2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Graphic by Daman Singh

CJSW’s Empanadas Ilegales live radio set for Sled Island showcased the diversity in Latin cultures

By Reyam Jamaleddine, June 25 2023—

Vancouver-based Empanadas Ilegales is a Latin experimental musical band. They dub themselves Empanadas because there are a diverse amount of Empanadas, equally to the different types of Latin cultures. As I was listening to them talk about their music I can recall them listing Colombian, Brazilian and Peruvian inspirations and roots for cultivating their indie-Latin beats. 

CJSW featured this band live in the studio as part of their Speaking in Tongues show. They are here in Calgary for Sled Island and will be performing at the Royal Canadian Legion at 11 p.m. Saturday, June 24. 

Their music does not fit one specific genre, and each song is intended to be different than the other. Listening to this set was like experiencing all the different instruments and discovering all the manners in which they can be played. Each song’s contradiction to the other somehow complemented and fit together perfectly. 

The first song played on this set was called Batidora 3 in 1. Batidora in Espanol means blender — this song was seriously like listening to three songs blended together. It started out with an eerie, horror movie vibe, which makes sense because later on when I searched for their album on Spotify the album is called Creepy Mambo, so they hit it right on the nose. The song crept into a rhythmic combination of several instruments that all played completely differently, yet somehow fit together perfectly. (Insert bug emojis moving up and down here). 

The second track, easily my favourite of the set that they played, is called Tobogan. It is a salsa track that is inspired by and a rendition of an old Peruvian track. I, unfortunately, did not catch the name of the song or the artist of the Peruvian song because it was spoken in Spanish. The song features the saxophone which creates a smooth yet exhilarating song, something to chill to or get up and start.

They continued playing three more songs, the fourth one being La-chee-charra. This song is in the works but it sounded to me like it had already been mastered. The final song they played was La Primera Pachanga en Marte (First big party on Mars). 

Whilst I was tuning into CJSW, I did not think I would have really enjoyed listening to this genre of music because it is not what I am accustomed to. I was humbly surprised that I stayed along for the entire set and did not feel disinterested or bored for even one second.

This band truly understands how to keep an audience intrigued as each song is a journey of its own, with no reiterations or repetitiveness. It gave salsa, it gave chill, it gave jazzy. Their radio show was a masterpiece within multiple masterpieces. 

To learn more about CJSW, visit their website.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet