Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chancha via Circuito - Rodante

Chancha via Circuito - "Cumbia Murguera" (from Rodante 2008)

If there was one person responsible for my buying into the cumbia hype this year, I would hold Pedro down in Buenos Aires responsible. Right as my obsession with the slow stomp was really taking off, the ZZK guys came to Portland and played a show to pretty much just me and anyone I dragged to Berbati's Pan. Even with nobody out on the dancefloor when I arrived, mr Chancha via Circuito was out there cutting up a rug by himself. When his own song (and probably the track I listened to the most in 2008) "Cumbia Murguera" came on, the venue didn't seem as empty. There were only about ten people moving their feet, one of them being me and the other was the man himself. We were both equally psyched on it, and while my rusty spanish didn't help out our conversation, he was cool enough to give me some CDs. His name has something to do with a train, and the music is a steam engine fueled by peoyte. While this album would be considered a cumbia record, the range of sounds and influences go much farther than South America. This only makes sense as the origins of cumbia themselves are rooted in three different continents. While still retaining the slow clave rhythms, some tracks act as a dancehall riddim while others remind of the Muslim rule of the Iberian Peninsula. The album reads naratively without sacrificing any elements of ass shaking commonly found in villera band Damas Gratis but without the long mullets. The weed leaf painted synths are definitely still here however, and this album along with The Fauna and El Remolon records continues the ZZK tradition of being sequenced to play like a psychedelic experience. One of my very favorite records of the year that makes me excited to hear what comes out of Buenos Aires next. The album can be grabbed here along with a bunch of awesome free mixtapes.

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