Best LPs/EPs of 2018
selected by Alejandro Ortiz

Animazules <BR>“Edo  Tensei”

“Edo Tensei”

From a couple of years to the date, Jorge Salazar has constructed a sincere and humble career –out of the spotlight- based on friendships and artistic exchanges. Proof of that, it´s his first ever album: “Edo Tensei”, a futuristic and contemplative work made by electronic canvas.

Described as a “Jutsu that can bring people back to life”, “Edo Tensei” feels like an exploration inside the mind and its ability to coexist with nature, and also, chaos. In his debut, Animazules worked with some of Costa Rica’s most influential and emerging electronic acts, such as Antiguos Jóvenes, MiNDE, Rompiste Mis Flores, Blau Grisenc, Mimus, and others. Unity is a must.

If an extraterrestrial friendship should be musicalized, “Edo Tensei” is definitely the best way to start describing it.

♪♫ Listen: “A b u e l a S a u c e .vga” + album stream

Animazules on Facebook, Instagram.

Continental <BR>“La Marea / Sueño #49 de Luis Chaves”

“La Marea / Sueño #49 de Luis Chaves”

We’re cheating on this pick, but we couldn’t let this single not be part of the chart.

Continental: one of the tico’s indie rock scene most iconic band returns with synth incorporations and their all time existential-colossal lyrics.

What a time to be alive.

♪♫ Listen: “La Marea / Sueño #49 de Luis Chaves

Continental on Spotify.

Cueva <BR>“Días Asilado”

“Días Asilado”

This album tells the story about a lot of youngsters all around the world, but focused in someone whose musical career is taking place in the tico underground. Cueva externalizes the chapters of a guy who wants to set the whole world in fire, through rap and accurate beats. “Días Aislado” is a confession after dealing with isolation and people mocking someone else’s passion. A really enjoyable trip that would make people evaluate their strength and ambition.

♪♫ Listen: “Flaffy” + album stream

Cueva on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Guaro <BR>“El Futuro es Ahora”

“El Futuro es Ahora”

Franco Valenciano (Monte’s drummer and once Las Robertas’ and Zópilot!’s) brought to life his solo project after eight years of mutations and revelations. Under the moniker of Guaro, Valenciano has developed a musical career between Costa Rica and Barcelona (as part of Oso Leone’s outfit). It’s fair to say that his intercontinental creations lead him to a illuminating project where he faces tensions, new colors, forms, and of course, psychedelia.

Named as “El Futuro es Ahora”, this tiny album has all the chances to become an instant classic and the pioneer of a new experimental genre. There is space for doubts, friends and drugs in this album: one of the most visceral and versatile productions we’ve heard in a while. If the future is now…what a promising one.

♪♫ Listen: “Sopa e Muñeco” + album stream

Guaro on Instagram.

Hijos <Br>“Sol Naciente”

“Sol Naciente”

Traduced as a “rising Sun”, the title for Hijo’s sophomore album is the best way to put in words the sound of it. In here, the cords and synths recreates the notion of feeling light and freed. In addition, it feels like going through spell under the lead singer’s (Pablo Rojas) voice and powerful lyrics.

Even there is a constant game on the lyrical composition that approximates psychedelia with pop and can dope the experience; the journey around “Sol Naciente” forces the attention in every detail, sound and word. It is an orchestral homage to life and nostalgia; a reminder that every moment counts, no matter if it is good or a bad one.

Listen: “Sirenas” + album stream

Hijos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Jose Acuña <BR>“Avenida Central Sonora“

Jose Acuña
“Avenida Central Sonora“

You might never imagined playing the sound of the streets in a playlist, but Jose Acuña definitely did.

After an exploration of San José’s sounds, Acuña decided to record and make art from one of the most crowded streets in the city: Avenida Central. In this interesting album, people can come up with revelations and expositions around what banality is, and the way it can become art.

This experimental project spins around drone layers and around what a trader is yelling, a bird´s echo, semaphores, and people laughing or talking. It is the contemplation of a common space, of chaos.

