Club Fonograma's Best Songs of 2013 (100-76)

100. Chancha Vía Circuito - 
“Tornasol” ♫♫♫
Chancha Vía Circuito reaped fruits of his magnificent 2010 debut when his “Quimey Neuquen” remix appeared on Breaking Bad, one of the most-watched shows on the planet this fall. But earlier in 2013, CvC began the cycle anew, releasing Semillas, an elegiac and optimistic affair delving into the digital folk first explored in Río Arriba. “Tornasol” is the heart of the EP; a celestial dance between birdcalls, cantering percussion, and poetic reflections on the nature of being. - Monika Fabian

099. Mariel Mariel - “Foto Pa Ti
It might be too derivative of Rita Indiana, but that doesn’t change the fact “Foto Pa Ti” is one of the most polished urban pop numbers this year. Mariel’s career-shifting performance here is a sexy, blood-pumping mantra. It is the execution of the production (helmed by Sonido Landon) that pushes the song from pure tongue-in-cheek attraction. From the the graceful handclaps that serve as bridges for the chorus, to the unleashing of a rock-opera box on its second half, “Foto Pa Ti” is impossibly contained –a photostream with a flammable sign all over it. - Carlos Reyes

098. Alexis & Fido - 
“Rompe la cintura
Thee dynamic of a reggaeton duo is more delicate than one would think. Testosterone levels and obtrusive egos often get the best of some (read Wisin & Yandel). Alexis y Fido elevates from the rest by presenting two masculinities that are not in constant competition. “Rompe la cintura” services from a male bonding that’s conscious of putting melodic reason in front of individual achievement. The result is a blasting mambo enriched by brashing electrolights and a rhythmic prowess that validates their title as Los Reyes del Perreo. - Carlos Reyes

097. Dorgas - “Egocêntrica” ♫♫♫
Dorgas' self-titled debut can be seen as the perfect follow-up to Extraperlo's Delirio Específico only instead of exotic flourishes and Art Deco poster versions of Brazil, this is the real deal. "Egocêntrica" is an after hours highlight that lounges and whispers (“tenso, tenso”) along to soft disco. What makes this, along with songs from Dorgas, so appealing is how they refuse to simply leave things on jazz or soft rock cruise control. The final minute climaxes with brilliant percussion, falsetto, and a newfound energy to not let the night go to waste. - Giovanni Guillen

096. Paula y Los Besos - 
“Paja Dorada” ♫♫♫
From one of two EPs released around Christmas last year, "Paja Dorada" is the small hit you might not have heard. A straight shooting arrow, a carnal animal growl, a throwback to psychedelic rock. This small punch of a song by porteños Paula y Los Besos dresses in black and blue tie-dye. Our protagonist is bent over a drinking fountain of salt water; her passion is insatiable. All these kinda folk, slightly punk grrrl band declarations of love are thirsty work! - Sam Rodgers

095. Boogat - 
Único” (feat. Lido Pimienta)
2013 has been a fruitful year for Boogat. It found the artist collaborating with the ambassadors of global bass/latin bass - El Remolon, G-Flux, Javier Estrada and Mati Zundel among others; and El Dorado Sunset is also the result of those beneficial artistic exchanges. “Único,” with its catchy melodies avant-garde arrangements and refined organic sounds, makes no exception. The warm voice of Lido Pimienta serves as the thread of continuity of this great celebration of identity and foreignness. - Souad Martin-Saoudi

094. Panty Pantera - “Cocodrilo” ♫♫♫
Nowadays when someone says the word Cocodrilo (in any language and without referring to the reptile) is hard not to recall those gruesome images of the flesh-eating drug, desomorphine. Funny how not too long ago the adjacent cultural reference to the word pointed to Crocodile Dundee. Spaniard all-female band, Panty Pantera sound truly inspired in their rising hit “Cocodrilo.” Considering the resources (and taking to an account this is still demo track), it’s amazing how grandiloquent and equally small Panty Pantera sounds with the assistance of la Filarmonica de Viena. - Carlos Reyes

093. Princess Nokia - 
Versace Hottie” ♫♫♫
There’s little doubt Princess Nokia (aka Wavy Spice) scored a hit with “Versace Hottie.” The verses are on point, the beat is fantastic, and there’s so much to suggest this Boricua is on the verge of becoming something huge. Then again, this is still a b-i-t-c-h anthem and I’ve also never felt more intimated listening. Maybe it’s the way “Versace hottie / I don’t like nobody” gets repeated then distorted, like if she was becoming medusa herself. It should also be said how by kicking us all out she’s one-upped Drake’s “No New Friends” completely. DAMN, GIRL. WHERE'D U FIND THIS? - Giovanni Guillen

