Led by guitarist and producer Jacob Plasse and featuring members of the Daptones rhythm section, Los Hacheros and the Pedrito Martinez Group, Peliroja, is a New York-based collective that’s inspired by the sounds of Ethiopia, the Domnican Republic, Cuba and the Congo. And they do so in in a similar fashion to Henry Cole and the Afrobeat Collective‘s Roots Before Branches – in other words, the material manages to make a vital connection across the African Diaspora through tight percussive-led grooves. 

Whereas “Injusticia,” the first single and album title track of their forthcoming debut, injustice possessed a groove that contained elements of salsa and Afrobeat, their latest single (and video) “Situacionces” is straightforward salsa – and as a native New Yorker, it’s a very New York sound as it brings to mind the neighborhoods of Corona, Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst, Spanish Harlem, the South Bronx, Williamsburg, Washington Heights and others. 

Fittingly, the official video was shot on Orchard Beach in the Bronx and in Washington Heights and captures the various street life scenes and its subjects with an empathetic understanding of their essential dignity and decency – and holy shit, it’s so very New York. In my wanderings, i’ve been  around these souls in bars, clubs, music venues, trains and god knows where else.