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An Alt.Latino New Year's Eve Playlist

Elastic Bond's Andrés Ponce and Sofy Encanto.
Courtesy of the artist
Elastic Bond's Andrés Ponce and Sofy Encanto.

To help get you in the mood for New Year's Eve festivities, Weekend Edition guest host Lauren Frayer asked Alt.Latino host Felix Contreras to share some new Latin music released this year fit for dancing into 2018. From Tokyo to Miami to Venezuela and more, Contreras highlights music that he believes satisfies the "insatiable quest" for undiscovered sounds that can carry party goers into the new year.

"The sonic landscape is so vast. There are so many different styles and culture references," Contreras says. "I'm always looking for, 'Okay, what's going to surprise me? What's going to be new?' And every now and then a band comes along and completely blows my mind."

Check out the songs for every stage of a New Year's Eve party — from the first pop of bubbly to the midnight kiss — below and hear the full conversation at the audio link.

The Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, "World Rude Connection"

"Ska is really big in the Latin Americas from the early '90s. A lot of the really big Latin rock bands took ska as their base. These guys have been around almost 30 years and they're favorites going back that long. ... Everything's uptempo and it's a great way to get the party started."

Elastic Bond, "Eclipse Total"

"Their self-described thing is psychedelic tropical soul. ... It's big band, '70s funk, soul, just this nice groove that goes way back and updating it in a really cool way."

La Vide Bohème, "Lejos"

"He's lost in his life. He's struggling. He's trying to figure out what's going on all around him within society. This band, I think, is one of the best examples of artistic expression of going on around them in Venezuela even though they're based in [America]."

Jungle Fire, "Cumbia de Sal"

"This is a song [Jungle Fire] picked up while traveling in Colombia. ... It's a little subdued so we can send people home dancing, but they still gotta go home."

Radio producer Peter Breslow contributed to this story.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.
Lauren Frayer covers India for NPR News. In June 2018, she opened a new NPR bureau in India's biggest city, its financial center, and the heart of Bollywood—Mumbai.