092. Bonsai Babies - “Mammón” ♫♫♫
Taken from LALALA4e’s post-geographical electronic compilation W H A T E V E R F O R E V E R, “Mammón” trades in both apathy and dystopianism. Its synth progression and processed vocals are informed by both the futuristic decay of Blade Runner and the depersonalization/escapism of Salem. But if the future isn’t one that promises much in material wealth (“Aquí guardamos los ahorros para el más allá”) you can at least get yourself stoned enough to experience something (“Yo quiero algo espiritual como la silla del rey”). - Pierre Lestruhaut

091. Kali Mutsa - “El Jardín” ♫♫♫
Kali Mutsa is no longer a solo act, it has officially become a band. Their sole release this year certainly shows that. Where do I even start? With that marvelous jungle beat? The berserk chanting passing as a chorus? The pure WTF-ness of it all? “El Jardín” is certainly Kali Mutsa’s most conventionally danceable song, but it sacrifices nothing for the service of your lower body. This gypsy's going pop on her own damn terms. Never change, Kali. - Andrew Casillas

090. Ibi Ego - 
For a country that’s emblematically surreal, it’s surprising to find out that Mexico isn’t a fertile land for dreamy glitchy art. Which is why Ibi Ego’s MCMXCVIII is such a pleasant surprise. Album highlight “Mueréte” is a lustrous, immaculate gem albeit its processed digital commotion. You Schaffner’s tormented vocals feel like daggers intersecting David Bravo’s pitched-down base vocal. They establish a menace, one that can be simultaneously sweet and scornful. Compulsive, yet immediately rewarding, “Muerete” is a tragic little ditty. - Carlos Reyes

089. Piyama Party - 
“Los perdedores no bailan”  ♫♫♫
Music isn’t only an ornament and losers don’t dance, quite a statement from Luis Angel Martinez in this Piyama Party. Unveiled early in the year, "Los perdedores no bailan" passed unnoticed as a novelty, for-compilations track. Truth is, not a single track on En Español Por Favor turned out to be this fun and memorable. Surf guitars, funny choruses and an omnipresent lo-fi spirit with great songs like this one. - Glòria Guirao Soro 

088. CLUBZ - “Golpes Bajos” 
Few emerging bands in 2013 turned out to be such a disclosure like CLUBZ. In a lapse where Little Jesus’ overhyped tunes appeared to be everywhere, the Regiomontano duo effectuated a finer job at crafting real, transcendental pop jewels. On the surface it may seem cheerful, but the chore of “Golpes Bajos” is bathed with melancholy. Its sing-along, bittersweet hook, announcing found emptiness in making love, equally mesmerizes and saddens. The entire track inevitably magnetizes. - Enrique Coyotzi

087. Zutzut - “De Shopping” ♫♫♫
Could this track be the metempsychosis of reggaetón? Perhaps. At the very least, "De Shopping" meticulously and rightly takes over the esthetic and lyrical content of this roughed up musical genre. In fact, Zutzut’s use of Yaga & Mackie “Nos Vamos De Shopping (Official Remix)” achieves, as fellow CF writer Adrian Mata Anaya exposed, to make us reassess our thoughts on this style. This finely crafted track, while giving it depth, and even a certain elegance, redefines with polishing excessively. - Souad Martin-Saoudi

086. Ave Negra - “Esto Es Amor” ♫♫♫
Even though this song displays their smoother, mellower side up to this time, there’s no denying that the Costa Rican duo has not ceased kicking major butt. With only a single spin, you won’t be able to get it out of your brain. Due to its breezy, Ramones-esque guitar riff; universally catchy lyrics, and inescapably enthusiastic, melodic backbone, “Esto es Amor” established itself as the quintessential, heartwarming love letter to be dedicated this year. - Enrique Coyotzi 

085. Devendra Banhart - 
“Mi Negrita” 
Anything that comes off like a mix of Agustin Lara and Bigott is going to sound unbelievably sexy. But what makes Devendra Banhart's  “Mi Negrita” such a delight is the how the mix carefully downplays the amorous aspects: the low-fi production shrouds the song in mystery, each turn confident yet uncertain. The moral? Love is scary and enticing, but oh how it’s worth the risk. - Andrew Casillas

084. Unochosiete - 
“Del uno al nueve” ♫♫♫
Some things really never get old. Hear those handclaps, the siren calls, the “oh oh oh wo-oh” hook. It’s a paean to the good ol’ days of 60’s soul and doo-wop, except it was recorded in a dude’s bedroom in the 2010s. Puerto Rico has been a heck of an epicentre for this kind of filthy, low-budget revivalism, to the point it’s unsurprising acts that seemingly come out of nowhere put out irresistible-to-dance-to material like "Del uno al nueve." - Pierre Lestruhaut

