10 Best Latin Albums of 2016

Helado Negro, Alex Anwandter and more of the year's best from Latinx artists

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Systema Solar, 'Systema Solar'
10
3/10

3. Systema Solar, 'Systema Solar'

The galvanizing debut from this fiery pack of tropical-loving space cadets, released in 2010, displayed an urgency and compassion for the hardships of marginalized earthlings. This year, that LP got a colorful makeover in the hands of Nacional Records, adding a new sense of indignation for all of 2016's abominations. Bellwethers for bringing socio-political resistance via Afro-Caribbean-style street parties, Systema Solar get right into hypnosis in the cumbia-trance "Bienvenidos." Boasting spellbinding accordions in Colombian picó fashion with a hip-hop spin, it starts with a physical declaration ("Si no te dieron visa, no te escaparás"), then offers a mental alternative ("Hazte lo que quieras, liberas, que esperas"). They flaunt funky turntablism over whirling pan flutes in the bombastic "Yo Voy Ganao," declare their love for "Mi Kolombia" through vintage vallenato rhythms, and lyrically shatter borders via their champeta-tinged new track "Tumbamurallas." Vibrant and demanding, the Colombian psychedelic soundsystem champions the causes of immigrants and POC while commanding bystanders to get rowdy on the dance floor. I.R.

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