As New York enters October and actual, no-actually-this-is-it Fall, I’m already looking ahead at next summer. Ghetto Kumbé is partly to blame, with its upbeat grooves and its insistence to enjoy life and get up and dance. Soy Selva is out October 16th.
“Ghetto Kumbé is a three-man Afro-Colombian band fusing the Afro-Caribbean roots of Colombia with the hypnotic power of African house beats.
“Soy Selva” (translated as “I’m Jungle”), produced with London native producer The Busy Twist, is about the ancient people of Colombia, their traditions, their relations with mother nature, universal respect and ritual dancing. With the additional featuring of Ghanaian singer Zongo Abongo on “Dagbani Dance”, things have definitely come full circle for this new EP, involving three continents in this innovative musical adventure.”
Meridian Brothers: “Futuristic Tropicalism” from Colombia
At first, Meridian Brothers’ psych-folk might sound kitschy and novel, especially to someone unfamiliar with one of Bogotá’s most beloved avant-garde acts. Perhaps as kitschy and novel as the album cover shown above. But there’s an urgency throughout the excellent ¿Dónde Estás María? – listen closely and you’ll hear the same fuzzy, driving grooves that you hear in your favorite Vampire Weekend songs. It might be weird, but you can’t say it’s lazy or not well written. And this band has been doing tropicalia longer, and better, than any late ’00s indie band still trying to be relevant.
¿Dónde Estás María? will be released on September 8th.
“The boundary-pushing Colombian group returns to Soundway Records with another unique album: dreamy psych-folk, blending traditional Latin rock with tropicalia, and lush string and choral arrangements.
Meridian Brothers’ sound is a huge palette of influences and inspirations. Drawing from traditional Latin rock (including Colombian, Argentinian and Mexican) as well as Brazilian tropicalia, for this album Alvarez incorporates string instruments – in particular the cello, both bowed and plucked – a timbre rarely used in his previous works.”
Quantic: the renowned British producer teams up with Nidia Góngora to showcase Colombian folk.
Will Holland, the man behind the name, is a British producer now based in Brooklyn, NY who specializes in finding and sharing world dance music. The latest release is ‘Curao,’ a collaboration between Holland and Colombian folklore singer Nidia Góngora.
“The culmination of a creative partnership that has been sparking for the best part of a decade, ‘Curao’ is the full LP from [the] world-renowned British producer and Colombian folklore singer Nidia Góngora. Out 12th May, the record brings a new and highly original interpretation of the unique, rich and mystical musical traditions of the Colombian Pacific Coast.”
Santa Martha’s El Otro Grupo (The Other Group) is making the best music that 2007 Radiohead isn’t making anymore. The music video for “Fragmento” (“Fragment”) is as bleak and dreamy as In Rainbows, with fluttering guitar riffs gliding along soaring vocals under a rock drummer’s impression of trip-hop as we travel backwards in time to remove all the slime and glitter off that dude.
According to Beehype, “Fragmento” is the second single off the Colombian trio’s upcoming second record. Stay tuned for new music, and make sure to check out all their past music on SoundCloud.
Colombia’s System Solar is a musical-visual collective that makes music as vibrant and fun as those sweet Tron outfits, and “Rumbera” is the Latin American groove I needed to get myself ready for the Olympics.
The collective takes Afro-Caribbean vibes and blends it with hip-hop, house, and techno to create a sound that’s best heard on stage – the group’s self-described sound is called “Berbenautika,” which is a fusion of Pikos (sound systems) and Verbena (festival). It makes sense then that the band has made its name in America during its appearances at SXSW- if you go next year, make sure to check them out.
The group’s new album should be released sometime this year.
Animales Blancos (White Animals) is a Bogotá collective that puts Spanish poems to experimental Salsa Erótica, the more sexually frank offshoot of the U.S. friendly version of salsa music, Salsa Romántica. The group maintains a genreless description, but you can hear the soft variation of salsa music growing as layers of distortion and voices build on top of a steady rhythm. It’s a compelling listen, even if you can’t understand what anyone is saying.
“El Aguijón,” off the La Vaca (The Cow) EP, is a mush of Colombian folk, distorted electronic and acoustic sounds, and animal noises. Trust me, it’s actually quite pleasant.
Latin Grammy-nominated Colombian singer Mónica Giraldo makes a point to take her traditional Latin-folk influences and refresh them to sound uniquely modern. It’s an approach that’s similar to Jenny Lewis’s Americana tastes and the works of Billy Bragg and Wilco on the Woody Guthrie-inspired MermaidAvenue, and Giraldo’s voice and songwriting is just as enjoyable as those artists.Check out her latest album, 2014’s Que Venga la Vida, available on Spotify.