083. Whitest Taino Alive - 
“Karl Malone” ♫♫♫
Pop culture and sports references, childhood memories, a laid-back flow, extravagant synth melodies, and an occasional abuse of hi-hat. “Karl Malone” sounds exactly like what we’ve been expecting from islander hip-hop for a while. We know nothing more of the Dominican group Whitest Taino Alive other than that it’s led by Stereoptico label DJ Cohoba, but seeing how they dropped the greatest rhyme that included Green Day since “Atrévete-te-te,” they've just officially joined Fuete Billete as our new favorite independent hip-hop artists. - Pierre Lestruhaut

082. Prince Royce feat. Selena Gomez
 - “Already Missing You” 
Though both Selena Gomez and Prince Royce are pop royalty in their own right, the two rule over very different kingdoms. Unexpectedly divine duet "Already Missing You" is more than just target demographic strategy, it's a legit club hit. With its pristine keyboard melody and pulsating percussion building to dance floor euphoria, it's perfect for Gomez who, with this year's Stars Dance, has shown that dance music is her strength and takes Prince Royce out of his bachata comfort zone and allows him to shine in a different light. - Blanca Mendez

081. Rey Pila- “Alexander” 
With the kind of bands they’ve played with, the studios they’ve recorded in, and the producers they’ve worked with, Rey Pila’s résumé is starting to become some impressive shit. The leadoff single from their upcoming sophomore release is a bluff though: its psychobilly cover art suggests an invitation towards crusty punk and b-movies iconography, yet “Alexander” is really all about synth-rock that sounds ready to shake the festival circuit. - Pierre Lestruhaut

080. Hidrogenesse - “El Artista” ♫♫♫
“El Artista” was released earlier this year in a 7” single, together with two other songs, by Mexican label Vale Vergas Discos. The song tells the story of an artist that commits to stop doing art if someone gives him a certain amount of money. Government funds, cultural foundations, and banks are solicited without much luck. As usual, glitter rock duo Hidrogenesse delights with a peculiar sense of humor and talks about politics in a jokey, arty and extremely danceable way. - Glòria Guirao Soro

079. Astro - “Hawaii” 
There are so many bundled hooks in “Hawaii” that they almost make up for an uncomfortable listen. Whether it is a transitory track that outlines where the band is going, or a mere novelty to keep momentum, it’s refreshing to see a band like Astro distilling all notions of restraint. It’s windy, exaggerated (like Hawaii itself), and spaced out to the five-minute mark (something brave). If Oprah Winfrey helped Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas’ “Ula Ula” explode internationally the way it did, I don’t see why Astro can’t be next. It’s a matter of triggering the right airline now. - Carlos Reyes

078. Mueran Humanos - “El Círculo” 
Everything about this epic piece is unnerving: a uniform, dingy beat; aerodynamic, ghastly guitar-licks; Tomás Nochteff’s and Carmen Burguess’ supernatural voices that feel like demonic prayers; German industrial synths, and an overall krautrockish buildup which secretes an atmosphere of instability, dread and enlightenment. Increasingly attaching the listener’s consciousness into their refined yet cutting textures, Mueran Humanos corroborate with “El Círculo” how they are masters at creating annihilating marvels that function like a whole immersive experience. - Enrique Coyotzi

077. Tony Gallardo II - 
“La Ruptura” ♫♫♫
Not one to sit on his laurels (or still), Ruidosón Game’s Fernando Pessoa followed up April’s brilliant Club Negro LP with this opus in September. Gallardo’s second significant release, Tormento/Ruptura, is a two-part meditation on a soured relationship. (Hello, meta-duality!) An almost nine-minute dystopian rhapsody of sparse synth-house haunted with inner turmoil, “La Ruptura” terrifies and torments if also intrigues and awes. Best of all, it’s a harbinger of an increasingly ambitious artist and that’s very exciting. - Monika Fabian

076. Pablo Malurie - 
El beat de la cuestión” ♫♫♫
“El beat de la cuestión” sounds like the work of an artist who tries out something different for inspiration every week – from isolation in a cabin to popping mollys at the disco. Lovable weirdo singer-songwriter Pablo Malaurie is like your friend who’s a little too weird to be classified as a close one, but charming enough as to not go into creep territory. Now if only he were popular enough that we could have folks embarrassing themselves at karaoke bars every night trying to pull off that falsetto bridge. - Pierre Lestruhaut



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