By Natalya Jones
By County Grind
By Liz Tracy
By Chris Joseph
By Liz Tracy
By Matt Preira
By Jesse Scheckner
By Michael E. Miller
Calle 13 crashed its way into the reggaeton party in 2005, coming seemingly out of nowhere with its hard-hitting eponymous debut. Booty-shaking though it was, the Puerto Rico-based duo´s album offered a much-needed respite from reggaeton´s seemingly nonstop party antics. So it really wasn´t a great shocker when Calle 13 climbed to the top of the Latin Billboard charts, snagged two Latin Grammy Awards, and caught the attention of reggaeton fans tired of the same old beat.
Two years latter, lyricist Residente (AKA Réne Pérez) has a special message for his Miami fan base. ¨Calle 13 is not reggaeton,¨ he says. ¨It should be more evident with our new record that our music aims to be diverse, and that´s what our listeners are looking for: something new and different.¨
That quest for rhythmical diversity led Residente and his half-brother Visitante (AKA Eduardo Cabra) to release Residente o Visitante, one of the most innovative Latin music records of the year. Unlike its predecessor, which mainly fused reggaeton rhythms with hip-hop beats, the sophomore effort reaches out to all of Latin America with traditional instruments clashing against a plethora of mighty, digital breakbeats. Refreshingly, the new album´s guest list reads like a who´s who of the underground Latin music scene: reggaeton king Tego Calderón, Cuban hip-hop mavericks Orishas, and top Spanish rhymer La Mala Rodriguez. The brothers even managed to snatch celebrated Argentine Oscar-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla to collaborate on a new single. The result, ¨Tango del Pecado¨ (¨The Tango of Sin¨), is a dreamlike collage of electronic tango accordion and reggaeton.
Calle 13´s current U.S. tour will bring the group to La Covacha, an intimate venue and, considering the duo´s rising popularity, a great place to catch them before they move on to bigger concert halls. ¨You won´t be disappointed,¨ Residente promises. ¨We may be different, but you are going to like us.