(ZZK Records/Crosstalk International)
The ‘shrooms on the back cover and on the inside make it abundantly
clear that this is the trippiest music this side of South America.
Actually, it is from South America – Buenos Aires, Argentina,
to be exact, and right now Chancha is touring the US on his “Muy
Bueno/Rio Arriba” tour with ZZK label honcho/deejay El G.
Not since early Pink Floyd has there been
anything so tripped out and it’s not aimless jam band noodling. Argentina’s
ZZK label, with their deejay based music combines electronica and psychedelia
with varying amounts of folk and trad, performing with live musicians and
dancers accompanying their inventive knob twirling. Chancha Via Circuito is
among the best Buenos Aires
deejays and this, his sophomore effort, is up to his previous high standards.
It’s a mellow, languid yet rhythmical intro to contempo South American music.
Chancha’s eco-friendly music combines his electronica with the natural world.
He takes indigenous chants, colonial Spanish melodies then re-arranges,
transposes, recombines and decomposes them into lush, gorgeous mutations.
Essentially minimalist, there’s a strong emphasis on rhythms, dronings and
ethnic mixes inspired by the native sounds of the South American interior.
Track one reminds me of Calexico and Iron and Wine’s “He Lays in
the Reins” with its old school vocal. “Cumbion de los Aves” is a remix of
indigenous rhythms, replete with pan pipes, flutes, charangos and hallucination
inducing rhythms. “Pintar El Sol” is more of the same, but even more hypnotic,
with sampled vocals rising to the forefront. More of the same throughout, with
much variety in rhythm and percussion; some are instrumental, some with vocals,
including 6th cut ” Revenge of Chancha” featuring one of his best remixes
featuring guests, Fauna.
Only qualifier on this is “Prima,” which strikes me as too much
electro knob-tweaking for the sake of tweakage. A number of these cuts
have turned up on other mixtapes and mashups, some better, some different
but the thing about “Rio Arriba” is that it’s consistently excellent,
like a smooth ride on a free-flowing tropical river with Chancha as your guide
to other worlds.
DOWNLOAD: ” Revenge of Chancha,” “Pintar El Sol” LEW HERMAN