ZZK Records out of Buenos Aires, Argentina have just released 3 full albums from some of their artists that they featured on their debut compilation CD, Digital Cumbia Vol. 1. The first comes from Fauna, a group that consists of two bassists/producers, Federico Rodríguez and Cristian Del Negro, better known as Catar_sys and Color Kit. Their debut, La Manita de Fauna (Fauna’s Little Hand) is a mixture of Cumbia Villera, Dancehall and Reggaeton. Their Ragga vocals not only remind me of the Cumbia Villera groups, but of other Latin Alternative staples such as Todos Tus Muertos, El Gran Silencio and Sonido Nacional. That’s not a criticism of Fauna, it just seems that they have traveled the same route as those groups mentioned above in order to get where they are today.
Track of note: "El Zombie (with Princesa)"
Another ZZK release is from Chancha Vía Circuito, entitled Rodante. This group epitomizes the Digital Cumbia flavor. They use the güiro and various percussion instruments synonymous with traditional Cumbia and mix it with Dub and minimalist techno. Sometimes it’s reinterpretations of Colombian Cumbia; other times it’s Cumbia Villera out of the ghettos and back into the lab. It is as smart as it is danceable. For that reason, Rodante is slowly becoming one of my favorite releases of the year.
Track of Note: "Pachamama (with Poeta Inka)"
Coming soon will be El Remolón with Pibe Cosmo. El Remolon's prior release, Cumbia Bichera, was a excersise of their minimalist techno skills over their Cumbia skils. However on this release, Pablo Lescano from Damas Gratis (with keytar in tow) makes an appearance, which should shift the balance a little more to the Cumbia side.