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Latin Roots: Balún

Balún
DNA
/
Courtesy of the artist
Balún

Our Latin Roots series continues with this mini-concert by Balún. The band's style is so textured and musically diverse that it had to come up with its own genre to describe its sound; the members call it "dreambow." It's where shoegaze-pop meets pan-Caribbean identity, with elements of Puerto Rican music and references to the Jamaican dancehall roots of reggaeton.

And this band has chops: The four members of Balún are classically trained musicians. But the band got its start in the D.I.Y. scene in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After touring its debut record, Balún felt the pull of NYC and parked itself in Brooklyn. The band's sophomore album, Prisma Tropical, will come out this winter.

We recorded Balún's outdoor performance on a beautiful sunny day in July at Nuevofest, a Latin music festival that took place in Philadelphia. Balun's live set begins with the song "Teletransporte." Stream the concert in the player above.

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Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.