♪♫ Listen: “AC3” + album stream

Avenida Central Sonora on Instagram.

Macha Kiddo <BR>“IN penetrable”

Macha Kiddo
“IN penetrable”

As one of the most exciting new acts in Costa Rica, Macha Kiddo appeared to tell us what needed: feminism and no-fucks given. With some collaborations with remarkable artists in the iberoamerican scene (such as Javier Arce and Kaleema), the tica rapper has crafted a rising career full of empowerment and jubilant tracks.

On “IN Penetrable”, Macha Kiddo shows us why she is ready to explode the coming up days with her brilliant and enjoyable tunes. It is, in fact, a tiny album, but excitement can more than anything after someone listens to it. Other singles like “Jony (La Romi)” and “Dinamita” puts this great singer as one of the promising artists in Central America. There’s room for political music and joy as well in her pieces. Don’t be afraid to play her music.

♪♫ Listen: “Enchilada” (ft. Kaleema) + album stream

Macha Kiddo on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud.

Mntjy <BR>“Angelito”


Taking some of the most important hits in reggaeton nowadays, Mntjy (Juan Mountjoy) is a young producer from San José, aiming to fill everybody’s empty souls in the dancefloor.

In this case, don’t think about the Caribbean and sweaty genre as the one which originally it’s supposed to be; Mntjy blends and distorts the perreo into something more intimate and painful. “Angelito”, the producer´s second mixtape is a cathartic space for millennials, guided by strained beats and voices.

Released by argentine net label I NEED SPONSORS, “Angelito” is a proof of how the urban-genre is stepping into globalization. Sampling some of the most iconic songs –which you can find at global charts- by iconic figures (Natti Natasha, Bad Bunny, Alexis y Fido or Ozuna), Mntjy channels the anxieties around love, lust and being a joven in 2018.

♪♫ Listen: “te llamare” + album stream

Mntjy on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Queridos Edificios <BR>“Contusiones” EP

Queridos Edificios
“Contusiones” EP

Even Costa Rica’s shoegaze scene is one of the most recent and quiet ones among the under culture, Queridos Edificios (alongside Dylan Thomas) is probably the reason why this tiny scene is gaining shape and of course, followers. As a quartet of twenty-years-old, the band’s goal seems to be set on having fun, becoming good, and dealing with adulthood. Their music it’s encapsulated into heavy layers, and nihilistic themes (what would you expect from a band whose devotion it’s rooted on harsh-teenage-spirited projects such as DIIV?).

The quartet’s debut album, speaks us all about existing and being unplugged. Secondary characters, outsiders; expectations and broken dreams. However the landscape is, Queridos Edificios reminds us that it is never too late (or early) to feel and let go. The album speaks to those who fail and besides that, keep looking forward their goals. In “Contusiones”, we constantly found out that, indeed, things could not shine without darkness.

♪♫ Listen: “Personajes Secundarios” + album stream

Queridos Edificiones Facebook, Instagram.

Saint Hypocrisy <BR>“Frailest Angel”

Saint Hypocrisy
“Frailest Angel”

Whenever something marvelous emerges, there is a rush or need for one to immortalize that feeling. When you listen Saint Hypocrisy’s debut album, “Frailest Angel”, that’s what happens.

Even though, it’s powerful and eerie sound, Saint Hypocrisy is not yet a well-known project in Costa Rica. This lo-fi and minimalist project came out of Internet back in 2016, out of Gabriel Varela’s mind: one’s whose vision is rooted on minimalism and darkness simultaneously.

In his debut album, Varela teaches us how lust and fragility can immerse someone into a pool full of loops and hauntings echoes. Furthermore, there is room for anxiety in this album. Also, passion, fear, and dance clashes during 51 minutes. Is it anything better than having an emotional rave on your room now at days? Count on “Frailest Angel” as the best soundtrack for it.

♪♫ Listen: “Kings For A Night” + album stream

Saint Hypocrisy on Soundcloud, Facebook.