Covert Propaganda (self-released)
Hailing from the culturally diverse hub of South Miami-Dade's Perrine (P-rrine!) comes the hip-hop duo Fiyawater, comprising rhymers Ne'Pom and Spit, with production work by Investigative Reports. Here you have 14 tracks serious on the minimalism flanked by a throwaway intro and outro. The stripped-down feel of the tracks allows the pair to work its flow without distraction while imbuing the album with a little Southern take on early-Nineties hip-hop. Think a little Snoop Dogg sneer and a comfortable blend of jazzy electronics married to some light rock over a nest of appropriate beats. Easy standouts that ought to grace club speakers are "Verbal Handoff," "Ride," and "Quote Dat Fire."
Lily Rubio aims to change my life through her music. While I sit here and wait for the moment to hit me, I'll say the lady can sing her Spanish songs in that Latin rock breathy treatment that female vocalists seem to like so much. Overall, this 10-track album is something like New Wave bolero that suffers from a little too much studio time. Skip over the first three tracks to "Que Sera," which opens
up the album for real with a Santana-circa-Blues-for-Salvador-era style. The back half of the disc flips to English-language songs, the better one being the R&B/hip-hop track "Dreams." Well, changing my life did seem like a tall order anyway. In the meantime, young miss, go to a studio without computers for your next record.
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Indie Unplugged Miami (A-HA! Events)
Indie Unplugged Miami was a nifty little show that went down at the Wallflower Gallery last July and was recorded for posterity. As far as a live recording is concerned, the quality is pretty good. It's not commercially available, so you have to get this South Florida sampler from the players involved, because it was a united effort by the artists to bring the disc to light. (Try their MySpace accounts.) The 17 tracks are split between five outfits: the rightly popular Raffa and Rainer, the like-minded Nacho and Johann, the rocking Alucard, the good vibes of Fitzroy, and the tripped-out sprechgesang rap of the Cornerstoners. Good sampler. Get it.