World Music Album of the Year 2018

Battle of Santiago

La Migra

Category:

World Music Album of the Year

Year:

2018

Label:

Independent

Toronto-based group Battle of Santiago combines classic Afro-Cuban rhythms and vocals with a distinctly Canadian post-rock spirit and sensibility.

While Canada is well-known for its thriving indie rock and electronic scenes, the country is seldom thought of as a Latin music hotbed. But Toronto hosts many thriving immigrant communities — including one of the largest Cuban expat communities in North America — and Battle of Santiago is strongly rooted in the city’s wealth of Cuban musical talent.

The band’s release La Migra dives deep into Afro-Cuban waters, mixing Afro-Cuban Yoruba chants with subtle electronica and rumbas with post-rock experimentalism. The sound is more than just Radiohead meets a Latin Fela Kuti, there’s some cumbia tinged with dub anthemic Latin rock and even the smooth funk.