I spent the summer doing promotion for iASO Records, a bachata label based in New York, so it feels all too familiar to write a post advertising their music. However, this time I’m not doing it for promotion. The music that really characterized this summer for me was bachata – a Dominican guitar-based genre perhaps best compared to the blues in its history. It began in rural communities and wasn’t accepted until the 1990s, at which point it spread through all Latin America, gaining huge popularity. The biggest names in bachata today are Aventura and Prince Royce, which are both about as interesting to listen to as the latest Backstreet Boys album. Working at iASO was an education on the traditional sound of bachata – a sound which never got much airplay except on one station, Radio Guarachita.