It’s been 10 years since we heard from Domincan artist-author Rita Indiana, but she returns this week with a new album titled Mandinga Times, which is described as “Dembow Meets Black Sabbath Dark-Metal And Manic Merengue Meets Traditional Gagá.” If that description leaves you feeling curious but still mostly in the dark, don’t worry; the album is generously supported by a three-part performance video called “After School,” an indictment of the state of education in Indiana’s homeland of the DR and in her adopted home of Puerto Rico, and the disparity in access to education that girls all over the world face today.
The artist-released album was produced by Eduardo Cabra of the group Calle 13 and features the special guests Kiko El Crazy and MIMA, all three of whom appear in the video above.
An ominous fuzzed-out guitar seems to stalk behind these melodies, and the live setting really lets the interplay between bolero and New Wave goth shine on "Pa Ayotzinapa," the first song. The final song is the album's title track, a pleading reminder that whatever problems we have, they are unfolding on a planet that cannot afford to be ignored any longer.
“Mandinga Times is an album about the end times,” Rita Indiana says via press release. “I like to call it a songbook for the end of the world.”