[Editor’s Note: this is the second of six playlist posts collected in our Island Music series, which shares some of the Spanish and Latin music playlists we’ve created for our Panama resort, with a little context about the artists and styles featured in each.]
Our previous playlist featured Latin music artists (half of them members of the beloved Buena Vista Social Club) whose traditional arrangements and instruments allow guests of our Panama resort to experience authentic Latin culture through music while dining at Edén, where the dishes provide a similar experience through taste. This playlist highlights a few artists who work with Latin music traditions more freely, using the traditional music of Latin America as a foundation for fresh and innovative sounds, or incorporating new instrumentation within the context of traditional arrangements. This is not unlike our modus operandi at Edén, where we use traditional Panamanian food as a base and experiment with different methods of preparation and new ingredients.
As with “Los Tradicionalistas,” this playlist starts with the Buena Vista Social Club, who – truth be told – tends to stretch traditional music, even if just a bit. We continue to segue from traditional music into more innovative styles via two tracks from Quantic, the nom de musique of Will Holland, an English bloke who has been living in Colombia for some five years now. The first, “Mambo Las Quantic”, is indeed pretty traditional, but the second is a nice amalgam, with a spoken rap that ends in a great punchline.
Up, Bustle & Out delivers some crunchy dubbed-out Cuban beats, which Gotan Project answers with slicker percussion that pulses beneath the rapturous strings of a traditional Argentinian tango. Novalima and Sidestepper, two Colombian bands, show what can happen when electronics meet their country’s musical vernaculars, and Cucu Diamantes, sometimes member of fusion band Yerba Buena, provides a slightly twisted take on an imaginary Cuban cabaret.
Finishing off the set is the Talking Heads’ own David Byrne, who has spent the last two decades discovering and promoting Latin American and other world music, from his first solo record, a foray into Latin American music. Even as the range of musicians and styles represented expands outward from those native to Latin America, the sounds provide fitting accompaniment for the food and drink served at Edén. Sit back and sip a classic Latin cocktail to the softer sounds of Sidestepper with their occasional flare of horns, or let “Concheperla”’s champing percussion punctuate your first taste of the pungent culantro herb that seasons your sancocho… you’ll soon see what I mean.
[Login to your Spotify account (or join — it’s free!) to listen to the playlist. Songs featured in the island music playlists can be purchased in Amazon’s or Apple’s online stores:]