Best Albums of 2017
selected by Alejandro Ortiz

Bengalas <BR>“Goma de mascar”

“Goma de mascar”

First time Bengalas appeared on beehype (2015), there were no certain predictions about new music held by Suzi Love (composer and producer). Anyhow, just a demo – “Atormentada” – satisfied our melomaniac hearts, alongside the catchy and sweet bubble gum-ed pop Suzi crafted.

Tons of replays and anxiety were part of Bengalas entrance before launching her marvelous debut LP: “Goma de mascar”. Two years after her notorious debut (parallel to some temporary demo releases on Bandcamp) and significant gigs, Suzi Love redefined the “pop” word.

This “Goma de mascar” tastes like somebody’s cry in public, it booms like that song you and your best amiga sing along, it strikes like the perreo you’re about to dance with a stranger and best of all, its build up as an album full of sprightly feminist anthems.

You don’t really want to miss this.

♪♫ Listen: “Volverte a Ver” + album stream

Bengalas on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Blau Grisenc <BR>“Betón Brut”

Blau Grisenc
“Betón Brut”

On her first LP, national producer Carla Alfaro takes architectural vocabulary to introduce listeners into her electronic “raw concrete” experiment.

Accompanied by a beautiful and yet accurate cover art, “Betón Brut” sounds like that: a challenging album compounded by a delicate structure of minimal loops.

There are no coincidences inside this “Betón Brut” building. Alfaro crafts in every corner fullness states, where people can contemplate loneliness and satisfaction at the same moment.

Everything’s adapted into a potential mood that makes one think “this must be the place”.

♪♫ Listen: “He is a young scientist” + album stream

Blau Grisenc on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Dylan Thomas. <BR>“Suceso en la Plaza”

Dylan Thomas.
“Suceso en la Plaza”

As a newcomer shoegaze & dreampop wave arrives over Costa Rica’s local scene, Dylan Thomas. still shines as one of the most prominent little weirdo bands which can explode anytime until it becomes the next greatest cord-guided band of Central America. If you may doubt of it, ask Burger Records about the band (the lo-fi label just added San José’s quintet to it’s roster later in 2017).

Along 13 minutes, Dylan Thomas made their first official effort, as an EP, blasting over nihilist themes surrounded by echoing riffs and teen angst.

“Suceso en la Plaza”’s title may be confusing. Although the band have kept a mystic line over their musical process (Dylan Thomas, positive or tragical events on parks or even referring about Yo La Tengo’s Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House), the indie-rock quintet gleams as one project to keep an eye on and don’t fuck with.

♪♫ Listen: “Últimos Días” + album stream

Dylan Thomas. on Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud.

Mar Negro <BR>“Verano 2017”

Mar Negro
“Verano 2017”

In here you can find one of the most fascinating revelations on Costa Rica during the last months. Mar Negro have two words and two members. Put them in one sentence and you’ll get to know your new favorite emo-punk band.

In company of raw screams and dense layers produced by crushing cords and drums, Mar Negro suggests a sense of waking up after fatile nightmares. Verano 2017 tastes like pain and joy or even better -and auto described by the duo- as “queer notes for the heart”.

♪♫ Listen: “Fracturas” + album stream

Mar Negro on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Orquídea <BR>“El Mar de los Sargazos”

“El Mar de los Sargazos”

After some years of experimenting as a musical platform for different local musicians who can collaborate with themselves, Orquídea developed -at last- a solid lineup of members, who configured an intimate album formed by mystic and powerful chord assmbled of rock bases.

“El Mar de los Sargazos” surrounds one’s concerns by recomforting it with echoes and chords erupting inside the nature.

♪♫ Listen: “Alta Magia” + album stream

Orquídea on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Pink Matter Dark Noise <BR>“Juegos Ambiguos Vol. 1”

Pink Matter Dark Noise
“Juegos Ambiguos Vol. 1”

In his attempt on gathering Costa Rica’s newest electronic music made by women, Ronald Bustamante manufactures the first volume of “Juegos Ambiguos”. In his record label, Pink Matter Dark Noise, Juegos Ambiguos shines due to the diversity held by the five producers, composer and singers.

Just consider this lineup: Bengalas and her engaging bubblegum techno, Mimus with her sweetest synthpop, Voodoo Lily’s atmospheric and glammed dance virtues, Blau Grisenc’s minimalism and finally, Rompiste Mis Flores brutal pop arsenal.

Juegos Ambiguos may be the best effort to reunite a female voice (even theres a considerable instrumental doses) broaden and diversified from different spaces.

♪♫ Listen: “Difícil de explicar” + album stream

Pink Matter Dark Noise on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Postestética antinihilista internacional <BR>“no quiero ser parte de esto”

Postestética antinihilista internacional
“no quiero ser parte de esto”

Bring it on. Name another Costa Rican band with a better name than “postestética antinihilista internacional (traduced as “international anti-nihilist post-aesthetic”). Isn’t one of the best names someone has given to its musical alter ego?

Ok, “no quiero ser parte de esto”, aint an album. Anyway, the assembled courage from its narrative, supported aside by many other releases by this ambient-drone-experimental project (such as “arte”, “dióxido de carbono y besos” or “sin título”) during 2017, shows up as a mirror of an empty and surrendered generation which is constantly looking for likes, influencers or mediatic feelings. This is the way insatisfaction and hidden dreams may sound like.

Want to know how anxiety sounds like? Just play some Postestética antinihilista internacional. So beautiful, it makes you cry.

♪♫ Listen: “gimnasia durante auschwitz” + album stream

Postestética antinihilista internacional on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Raido <BR>“Automatic EP 3”

“Automatic EP 3”

By this time, Giancarlo Renzi – mastermind behind Raido – still one of the most interesting and yet, well positioned electronic artists on the tico scene. With his specific lo-fi techno signature, and during 9 EPs, Raido have shaped new versions of the electronic conception.

His “Automatic EP 3” knows how to bump ears, exalting with upbeat scenes that recreates joyful in every second. As a volatility soundtrack, this album can be adapted in any mood; in fact, is there an specific place that must be called a “dancefloor”?

Apparently, Raido’s journey have expanded beyond what his initial visions were rooted, three years ago. Yeah, Renzi became ,finally, with his latest releases an unstoppable monster of electronic and hip-hop bangers.

♪♫ Listen: “Adore” + album stream

Raido on Facebook, Bandcamp, Soundcloud.

Rompiste Mis Flores “Alegres y Violentos Ritmos Sangrientos”

Rompiste Mis Flores “Alegres y Violentos Ritmos Sangrientos”

Once again, Rompiste Mis Flores makes it to Beehype’s best of the year. With a bunch of hits under her “Alegres y Violentos Ritmos Sangrientos” Coco Nut Chan creates a new world from her position of a synthpop witch who crafts in every song, magical tunes of existentialism, heartbreakers and frenzied episodes.

You need another advice? Dont think it twice.

♪♫ Listen: “Stretto & Intensive Care” + album stream

Rompiste Mis Flores on Facebook, Bandcamp, Soundcloud.



Who said latin is an extinct language? Who said latin cant be orchestrated under loops or even synthwave?! If there’s any chance you want to get answers on it, ask TVMVLVS TABIDVS, who combines atmospheric beats with latin into “SPVRCA ET SAEVA ET NEFASTA MVSICA (dirty, violent and disastrous music)”.

Arranged as a trio were Marias’s voice guides the spells by Vittorio’s keyboard and Isaac’s guitar cords, TVMLVS TABIDVS breaks any dead-like notions and transforms it into something magical or carnal. The journey around “Sex” manages some global perceptions about death inside a synth/darkwave scenario were dying can’t be related to “horror”.

Memento mori, so you better dance.

♪♫ Listen: “MALLEVS PISTRIX” + album stream

TVMVLVS TABIDVS on Facebook, Bandcamp.