- Cumbiasound (Sweden) releases “La Máquina”, a new frontier of analogue sounding
cumbia. This is an exercise of Tropicanibalism that explores the fusion of cumbia with
Colombian Palenque rhythms from the 70’s, the chants of the Congolese diaspora and a
street attitude that reminds us of the Beastie Boys.
Cumbiasound is the best kept secret of the internationalist cumbia
scene as well as the new Tropicanibalista movement.
This Swedish band led by Daniel Fridell is part of a community of artists that include
Frente Cumbiero, Malphino y Sonido Gallo Negro, who are known for exploring the
outmost frontiers to which cumbia can arrive without losing its analogue roots sound.
About 8 years ago Cumbiasound became a cult classic within the Latin Alternative scene
with their EP “Calzones Largos” for Caballito Netlabel. After spending some years dormand,
in 2020 the band returned to the spotlight with “Cosas del Universo”, a very successful LP
where the instrumental sound of the band takes a new life by relying heavily on the vocal
performances of Boogie Castillo and Lis Flores Varela from Chile, as well as Congolese
José Pereelanga. Thanks to this work, the band managed to debut themselves on streamingplatforms with more than 50k monthly listeners and to become a recurrent feature at playlists
of global Latin sounds such as Vibra Tropical or Folk Fabrique, amongst others.
This May of 2021, Cumbiasound delivers “La Maquina”, 5 songs that take us from the vibrant
traditional Colombian cumbia and the colorful Palenque, to the charming sound of cumbia
rebajada, and there it connects with a stronger african sound which also features lyrics in
Lingala dialect (Congo). Vocalists Lis Flores Varela, Boogie Castillo and José Pèreelanga tell
us stories about love, witchcraft and revolution, leaving us with a sense of liberation, a well
needed musical vacation during these trying times.
Producer Daniel Fridell wanted to dig even deeper into the different sounds of Cumbia on La
Maquina, pitching all instruments down for that “rebajada” sound on “La Bruja” and “Cumbia
Enamorada”, going all in on the Afrobeat/Joropo on “Voici” and Erik Axelssons trombone is
takin us for a spin in space on “O.V.N.I”, an accelerated cumbia that reaches the same sort
of cumbia futurism you would expects from acts such as Frente Cumbiero or Puerto
Cumbiasound is made up by the Swedish producer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Fridell,
and the vocalists Lis Flores Varela and Boogie Castillo (Chile), who are now a central part of
the project. Fridell and Castillo have worked together since the mid 90’s, whilst Varela joined
the band for “Cosas Del Universo” in 2020. Additionally, congolese singer José Pereelanga
has also become part of the band. He featured on a track on the previous EP, but on “La
Máquina”, Pereelanga also gets a central role, sharing his stories in his native tongue
Lingala, as well as French, to bring even more diversity to the music.
If you enjoyed any of the previous releases of Cumbiasound, you will feel right at home on
this slightly more serious EP.