Last month, you may recall that I wrote about renowned Peruvian cumbia septet Bareto, an act that over the course of their decade together have released five full-length albums that have firmly established the band’s reputation for relentless experimentation and for pushing the sonic bounradies of what cumbia can and should sound like. The septet’s fifth and latest full-length effort, Impredecible saw its Stateside release last month and the effort continued to cement their reputation for experimenting with their sound as the album’s material reportedly possesses elements of tropicalia, electronica, cumbia and traditional Afro-Peruvian music — and as a result, has the band jointing a growing list of “bandas tropicales.” Additionally, the album finds the band collaborating with Susana Baca, one of Peru’s most beloved vocalists and Novalima’s cajon player, Cotito.
Impredecible‘s first single was the slow-burning yet buoyant single “El impredecible,” a single consisting of a languorous and looping guitar lines that Peruvian cumbia is known for and a propulsive backbeat — and yet interestingly enough, the song also managed to pair ethereal electronics, warm blasts of horns and earnest vocals n a song that felt and sounded traditional and yet absolutely contemporary. The album’s latest single “La Pantalla,” will further cement the Peruvian septet’s reputation for pushing the sonic boundaries of cumbia as a looping guitar line played through gentle amounts of reverb are paired with soaring organ, electronic bleeps and bloops, an infectious hook with call-and-response vocals — and as a result, the song possesses a subtly psychedelic and cosmic feel. And along with that, the band manages to play with a coolly swaggering, self-assuredness.
The recently released music video is a rather satirical take on Peruvian TV shows, featuring shows hosted by grotesque talking heads, violent and absurd situations, spliced with footage of the band performing the show on a shitty late night talk show and footage of dancers splashing, sloshing and getting even filthier in the mud; in fact they get so filthy that they manage to spread their filth on to a nearby child.