Music bloggers (including our own) love to denigrate the CMJ Music Marathon, but there is no other event in NYC (and probably the world, since SXSW has become a mainstream feast) that allows music industry and fans to focus their attention on emerging artists. To find and promote new talent, here at The Deli we book a ton of bands for our official CMJ shows and do our own Marathon coverage (which admittedly this year was leaning a little too much in an indie/DIY direction - but hey, our roots blogger let us down a week before CMJ!). But we are also aware that we can't be everywhere to find the best new artists, and this is why we indulge in "Best of CMJ" lists like this one. A big "Thank You" is therefore due to HeyReverb.com for introducing us to Puerto Rican/Brooklyn band Buscabulla (Spanish slang for 'troublemaker'), whose electro/industrial/world/dream/pop debut EP "Kitsuné" is one of the most beautiful and intriguing records to catch our ears in quite some time.
Opening track "Caer" (video streaming) alternates gritty guitar loops with liquid synths, while singer Raquel Berrios' voice charms and soothes with minimal pop melodies sung in Spanish, but that seem to bear some kind of Japanese influence. Metelé is a more traditional electronic, atmospheric ballad reminiscent of Air but still dominated by an Eastern sounding melody, while "Temporal" - the most experimental track in the EP - blends the clanging of a mechanical loop with what sounds like a synchopated, finger piano sample, while distorted guitars swells drive the song through its tension and release cycles. Final track "Sono" - one of the strongest on the record - recycles an idyllic, 60s sounding flute sample and surrounds it with a funky drum pattern and all sorts of distorted and percussive sounds - all very organic sounding - while Raquel indulges in a simple melody that seems inspired by nursery rhymes.
Buscabulla's "Kitsuné," with its incredible array of ethnic influences filtered through a Western musical lens, represents as close as it gets how today's NYC music should sound.