Nacional Records recording artist and Chilean mix master Latin Bitman recently released his follow up album to his critically acclaimed debut entitled Colour. Multi-lingual, upbeat and funky, Colour feels too summery to be a fall record. None the less, it may just be what you need to warm up your iPod or morning commute. Every influence of Colour comes from someplace tropical like Puerto Rico, Jamaica or Brazil. What’s cool about Colour is that it is more international club versus being something too world music section, which makes it accessible to broader audiences.
The first track on Colour is the album’s best. “Help Me” is an infectious summer reggae inspired summer jam featuring Chilean songstress Francisca Valenzuela. While Bitman’s beats get you bobbin’ your head, it’s Valenzuela’s voice that makes it memorable.
While “Help Me” may be the best track on Colour, there’s plenty of reason to keep listening. On what may be one of the best hip hop en Español tracks I have heard, “Insomnio” features fellow Chilean rapper Anita Tijoux. Her flow sound very similar to Spanish rapper extraordinaire, Mala Rodriguez. The heavy bass and funky guitar groove are sure to get the Hipspanic (hipster+Hispanic) club goers dancing.
Going back to Fransica Valenzuela, she joins Bitman again for English language, reggae-ska influenced “Someday”. The old school reggae rhythms and brass make me feel like I’m at the Flamingo Cantina in Austin, or any other hole in the wall reggae joint anywhere in the world. As on “Help Me”, Valenzuela’s voice makes the song.
Current Bitman fans may be wondering about whether or not there is any dance or electronica on Colour. It’s not that kind of album. There’s a lot to dance to, a few let downs, but nothing of that persuasion. Latin Alternative and world music lovers will be the ones who embrace Bitman and Colour. If you have never heard of Bitman, now is the time to get familiar and get some Colour in your life.
Check out this brief YouTube sound bit of “Help Me” from the Nacional Records YouTube Channel: