Perhaps the best representation for the nu cumbieros infiltrating the somewhat mainstream music scene would in my opinion inarguably be Bomba Estereo.
Their last few releases set the groundwork for this mainstream infiltration we needed in order to grow interest in the underground nu cumbieros productions and presence.
Elegancia Tropical is the name of their much-anticipated follow-up album. Sticking to their Colombian roots Bomba Estereo strays only to incorporate other genres to further innovate their sound. Elegancia Tropical is a trip further into this profound sonic exploration. Starting with the trip hop and electronic bossa nova influenced song Bosque, the smooth synth pads and quiet tropical rhythms pull me in like a siren at sea. In short it is simply lovely and not quite what I had expected.
Immediately following Bosque the album jumps right into the modern cumbia sound we have become used to from their last album. I look at this as a good thing to be honest. Continuing to release new albums that reach an audience the same way or better than the last is always difficult. It is the test of their initial response to pass as not being just a fluke or a lucky short term phenomenon. If a band or artist can come back with something slightly different and have it appear as rather a continuation of their debut efforts then it will surely be a received successfully. Elegancia Tropical I swear to you dear readers is such an album.
El Alma y El Cuerpo draws upon their Afro-Colombian roots with a soukous-like rhythm and guitar work while incorporating brilliant vocals and electronic effects. I hear a lot of the Afro-Colombian roots in Elegancia Tropical actually. The production and musical dynamics are uniquely Bomba Estereo and I think that is what makes them stand out.
Elegancia Tropical isn’t all just drawing from Afro-Colombian roots; “Pure Love” for example pushes the roots into the EDM club music scene. Also it is a very unique piece of music honestly. I can hear moombah-heads remixing it now. Vocally it is more along the lines of dancehall. I think this song will be the most “remixed” of all their tracks.
Making the album even more unique is the incorporation of Brazilian MC Bnegao on the track “Rocas.” This track hits hard rhythmically and vocally.
Perhaps the most unique track on the album is “Torcido” featuring Buraka Som Sistema. It is the track I would choose to best describe to others the sound of “electro tropical” music. It’s a beautiful mix of intense Latin percussion with electronic percussion, even at one point mirroring a dubstep beat. It truly is different and something to definitely look forward to checking out.
In the past few years champeta has been making an impression up here in the States. “Pajaros” is the perfect track to assist anyone in introducing this style to someone inquiring about it. I would go as to even say it most likely would make the inquirer an instant fan of champeta.
The last couple of tracks calm down considerably making for a lovely end. The last track keeps brings up the energy just a bit in one of their best songs in my opinion. It is experimental with electronic processors and effects and an incredible epic outro.
I can confidently say that Elegancia Tropical did not disappoint me even the least. It is an excellent new album for Bomba Estereo sure to bring aboard many new fans as they tour on the various festival circuits this year and the next.
The album is due out November 6th 2012.
Okay you need more am I right? Well I can help you there thanks to help from my friend Tropicaneando. Here is the sound El Alma y El Cuerpo on Mixcloud as well as a remix of it.