Best Albums of 2016
selected by Max “Drlacxos” Cueto from Discolai

The Living Room <BR>“Through the Window” EP

The Living Room
“Through the Window” EP

Diego Cepeda leaves the country to study cinema in Spain, before leaving he comes up with a lot of sound ideas that he had in mind. And that’s when he creates his solo project The Living Room.

The 4-track EP “Through the Window” is the best example of what Living Room sound is about: simple songs, simple drums, guitar and bass, without room for long guitar solos, with sticky choirs strongly influenced by The Smiths or Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys.

As short as it is, “Through the Window” is a complete work.

♪♫ Listen: “Wonder” + album stream

The Living Room on Bandcamp, Facebook, Spotify.

Vestidos <Br>“Vestidos” EP

“Vestidos” EP

Here we find an EP of 5 songs, with a sound that seems like Jenga blocks game of dream pop, indie and post-punk, but all grouped between layers of arrangements giving us that beautiful shoegaze noise.

“Vestidos” is a sound journey of less than 20 minutes, which leaves you waiting for more. Actually, it even leaves you wanting to listen to anything else.

Vestidos is a new project of Juan Julio (Franny & Zooey), and an unusual thing in the scene is the band has two girls among its members: Lita Mena (bass) and Maria Fernanda (voice).

♪♫ Listen: “Vamos a escuchar a los Pastels” + album stream

Vestidos on Spotify, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Auro Sónico <BR>“Disco Lágrimas”

Auro Sónico
“Disco Lágrimas”

Having a new material from Auro is always an event. He is one of the emblematic figures of the local music circuit. And we are happy to hear from him again with this new (?) project.

Although we can identify the peculiar sound of his previous line-ups – like También Yo!, Los Violetas, Bizarro or Subsónica, as well as Auro & Clemt – in this solo album the synth-pop element is working so well and it’s the distinguishing component.

“Disco Lágrima” is a journey filled with melodies with a background of of indie-rock, glam and pop. Auro Sónico also had the luxury of arranging strings and bringing female voices into this pleasant sound stretches along these 10 songs.

We dare say that all this seems to us already known, but at the same time as new as never heard on the scene.

♪♫ Listen: “La Música (no Apaguen)” + album stream

Auro Sónico on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter.

Alex Ferreira y El Frente Caribe <BR> “Alex Ferreira y El Frente Caribe”

Alex Ferreira y El Frente Caribe
“Alex Ferreira y El Frente Caribe”

Alex Ferreira is not a new name on the scene, over the time he has gone from being a local exponent to becoming an international artist.

After touring the world, he returned to the island in 2016 and formed El Frente Caribe with Ricardo Ariel Toribio, Mariela Pichardo, Nicole Santiago y Boly Lingopoff. Their new adventure was to go back to their Dominican roots and bring together merengue, bachata and tropical rhythms.

The experiment resulted in a self-titled EP of 5 songs that show the seriousness of this project. Alex would not invent anything new, on the contrary, he would go to the basics, like the sound of bachata in “La Insoportable” and in “Mala Maña”.

El Frente Caribe opened a crack in the career of Alex Ferreira, and although it will not be he full time activity, we know he will return with more songs like this.

♪♫ Listen: “La Yugular” + album stream

Alex Ferreira y El Frente Caribe on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter.

Playa O Radio <br>“The Upa Father of the Little Tree”

Playa O Radio
“The Upa Father of the Little Tree”

Listening and watching projects as they evolve and mature, is not given very often in our local scene. But when it happens, it’s the closest thing to a solar eclipse: they are not usual, and it is fantastic to observe when they occur.

It is the case of Playa O Radio, a project that collects different pieces of the alternative landscape, but we could witness its very own evolution. On “The Upa Father of the Little Tree”, their debut release of just 6 songs, they show us that the influences you have can help you a lot to find your own sound.

We like that they pick titles in English but sing in Spanish, and vice versa. The name is another hook. And well, the boys did their homework. Let’s see how it goes in their next challenge: to maintain that standard.

