Tuesday, February 9, 2010
THANKS TO MY FRIENDS AT NACIONAL RECORDS
Though electronic cumbia from Argentina has been getting a lot of hype thanks to the Zizek Urban Beats Club, the fiercely rhythmic style—which has been adopted all over South and Central America—is of Colombian origin, and I don't think I've heard anyone push it into electronic territory with more vitality than Bomba Estéreo.
The project began in 2005 as a one-man studio effort by producer and guitarist Simon Mejia, but the addition of remarkable singer Liliana Saumet has transformed it into something special. The colorful galloping grooves are spiked with doses of hip-hop, dub, and champeta (the dominant Afro-Colombian style), and Mejia manipulates his guitar to produce an alternating mix of viscous textures and rhythmic reinforcement; Saumet's vocals hold everything together, preventing Bomba Estéreo from sounding like yet another combo wanly mixing tropical styles with club beats. She has a forceful, full-throated attack; she can rap with rhythmic ingenuity, nonchalantly juggling American hip-hop, reggaeton, and dancehall, but she can also sing passionately, nailing melodies with impressive pitch control and emotional snap.
BOMBA ESTEREO - TAMBORA