album with Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas, Latin Perspective, has received 5 Latin Grammy pre-nominations this year! The CD includes works by Miguel del Aguila, Leo Brouwer and Javier Alvarez.

19 - London Lucumi Choir - Un Solo Palo, No Hace Monte; A Single Tree Does Not a Forest Make; Igi Kan Ko Si Igbo

Presenting an uplifting collection of Spiritual Songs with amazing vocal arrangements from the Afro Cuban traditions of Lucumi, Arara and Espiritsimo, in addition to some exciting Afro Cuban Rumba, which will not fail to inspire you to dance!

20 - Isa GT - Leyenda [The remixes- Part 2]

The second part of remixes for Isa GT’ Leyenda EP opens up a wide musical range. From
established club music stars like Crookers, powerful apotheosic approach, to newcomers like Argentinian Veneno, with an efficient and victorious take on Alegria. The three remixes of the eco-anthem Madre Tierra, comes from hands of the East London
 based duo Age of Consent, who transforms the song into puzzling and percussive quirky
gothic pop. Fede Flores remix sounds like he took Madre Tierra back to an Andes indigenous ceremony and they spit out this marvellous shamanic version. While Moroka’s take brings the indignation tone of Mother Earth talking to us, asking for answers and explanations to our human behaviour towards her with a heavy and energetic remix.
El Monito, ‘the perfect combination’ track by Isa GT and Lido Pimienta (Colombia) , first is Corpus
Cristi’s based and Peligrosa Crew own El Dusty, who gives El Monito his Cumbiatech 
treatment, latin rave at it’s best!

21 - Natema - Blue Fire

N A T E M A is a music project that was formed in London-UK in May of 2009. Their vision is to create a unique sound fusion with innovative performance, adding keyboard, guitar, vocals and percussion with variations of electronic music, from Progressive House to Electro. In closing, Natema's Tetto Bononi and Luis Valente have made audiences go crazy in 8 different countries, more than 50 cities around the world, producing 3 EPs and over 30 original remixes along the way, Are you ready to experience Natema?

22 - Colorado - Shooting Stars

Colorado is an eclectic melting pot of talents, with members coming from all around the world to join forces on this musical voyage. Reverbs and distortions, stirred with bilingualism and zero gravity rhythms, produce this unique sonic palette. Melancholy and happiness have found a new sound that spreads in large waves throughout our bedrooms, allowing us to transport to places we think we know. Released in February 2012, Shooting Stars is a synth and guitar infused, cosmic musical journey through impossible situations. Dream beats, folk, electronica, spanish and english mix to produce this unique catalogue of sounds.
Opening with a big bang, Shooting Star takes us track by track from pure light to absolute darkness, with 'delicate lo-fi textures all throughout, and dangerously expansive sound waves to abduct our imagination.

23 - Aster Paulen - On the Road

One of the uniques rock bands with a mexican line-up based in London with many gigs every week and getting into the uk rock scene faster than ever. Aster Paulen… or following the Star of the greatest, Paul and Lennon: Aster= Star (from greek); and Paulen= Paul + Lennon… And so it is, Aster Paulen is a band born from the entrails of the purest British sound ever created: The Beatles, that’s why the little tribute in the name of the band… Aster Paulen looks for a harmonic conjunction of the sounds and the creation of singable and understandable melodies, with very subjective lyrics, rarely real, but never meaningless… The influences are mostly British, classic or modern, from psychedelic rock, glam rock, classic rock to British pop… The band is wide open to the possibility of experimentation, believes in mental expansion and ways of finding new horizons, mixing influences that range from music up to art itself, literary, pictorial or theatrical... Aster Paulen is not a band that limits itself to music.

24 - Classico Latino - Journey through latin america

Classico Latino’s third album, Journey Through Latin America ,was recorded in April 2012 at the legendary Abbey Road Studios and presents iconic melodies from across the continent as well as original new works from members of the band and Latin American composers. The recording features special friends from Europe and Latin America including Colombian singer Andres Cepeda, percussionists Wilmer Sifontes from Venezuela and Sebastian Laverde from Colombia, Mexican guitarist Morgan Szymanski, tiple player Faber Grajales, Greek singer Eirini Tornesaki, Russian violinist Dunja Lavrova and the Gentlemen of St John’s College, Cambridge amongst others.

25 - Lokkhi Terra - Che Guava’s Rickshaw Diaries
Channeling the cultures of Bangladesh, Cuba, Brazil, Nigeria and the UK to create new soundscapes, feeding off the musical traditions of each other, “Kishon Khan's band effortlessly encapsulate 21st century London. Traditional songs from Bangladesh collide with Latin rhythms, township jazz, funk and ambient shades... All the pieces, concise but punchy, are handled with sublety. Gold medals all round,” says The Sunday Times.

26 - Alex Wilson - Salsa Veritas

After the success of the Mali Latino album, Alex releases his third salsa album which features Colombian singer Jean Paul Tamayo, rapper MC Magico, Cuban bagpiper Wilber Calver and soul diva Aquilla Fearon who sings a powerful version of Steve Winwood s Higher Love. Ever searching for the perfect salsa balance between swinging percussion, powerful horns and steaming vocals this album forges new territority while never losing sight of the roots of the Afro-Cuban roots of salsa. This album is tailor made for the dance floor and yet also has mellower romantic moments as well as Alex s trademark salsa arrangements. Round this off with a bagpipe charanga track by Wilber Calver, a Cuban resident in the Swiss Alps and a hard hitting merengue featuring young Colombian rapper MC Magico and you have an explosive cocktail of latin fireworks!

27 - Majagua - Latin american folk music

Majagua : South American Folk & Afro-Colombian Rhythms. A music performance of Latin American Folklore, including Cumbias, Bambucos and Joropos from Colombia and Venezuela; Corridos and Rancheras form Mexico and Valses, Carnavalitos, Guainos y Zambas from Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.

Majagua was born out of the joy and passion for singing and the wish to share some of the most loved songs from the old and new Latin American Folklore. They strive to keep true to the traditional sounds and rhythms in which each tune was conceived, but at the same time are open to incorporate new arrangements, giving each melody a personalized and fresh angle.

28 -JHT - Pluriverso

JHT, acclaimed Colombian rapper is an intensively charismatic performer whose outstanding performance reflects his true passion and love for Hip Hop. His performances would include only the best live musicians from saxophonists, percussionists, guitarists, andean instruments and more, giving it that touch of Latin fusion. As a lyricist, his music focuses on controversial issues in global politics and Latin Americas political struggle, which he strongly takes no sides. His lyrics voice a clear emphasis on the influences of religion, cultural and social issues. His songs reflect the worrying issues in the Latin community/race, its complexity and conflicts; he also addresses the changes in hip hop both revolutionary as well as its existence to survive. Pluriverso is the latest album of JHT extracting his experiences, thoughts and memories from Colombia and now in London this last years.


29 - Khantara - 2012 EP

30 - Mano de Dios - Sleep Through The Morning Light

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