A couple of years ago i got bit by the cumbia bug, and I don’t think I’m alone because there has been recent growing interest its rhythms and its Colombian roots as well. My interest may have really sparked from a crossover hit by Monterrey’s Celso Pina with his song “Cumbia Sobre El Rio “; a song that even found its way on to the soundtrack of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s film Babel. Regardless of when my interest started, for many cumbia is still going strong, just look at Mexico and you’ll see that cumbia and its Mexican hybrids has been shaking up dance floors there since the 50’s. Recently though both producers and djs have turned to Colombia as another depot of insanely hot afro rhythms and grooves. The UK dj/producer Quantic has even made Colombia his second home and musical base for his upcoming studio projects and in Argentina the electro cumbia has exploded much in part to groups like Bersa discos and others like it.
In the roots department, which is the area I’m most excited about, there’s of course been great compilations that have opened up the deep vaults of Colombia’s most famous label, Discos Fuentes. On top of that, the Colombian afro latin explosion doesn’t look to be waning with several upcoming reissues that are sure to make this summer well stocked with cumbia rhythms. Vampi Soul is set to put out a 3LP set that looks excellent as well as another comp exploring the music’s influence on rest of the continent, Analog Africa is taking a break from West Africa and turning its eye to Colombia as well through a comp of music by Colombian accordionist Anibal Velasquez, as well as Soundway is putting out two compilations including a followup to its Colombia! compilation.
So to spread a little of that cumbia bug, here’s a non stop mix of Colombian cumbias, porros, and gaitas mostly drawn from some records i’ve been picking up from the Fuentes label, along with a track or two from artists from neighboring Venuezuela. Most of the selections embody sounds that drew me to the cumbia in the first place, that pulsating rhythmic bassline, or as Charli puts “Cumbia con bass”, plus that hypnotic accordion playing, that bouncing beat all come together for the perfect formula to dance to. So enjoy the coombia!!! and stay posted as there more to come in the upcoming months as well. EB
Combo Sampuesano- La Bacana
Billo y su Ritmo- Yolanda
Los Satelites- Mi Plena
Luiz Perez- La Morena Encarnacion
Andres Landero y su conjunto- Cumbia en la india
Orquesta Curro- Mochila no mas
Cesar Castro- Cumbia Sambranera
Los Satelites- Que Sera
Nafar Duran y su conjunto- A Orillas del Magdalena
C. Pompeyo- Gaita Colombiana
Lito Barrientos- Cumbia en do menor
Also, here’s an excellent and fascinating article on the history of the cumbia in Colombia.
And for shits and giggles check this out.