Image courtesy of The Noguchi Museum
Free admission (all visitors, all hours)
Bang on a Can and The Noguchi Museum conclude their 2019 monthly summer concert series with Balún, a self-proclaimed “dreambow” ensemble whose members hail from Puerto Rico. This evening performance is included as part of Free First Friday, when Museum admission is free all day with extended hours until 8pm. The performance takes place in The Noguchi Museum’s outdoor sculpture garden. In case of rain, the concert will move to the galleries.
Balún broke out of the San Juan indie scene a decade ago and has since undergone an odyssey through the industry, academia, and the stateside Puerto Rican experience. Though currently residing in New York City, island culture remains the cornerstone of their forward-thinking, malleable sound. Balún incorporates Caribbean rhythms, old school dembow, glitchy IDM and dreamy dance pop into tunes that are slick and modern but firmly rooted in the traditional sounds of their homeland.
Balún’s long-awaited sophomore album Prisma Tropical focuses an incredibly wide field of genres and influences into a revelatory sound that evokes both of the band’s homes and the distance between them. Heavy doses of tiple, bomba barrel drum, and dembow work alongside loops and layers of shimmering synths to accomplish something explicitly of the island, yet fluent in the language of global pop. Tied together around the magical realism of singer Angélica Negrón’s lyrics, Balún’s deep understanding of reggaeton’s Jamaican dancehall roots has transformed their shoegaze pop into “dreambow.”
Prisma Tropical was released July 20, 2018 (Goodchild Music) and premiered on NPR’s First Listen. Their single “La Nueva Ciudad” premiered on Remezcla and was Spotify Latino’s Song of the Day, breaking into the Viral Charts globally and in eight countries including Spain, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina. Prisma Tropical was one of NPR’s Top 50 Albums of 2018; placed No. 4 in Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Latin Albums of 2018; and The New York Times named the single “Años Atrás” one of the “Best 65 Songs of 2018”.