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Carlos Reyes has been blogging since he was 14. Exactly two years after his family migrated from Mexico to Phoenix, Arizona. There’s nothing coincidental about this — coming to America was an exercise in profound dislocation and loneliness. Blogging was his way forward.
Club Fonograma, the music site he founded six years ago, has become a digital mecca for Latino hipsters, Anglo hispanophiles, and music lovers. The blog features music exclusively in Spanish, but all reviews are written in English. In that way, his creative effort closely parallels his own life: half spent in Mexico, half in the United States.
It’s been ages since Club Fonograma released a new compilation. The site’s mixtapes are widely loved and distributed. The Covers Mixtape, released in 2010, was downloaded 80,000 times.
Papasquiaro, as in Santiago de Papasquiaro — the name of Reyes’s hometown in Mexico — dropped on June 9. It’s composed entirely of new tracks by some of Latin America’s most experimental artists. Chilean pop prince Gepe recorded a 50-second song on his iPhone as a favor to the music site. The Mexican group Capullo threw down an upbeat masterpiece called “Orientación Vocacional.”
All of the tracks may be new, but something suggests that this mix is about nostalgia for a lost past, as if Reyes were asking his followers: What if I had never left Mexico?