There’s a whole other territory nestled deep within the heart of Texas…a city within the city of San Antonio. You can try tracking it on your iPhone but chances are that there is no listing for “San Anto.” The street corners are lined with palateras, taquerias, and every variety of mom and pop shop imaginable. This is the setting of Diego Bernal’s story and the source material for his music.
Although Bernal claims San Antonio as his home town, he spent much of his childhood traversing from home to Texas’ Rio Grande Valley to California’s Bay Area. Along the way Bernal soaked up the sounds- from the Latin harmonies of Trio Los Panchos and the R&B of Bill Withers and Joe Bataan to the jazz of Charlie Mingus and McCoy Tyner. It was also the golden era of hip-hop and Bernal soon found himself infatuated with beats and production.
Bernal was born to parents who were educators, activists, and intellectuals-a former migrant farm worker and an education reformer- so it only makes sense that he is now an attorney for a national civil rights organization… oh, and makes some soulful beats on the side when he’s not fighting for justice and equality.
“For Corners” is Diego Bernal’s love letter to the music, cultures, era and people that nurtured him. The music is dusty and layered with Latin soul, from the triumphant blasts of horns to the laid back groove of lowrider melodies. It is a call to return to the simplicity and integrity of hip-hop’s best moment and an invitation to enjoy a slightly different kind of southern comfort. Not so much dirty south as directly south.
For his second outing Bernal returns with “Besides…” On the album, Diego sifts through untapped and long forgotten South Texas crates to create a musical ode to the classic era of hip hop. With “Besides…” we see a more straightforward take on hip hop, but the production has matured and the beats have grown more into full songs.
This release is available as a very limited edition blue 7” 45 vinyl with “A Long Second” and “Blue Neon.” The vinyl also includes a download card for all songs in any format including high MP3 or lossless FLAC.