Tag: Electric Cowbell Records

New Audio: Combo Chimbita’s Propulsive and Psychedelic New Single

Throughout JOVM’s eight-plus year history, I’ve covered Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP)’s annual conference in some fashion or another. As a national service, advocacy and membership organization for those within the performing arts — particularly within dance and theater, APAP over the years has developed a reputation for their role in assisting musicians and groups, who specialize in “world music.” Along with the annual conference, which features discussion panels, lectures, networking sessions and the like for artists producing, recording and creating artwork in our extremely complicated and confusing political landscape, there are a number of carefully curated showcases hosted and/or sponsored by this city’s best known “world music” venues.  Now, as you may recall, the Lower East Side world music venue DROM hosts Barbes’ and Electric Cowbell’s annual Secret Planet APAP showcase — and earlier this year, their wildly eclectic showcase featured the New York-based Colombian folk collective Bulla en el Barrio; the Brooklyn-based act Drunken Foreigner, which specializes in a sprawling, psych rock-like iteration of the Akha and Lam Lao musics of Thailand and Laos; the Cleveland, OH-based Afro-futuristic soul act Mourning [A] BLKSTAR; the New York-based Afro-futuristic-inspired, psychedelic cumbia act Combo Chimbita; the New York-based Ethiopian funk and jazz-inspired septet Anabessa Orchestra; and the New York-based act Hearing Things which specializes in a sound that draws from Middle Eastern music, surf rock, and 60s soul and R&B.

Featuring Bulla en el Barrio’s Carolina Oliveros (vocals) along with Prince of Queens (synths and bass), Niño Lento (guitar) and Dilemastronauta (drums), Combo Chimbita began experimenting with different traditional music styles during their late night residencies at Barbes — much of this experimentation included explorations between visual identity and improvisational long-form trips that eventually lead to their thunderous 2016 self-recorded debut, El Corridor del Jaguar. Interestingly, much like Mourning [A] BLKSTR, the New York-based act is deeply inspired by Sun Ra’s Afro-futurism — while championing their own take on it, which they’ve dubbed Tropical Futurism. As the band says “the idea that the future doesn’t necessarily have to be this super white Western high-tech Star Wars stuff; that the indigenous ideas and culture of people of color, people of Latin America, can also represent a magical and substantial future. It’s a vision that maybe a lot of people don’t necessarily think about often. The old and deep knowledge that indigenous people have of the land has been neglected for many years as part of capitalism and colonization.”

Their Lily Wen-produced sophomore full-length album Abya Yala was released through Figure & Ground Records was released back in 2016, and the album further established the band’s unique futuristic take on cumbia. And along with an incredible live show, led by Oliveros powerhouse vocals and commanding stage presence, the New York-based act has begun to receive quite a bit of buzz. In fact, renowned Los Angeles-based label ANTI- Records, a label known for having a roster of wildly eclectic array of artists that includes the legendary Mavis Staples, recently signed the band. As the band’s Prince of Queens says in press notes, “ANTI- is a special label. It is crazy to be part of such a diverse pool of artists, feels extra special being an immigrant band singing in Spanish. I grew up in Bogota listening to a lot of bands on Epitaph and not understanding a word they were singing but it made me want to be in a band and learn music. It feels like full circle working with [Epitaph’s sister label] ANTI-.”

The members of Combo Chimbita will be closing out a big year with a series of live shows the include sets at Lincoln Center and Philadelphia’s PhilaMOCA before joining Parquet Courts for the Midwestern leg of the indie rock’s current tour. You can check out the tour dates below. But before that, the band has released a trippy new single “Testigo,” a track centered by a looping Afro pop-like guitar line, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, rolling and propulsive percussion, a sinuous bass line and Oliveros’ powerhouse vocals. Sonically speaking, their sound serves as a power reminder of how much contemporary music — particularly Latin American music — draws from Africa, as much as it does from their own native traditions, and they do so in a wildly anachronistic yet dance floor friendly fashion. 

 

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.

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over course of its history, you may recall coming across several posts on Brooklyn-based quintet Super Hi-Fi, who were something of a mainstay act on this site back in 2012. The core members of the band led by Ezra Gale (bass) features Rick Parker (trombone). Jon Lipscomb (guitar) and Madhu Siddappa (drums) can actually trace their origins to a rather unlikely start. Gale, who was a founding member of the acclaimed San Francisco-based Afrobeat act, Aphrodesia had relocated to Brooklyn and was collaborating with Quoc Pham in Sound Liberation Front when Gale was asked to get a band together for Pham and Gale’s then-monthly Afro-Dub Sessions parties in Williamsburg. The parties would pair the live band with several top-name dub producers and DJs including Victor RicePrince Polo, Subatomic Sound System, the Beverley Road All-Stars and others.

With the release of their critically applauded debut effort, Dub to the Bone released through Electric Cowbell Records in 2012, the Brooklyn-based quintet won quite a bit of attention locally and nationally as they’ve played renowned local venues such as the Mercury Lounge, the now-closed Zebulon and Brooklyn Bowl and have opened for nationally known acts including Rubblebucket, Beats Antique and John Brown’s Body. Over the past couple of years, Super Hi-Fi have recorded and released two 45s on Electric Cowbell, a split 7 inch with Ithaca, NY-based act Big Mean Sound Machine through Peace and Rhythm Records and  Yule Analog, Vol 1.,  a dub-inspired take on Christmas standards.

Super Hi-Fi’s soon-to-be released new album Yule Analog, Vol. 2 picks up on where Yule Analog, Vol 1. left off  — with dub-inspired takes on another batch of holiday classics and a holiday-inspired original dub composition. Featuring contributions from renowned trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, best known for his work with The Lounge Lizards, Bill Frisell and Charlie Hunter; Mitch Marus, best known for his work with Donovan, The Dean Ween Group, and Aphrodesia; as well as Adrian Harley and Alex Castle, who collaborate with Gale in the old school groove project, The Get It. And much like their previously recorded effort, Prince Polo took up production duties, recording the material on analog tape and mixed the album using vintage reverb and tape delay units — in the fashion of legendary dub masters King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Yule Analog Vol. 2′s latest single, which I have the unique privilege of premiering here is a trippy, dub rendition of an old time Christmas classic “O Come All Ye Faithful” which features the trombone-led compositions that won the attention of the blogosphere — the trombone gives the song a regal, old-timey feel while the reverb and bass heavy dub pushes the song towards a funky shoegazer territory. It’s a sunny and playful rendition of an extremely familiar song that puts a completely different spin on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=3877283800/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/ Over the last two decades, the Richmond, VA-based salsa act Bio Ritmo have developed a reputation for experimentation and stubbornly refusing to be pigeonholed, as they’ve employed the use of synths, along with traditional salsa […]