This morning, we head to Colombia, with a little detour via Cuba and Venezuela. We follow the footsteps of African culture in Latin America, with a colorful selection of musical influences that are both gourmets and generous.
If you’re told Colombia, you expect cumbia right? Yet, this is not what you will find in the following playlist. Instead, we offer you a delicious mix of sounds that gravitate in particular around champeta, this style of music born in the north of the country in the early 70s and which borrows from the Congolese soukous some frenetic percussions, some naughty rhythms and a groove that seems clearly mystical.
Our tour guides for today are the members of La Loma. Their first EP fits precisely into this Afro-Colombian tradition while incorporating touches gleaned here and there, all over the South American continent. They propose to make us discover what inspired them in their creation, and to welcome the time of a playlist, these traveling vibes, which only ask to resonate in new places, new bodies, new areas, new ears.
La Loma’s selection
Irakere - Bacalao con pan
La Loma: “This piece has a very Cuban base in style, but it is this kind of mixture, between African music and Latin music that marked the development of our project. We try to follow this line.“
Abelardo Carbonó y Su Conjunto - La negra kulengue
La Loma: “There is more of a kind of UFO, Abelardo Carbonó has developed something very original and uses further Caribbean music, chámpeta and merengue to mix all that with Afrobeat.“
Frente Cumbiero - ChucuSteady
La Loma: “This track is a more “recent” project which inspired us by the approach and the way of reviving an old repertoire with very original arrangements. They keep this energy that we find in old records from Colombian culture, cumbia, merengue, salsa,… But in addition they inject something new.“
La Loma - El bocón
Anto: “My favorite song from la Loma is “Los Nasa” of which you can find a fantastic live version if you check on youtube. But I wanted a bit of madness in this playlist, and this track is perfectly suited for. From the start we are embarked on a strange race which seems to slow down at one point, to accelerate even more after that, as if to try to sow us on the way.”
La Nelda Piña - El sucusu
Anto: “A pure piece of champeta, found in a collection that I highly recommend if you want to immerse yourself in this style. Sometimes criticized for its lack of depth in the texts, the Champeta is, nevertheless, a formidable vector of an African culture that resonates a lot for many communities of Afro-descendants, both in Colombia, but also within all the countries that bathe in the Caribbean Sea.”
Raul Monsalve y los Forajidos - Cafunga
Anto: “Besides, let’s take the opportunity to make a detour to Venezuela with a piece that has clearly marinated in Afro-beat, not for fashion, but on the contrary to connect with deeper roots. Everything is served by a bass player who has become a must on the modern Latin music scene. For his latest album, he chose to collaborate with los Forajidos, a kind of dream team of Afro-Venezuelan musicians.”
Meridian Brothers, Conjunto Media Luna - Pensando en mi morena
Anto: “And finally we end with the absurd poetry of the Meridian Brothers. Here we take even more freedom in style. It is impossible to pinpoint precisely the influences as they are so many. The music of Meridian Brothers (which are not really brothers FYI) is constantly evolving. When you think you can put it in a box, it escapes on the next measure, as if it wanted at all costs to remain unclassifiable by nature.”
That’s all for this Sunday. If you want to learn more about the Chumpeta, its links with Europe and Africa, we recommend that you read this very informative article (available in French and English).
Thank you to Andres from La Loma and his fellow for this 100% vibrant selection. We meet them in a few months with a new project that we can’t wait to discover.
Thanks also to Nella for her wonderful illustration (and welcome into the crew ;)!
See you next week for new trips!