♪♫ Listen: “Rediseño” + album stream

Playa o Radio on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter.

Carolina Camacho <BR>“Afrotaína”

Carolina Camacho

Carolina Camacho is – in her own words – what she is, simply. Voice beyond an image, body and soul of “Afrotaína”, a powerful record.

Starting with the song “Leona”, we have been discovering this album, a work of great consistency and full of excellent songs from its beginning to the very end. In Carolina’s second release, you can feel not only the growth of her as an artist, but also her power.

Her style that has been defined as “Electro Palo”, in which different musical fusions have been conceived from autochthonous inspirations, with an incredibly organic correspondence with contemporaneity.

“Afrotaína” is complete, it’s avant-garde with folkloric elements, it’s spiritual and lyrical with sounds from the most urban Caribbean places.

♪♫ Listen: “Leona” + album stream

Carolina Camacho on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter.

Gnómico <BR>“Sinergia”


“Sinergia” is a delicate project, from the moment of choosing the songs to the collaborations.

It brings us new versions of classics such as “Mesita de Noche” with its creator Victor Victor, Rafael Solano’s “Por Amor” played by Danny Rivera, “Viajero” from Toque Profundo by Tony Almont, on this occasion with a bit more reggae.

There’s also “Te di” with Pavel Nuñez, Rando Camasta in “Compañera”, Laura Rivera in “Para Quererte” and Covi Quintana in the song “Quiero Andar”…

Between rap, funk and soul, “Sinergia” is a work taken care of, and we could say the most mature effort in Gnómico’s career yet.

♪♫ Listen: “Te Di” + album stream

Gnomico on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

La Gran Mawon <BR>“La Gran Mawon”

La Gran Mawon
“La Gran Mawon”

Featuring both amateur and experienced musicians, this project concentrates on everyday experiences in a city that does not forgive you anything. Contrary, it alienates you and makes you doubt whatever you believe.

All this can be found in La Gran Mawon’s lyrics (“Quemando Ganja”, “Hija del General”, “Ahora Que”) and the fusion of music styles like Carabiné, MereMambo, Bachata, Reggae, Jazz, Ska and more.

The best thing about these “rebels” is that while they claim their origins, at the same time they escape the canons of being a “roots music” group. They make it clear: there is nothing established and in the world of various music mixtures everything is worth trying. And that’s a truly experimental approach.

♪♫ Listen: “La Kulebra” + album stream

La Gran Mawon on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter.

Pat Pereyra <BR>“Mestura”

Pat Pereyra

Patricia Pereyra is a symbol of Dominican excellence, her music is part of those national treasures that we hold dear.

“Mestura” is the third album in Pat Pereyra career yet and undoubtedly, its her the most pop-oriented effort. In this record, we can observe a kind of transition of her as an artist.

Patricia has now become now “Pat” Pereyra, and while she has brought us production containing all the elements of her universe we’ve known, at the same time she sounds different. It’s not a contradiction. It is “Mestura”, or “Mixture”.

Pop, rock, fusion, electronica, folk, jazz, world music and more… a production difficult to catalogue, a work of art not suitable for everyone.

♪♫ Listen: “El Niño del Sol” + album stream

Pat Pereyra on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Vicente García <BR>“A La Mar”

Vicente García
“A La Mar”

With “A la Mar”, the second album by the singer-songwriter Vicente García, produced by Calle 13’s Eduardo Cabra a.k.a. Visitor, we have experienced many different things. First of all, it is a honest musical work.

This record includes twelve songs plus two interludes. To describe each song, it is necessary to read Vicente’s comments in his social networks, where he has described the whole process of this effort’s creation and explained each concept.

“A La Mar”, which means “To the Sea”, was recorded between 2015 and 2016, between Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Musical and lyrically, it takes the listener on a popular route – places, rhythms, rites and local cultures.

This album manages to compile so many cultural elements that it keeps surprising us in its subtlety and beauty.

♪♫ Listen: “Zafra Negra” + album stream

Vicente Garcia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.