eMusic Review 0
Somewhere in the last decade, cumbia reached out from Colombia and went global, providing powerhouse beats for the dancefloor (think Toy Selectah or El Hijo de la Cumba) and for rock bands (such as Chile’s Chico Trujillo). But 60 years ago, when it first appeared on disc, it was nothing more than a raw rhythm (and dance) that was only known around the country’s Caribbean coast, a sound that had originated with local Indians and black slaves. The story of how it grew over the next three decades is the tale of this exhaustive 55-track compilation.
Those first recordings show a music that was rough and ready, the Colombian equivalent of early Delta blues, still with the rural dirt on its feet, but full of passionate energy in performances from bands like Los Alegres del Valle. Their “Samaria” is pushed along by the accordion and the layers of polyrhythms, played with a fierceness that’s almost desperation. They know this is their big chance and they’re grabbing it with both hands. In their case, it worked; the band still plays and records. Celia Estremor strips the music down even further, doing away with the accordion, leaving just voice and percussion… read more »