Three very interesting Cumbia vinyl releases are now available at Amoeba. Each one with it different takes on the Latin Music genre that only seems to get stronger as others start to fade into obscurity.
From Peru, we have Los Jharis
, Los Creadors Del Sonido De La Carretera Central
, out on Masstropica Records. These gems by Los Jharis reflect a period in the eighties when Cumbia had the time to travel outside of South America and returned as Sonidero, with its Sound System shout-outs and echo effects that reminds me of the great Jamaican Sound Systems. With this newer element, Los Jharis sound is straight from outer space, with all the Cumbia rhythms and surf twang that one expects from a good Chicha release.
Also included with the LP is a bonus seven-inch of Sensacion Shipibo, playing what they called Masha music, a Peruvian style of Cumbia from Pucallpa, where the Shipibo-Conibo people are located. They are the indigenous people that lived along the Ucayali River in the Amazon rainforest. The two tracks on the seven-inch are in Spanish but usually the group sang in the Shipibo language. Whether intentional or not, listening to this, I can see the connection between early Chicha and the likes of people like Ecuador’s Delfín Quishpe are doing today.
When I play tracks from last years Quantic
Y Los Miticos Del Ritmo, Hip-Hop En Cumbia
during my DJ sets, it still blows some club goers minds. To hear Dr. Dre or Missy Elliot in an authentic traditional Cumbia style is a mini- mindfuck. Some people have asked if perhaps those Hip-Hop artists borrowed those licks from old Cumbia songs! That is a testament on how well England's own Will Holland (Quantic) pulled it off. Here is another collection of traditional Cumbia from Los Miticos Del Ritmo
, this time along with covers of Queen
, Michael Jackson
and The Abyssinians
are some original songs that sound like they could have been made in the Discos Fuentes studios back in the day. The combination of great Colombian musicianship and Holland's vision makes for another club classic. (Not to mention that Holland is becoming a mean accordeon
player himself) This is not another mash-up or remixes of classic Cumbia tracks. Los Miticos Del Ritmo will do for retro-Cumbia what Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
did to revive Soul and Rocksteady.