Tag: Bogota Colombia

New Video: Meridian Brothers Release a Dystopian Yet Hopeful New Single

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written quite a bit about Bogota, Colombia-based singer/songwriter, guitarist, Eblis Alvarez, who’s perhaps better known as the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed, forward-thinking cumbia act Meridian Brothers. Now, as you may recall, Meridian Brothers newest album Cumbia Siglo XXI is salted for an August 21, 2020 release through Bongo Joe Records — and the album, which is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the act’s critically applauded (and largely acoustic) ¿Dónde estás María? continues the Colombian artist’s long-held reputation for restlessly pushing his sound and approach in new and radical directions whenever possible. 

Largely inspired by Cumbia Siglo XX’s experimentation with traditional cumbia in the late ’70s and early ’80s, which led to a completely new form of the genre, Cumbia Siglo XXI sees Alvarez using a multitude of guitars, synths, algorithmic software, vintage drum machines and whatever tech that the acclaimed Colombian artist could get his hands on. The end result is material that seemingly draws from Kraftwerk, while blending EDM “sidechain” techniques and traditional cumbia.

I’ve written about two album singles so far: “Puya del Empressario,” an infectious yet let field take on cumbia that sounded a bit like like The Man Machine-era Kraftwerk meets JOVM mainstay El Dusty with a mischievous sense of adventurousness — and “Los Golpeadores de la cumbia,” a mischievous synthesis of chip tune, electro pop and cumbia that came from the Island of Misfit Toys. The album’s latest single  “Cumbia de la fuente,” is a yearning and plaintive track centered around strummed acoustic guitar, glitchy synths and glitchier drum machines and Alvarez’s aching vocal delivery.  And while sounding as though it came from some incredibly dystopian future — one just as hellish as our own — the song conveys a sense of hope for something beyond this. 

“‘Cumbia de la fuente’ is a stopping point of the whole theme of the record, both in lyrics and in sound concept,” Meridian Brothers’ Alvarez says in press notes. “rThe song is a prayer and an amulet, a search for something that modern human beings are not used to do, due to mechanisation and modern industrial societies. A scream to the nowhere, looking for some answer, which is not given by scientific fetichism nor the political argument, nor the philosophic reason.”

The recently released video for “Cumbia de la fuente” features some trippy and brightly colored drawings that seem inspired by an intense hallucinogenic trip. 

New Audio: Meridian Brothers Release a Chiptune Inspired Take on Cumbia

Eblis Alvarez is a Bogota, Colombia-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed and forward-thinking recording project Meridian Brothers.  Alvarez’s forthcoming Meridian Brothers album  Cumbia Siglo XXI is slated for an August 21, 2020 release through Bongo Joe Records — and the album, which is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the act’s critically applauded (largely  acoustic) ¿Dónde estás María? continues the Colombian artist’s long-held reputation for relentlessly pushing his sound and approach in new and radical directions. 

Inspired by Cumbia Siglo XX’s experimentation with traditional cumbia in the late ’70s and early ’80s, which led to a completely new form of the genre, Cumbia Siglo XXI sees Alvarez using a multitude of guitars, synths, algorithmic software, vintage drum machines and whatever tech that the acclaimed Colombian artist could get his hands on. And while the album’s material sonically seemingly to draw a bit from Kraftwerk, the album reportedly is a sonic blend of EDM “sidechain” techniques and traditional cumbia.

Earlier this year, I wrote about Cumbia Siglo XXI‘s first single “Puya del Empressario,” an infectious yet let field take on cumbia that sounded a bit like like eThe Man Machine-era Kraftwerk meets JOVM mainstay El Dusty — with a mischievous sense of adventurousness.  “Los Golpeadores de la cumbia,” Cumbia Siglo XXI’s latest single is a mischievous synthesis of chip-tune, electro pop and cumbia that sounds like came straight from the Island of Misfit Toys. 

The recently released Bibiana Rojas-edited video for “Los Golpeadores de la cumbia” features a split screen — the left-hand side of the screen we see a man, text people, receive a phone call and take selfies. On the right-hand side, we see some surreal drawings by Mateo Rivano. 

New Audio: Meridian Brothers’ Forward-Thinking and Adventurous Take on Cumbia

Eblis Alvarez is a Bogota, Colombia-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and creative mastermind behind the acclaimed and forward-thinking solo project Meridian Brothers. The act’s forthcoming album Cumbia Siglo XXI is slated for an August 21, 2020 release through Bongo Joe Records — and the album, which is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the act’s critically applauded (largely  acoustic) ¿Dónde estás María? furthers the act’s long-held reputation for relentlessly pushing their sound and approach in new and radical directions.

