Chris Alfaro of Free The Robots

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chris alfaro of free the robots

I love a lot of different music, but there are a
few albums
that have stayed in heavy rotation from first listen till now. Here are
some of my personal essential records that I keep close at all times.

Sarolta Zalatnay, Zalatnay

For the longest time I was really into the soft
dreamy side
of female vocals until the first time I heard Zalatnay. The energy of
the band
and Zalatnay’s vocal style complement each other perfectly. It’s straight
70’s hard rock with dirty drums, organ, guitar and bass. It sounds like Can
Shocking Blue had a Hungarian Baby.

Freestyle Fellowship, Innercity Griots

In the spirit of Los Angeles, let’s back-track to
one of the
most important Hip Hop albums of all time, Innercity Griots by the
Fellowship. It definitely has that '93 flavor, but if you listen to this
in its entirety, you’ll feel all sorts of different styles that people
even pull off today. Innovative rhyme techniques with a sense of melody
harmony over dirty beats; Freestyle Fellowship was way ahead of its
time on
this one.

Trap Door, An International Psychedelic Mystery

Compiled and blended by Dis-Joint records (SF). I
came up on
this record on a whim a few years ago, and to this day, I have it in
rotation. It’s a non-stop mix of some of the greatest world Psych/Soul
songs I
have ever heard on one single release. Dirty drums, eerie vocal styles
from all
over the world, haunting melodies…everything I can ask for in one mix.
This is
the only LP I bought 4 times.

CAN, Opener

Can is one of those undeniably great bands. I’ve
listening to them since the days I was b-boying. The super break heavy,
“Vitamin C,” was my intro back then, but when I started collecting their
records is when I got a better understanding of Kraut-Rock. Till this
day their
entire catalog is something that gets me every time. They’re funky,
psychedelic, soulful, dubby, jazzy with the unique vocal style of Damo
You could honestly blindly choose any Can record and its just as good. I
chose The Opener LP just because..

CRASS, Penis Envy

Punk was never meant to break the boundaries of
musicianship. The heart, energy, and message have always been the
force. While some punk bands stand still, CRASS is one band that stands
amongst all. The exclusively female vocal album, Penis Envy, is one of
favorites. Eve Libertine and Joy de Virve took the front line and pulled it
very well. There's something about their voices, and how they connect
over the
music that just works. Angry, spoken word, anarchist, dirty punk at its

Mulatu Astatke, Ethio Jazz

First time I heard Mulatu Astatke was a complete
and total
mind fuck. Everything from the melodic direction, the choice of
and how it was recorded is absolutely perfect. It’s definitely a “close your
eyes and take a minute to breath” type of record; very spiritual energy
Start with “Yekatit” or “Netsanet” and let it just take you. Ethio
a soul of its own.