Alt.Latino’s Picks For A Hot Summer Soundtrack

Alt.Latino’s Picks For A Hot Summer Soundtrack

nprlogo_138x46  JUNE 14, 2015 7:42 AM ET
The temperature’s starting to rise, and Alt.Latino has the perfect playlist for all the summer activities that go along with it. NPR’s Rachel Martin hears from Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras.


The temperatures are starting to rise. That means it’s time for our friends at Alt.Latino to swap out their playlist for something a little steamier. Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd are here to check in with some tracks that make them think of summer. Hey guys.



MARTIN: So, Felix, what are we listening to and why is this a summer track for you?

CONTRERAS: OK so this track is from a band called Chico Trujillo. They’re from Chile. And my immediate summer reaction when I heard this was, like, OK, I want to be at the street party.

CONTRERAS: OK. These guys are old school cumbia from pre-Pinochet cumbia and other Chilean cultures. This new album is called “La Reina Del Todas Las Fiestas,” the queen of the party, and that’s exactly what this album’s like.


MARTIN: Jasmine, you’re up. Can you top that? What’s – what you got for summer?

GARSD: To me, summer means, like, you know, rides to the beach with friends and just hanging out on the beach. And next up, I brought this awesome new song. This is by the Colombian band Bomba Estereo. They just dropped an album, “Amanecer.” And this song is called “Mar” or ocean. And they do a lot of, like, club hits. It’s a lot of, like, very electronic club hits. But then they have this really sweet spot where they do songs so that you kind of mellow out after a night of dancing. And I think this just – this song feels like mellowing out on the beach after a night of dancing.


BOMBA ESTEREO: (Singing in Spanish).

MARTIN: I love it, and I just love the idea of needing a song to recover after a night of dancing. It’s been a long time since I needed to recover from a night of dancing. But I dig that. I like it. All right, so, Jasmine, that’s your first summer hit. You have another one?

GARSD: Yeah, I guess another summer vibe that I love is, you know, sitting on my porch having a cup of coffee early in the morning, you know, and it’s nice and warm, but it’s not insufferably hot yet.



MIGUEL: (Singing) I wish I could paint our love. These moments in vibrant hues.

GARSD: Next up, I brought a new song by the artist Miguel, who is – I don’t know – my feelings towards him are…

MARTIN: You have no words.

GARSD: I have no words. I think he’s just…

MARTIN: (Laughter).

CONTRERAS: Careful. Sunday morning family audience.

GARSD: Felix is a little jealous. But he’s an amazing musician. And I think this song is just beautiful and sensual, and it’s wonderful.


MIGUEL: (Singing) Wordplay turns into gun play. Gun play turns into pillow talk. Pillow talk turns into sweet dreams. Sweet dreams turn into coffee in the morning.

MARTIN: And there you go, coffee in the morning. Plus, I love the idea – you know, a summer crush. Summer time is for having a crush. This guy seems crush-worthy.

GARSD: Oh, yeah. Oh – are you kidding?


MARTIN: OK, Felix.

GARSD: Oh, hey, Felix. How are you? What are you doing here?

CONTRERAS: Well, you know, along those lines, OK, my last track is introspective.

MARTIN: OK. All right.

CONTRERAS: OK, not exactly the party in the street that we started with, and we played this track on our show by this band called Novalima. They’re from Peru. And we both fell in love with it. And there’s a little bit of a back story to it. It starts out with this vintage recording that the leader of the band recorded at an after-hours party that he was at. He held his iPhone up to a record player and recorded this amazing vocal.


ROSITA GUZMAN: (Singing in foreign language).


CONTRERAS: Right, so what this band did is they combined this vintage recording with – that drum that you hear is called a cajon. It’s an Afro-Peruvian cajon. It’s a big bog that you play with your hands that you sit on. And then they layered some computer keyboard blips, blurbs on it on top of that.


CONTRERAS: Jasmine accurately called it a three layer cake of time because it’s going back to the Afro-Peruvian from the slave days, this vintage recording by Rosita Guzman from the 1950s mixed with this amazing guitar work and then the computer stuff from now. And this song just completely laid both of us out. And this is the kind of thing that makes me more introspective in thinking about, OK, what’s going on here? What’s going on with life? What’s going on with the kids? What’s going on…


GARSD: Where are the kids?

CONTRERAS: All that stuff. All that stuff on this great track.

MARTIN: I love it. I love it. You guys have brought so much good summer stuff.

CONTRERAS: Here we go.

MARTIN: Thank you. I dig it. Felix Contreras, Jasmine Garsd of Alt.Latino. Thanks for being with us you guys. Happy summer.

CONTRERAS: Same to you. Thank you.

GARSD: Thank you.

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