Inspired by Cumbia Siglo XX’s experimentation with traditional cumbia in the late ’70s and early ’80s, which led to a completely new form of the genre, Cumbia Siglo XXI sees the act employing a use of amultitude of guitars, synths, algorithmic software, vintage drum machines and other tech that Alvarez could get his hands on. Drawing a bit from Kraftwerk, the album reportedly is a sonic blend of EDM “sidechain” techniques and traditional cumbia.

“Puya del Empreasirio,” Cumbia Siglo XXI’s first single is centered around layers of fuzzy analog synths, off-kilter and propulsive rhythms, snatches of vocals is an hypnotic, infectious and completely left field take on cumbia that kind of sounds like The Man Machine-era Kraftwerk meets JOVM mainstay El Dusty — but with a mischievous sense of adventurousness. “Cumbia disintegrated into drum machines. AIs are fucking idiots, Puya rides the machine,” Alvarez says of the track. 

 

Currently comprised of Boricua (guitar, production), Chino (bass, backing vocals), Juan Sebastian Bastos (sound engineer), Makambille (vocals), Moniqui (percussion), Poncho (band leader, drums and backing vocals) and Shaka (MC, backing vocals), the Bogota, Columbia-based collective  Tribu Baharú specializes in Champeta criolla, an Afro-Colombian folk and dance music that draws from traditional Colombian folk music, Central African Soukous-Rhumba, Soweto Township Jive and other Caribbean musical genres including zouk, calypso, soca, compa and reggae, that originated in the Atlantic costal regions of the South American country; but over the past few years, the collective’s sound has evolved as the act has also been influenced by the soundsystem of Barranquilla and Cartagena.  And since the Bogota, Colombia-based collective’s formation in 2009, they have become arguably one of the most important Champeta criolla collectives out there today, as their sound has been championed by globally-minded DJs seeking deep, dance floor friendly, ass shaking grooves.

During the collective’s North American tour last year, they had some free time and stopped at legendary Washington, DC’s legendary Inner Ear/Bastille Studios to record a spontaneous afternoon session, which resulted in the limited release 7 inch 45RPM vinyl single “Made in Tribu Baharú”/”Pa’tras” that renowned, global funk label Electric Cowbell Records will be releasing on April 22, 2017 — Record Store Day.
“Made in Tribu Baharú” is an exuberant and breezy song with a looping, calypso and soca-like groove featuring shimmering guitar chords and Caribbean polyrhythms
paired with chanted call and response lyrics and a dance floor friendly hook. “Pa’tras” manages to sound as though it drew from soca, salsa and meringue as shimmering and looping guitar cords are paired with rolling polyrhythm and an mischievously morphing bridge with a surprising key and tempo change while possessing a similar dance floor friendly hook. And with the recording sessions that created both singles being rather spontaneous, the material possesses a spontaneous, on-the-fly improvised feel of a bunch of guys jamming and sustaining a tight groove.

Gabriela Jimeno is a Bogota, Colombia-born, New York-based drummer, electronic music artist and producer, who musically grew up in two parallel, underground musical worlds — hardcore and electronic music. And after years of playing in a variety of bands in Columbia and the US, Jimeno relocated to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, where she graduated with a dual major in drum set performance and music synthesis. Soon after graduation, Jimeno relocated to New York, where she played drums in several rather ambitious bands while working on her own solo recording work, which also included Jimeno spending time building her own synths.  After growing bored with the band life, the Bogota-born, New York-based drummer and electronic music artist decided to go completely solo — and under the moniker ela minus, released her debut effort First Words EP.

Interestingly, instead of working on just one particular album, the Bogota, Columbia-born, New York-based decided to release a trilogy of EPs, which would allow listeners to follow her and her project as her songwriting, musicianship and artistry evolved during the trilogy’s completion. Grow, the 2nd EP of the trilogy was released to critical acclaim from The Fader, Vice and Remezcla, and as a result, Jimeno wound up playing at a number of major festivals across North America, including Estéreo Picnic, NRMAL, SXSW, Viva Pomona and others. Adding to a growing profile, Jimeno has opened for the likes of Chairlift and Chrome Sparks.

The third and final part of the trilogy Adapt is slated for a February 17, 2017 release through YEBO Music — and as Jimeno has explained in press notes: “This has been like a re-birth for me as an artist: so, like a new baby, first words – grow – adapt. It made sense with the time I was living in too, on first EP everything was changing I didn’t really know what or why I was doing it, in the experience of making the second EP I grew as an artist a lot, and now I am adapting. I learned to learn.” The third EP’s latest single “Juan Sant” is a moody yet shimmering bit of electro pop in which twinkling synths, propulsive drum programming are paired with Jimeno’s ethereal cooing in a song that sonically is reminiscent of Empress Of, Yumi Zouma,  the Cascine Records roster and Kate Bush — but with a subtly bracing iciness at its core.