From Bogota, Colombia
comes the cumbia combo Frente Cumbiero. But wait, they’re not alone! Over by
the mixing board we have Mad Professor, legendary dub producer and collaborator
with dubby luminaries like Sly & Robbie, Massive Attack, The Orb and the
original dub shape shifter himself, Scratch Perry.
collaboration, Frente Cumbiero cut seven fresh tracks, 5 instrumentals and 2
w/vocals. They run for the first half of the CD; Mad Professor then dubs them
up on the second half, including two dub versions of the stand-out track
“Ariwacumbe.” Frente Cumbiero play a fine-tuned, mid-tempo version of cumbia
that seems to owe a thing or two to traditional music from the Balkans. The
horns on tracks like “Gaita Del,” “Cumbietiope,” “Bestiales 77” and
“Chucusteady,” combined w/the accordion, gives these tracks a South
America-meets-Eastern European flavor that, when blended with the Jamaican dub
style of Mad Professor, lends a globalist groove.
pretty much acknowledges this on “Ariwacumbe” with its chanted refrain about
“gypsy rock nonstop cumbia hip hop” that pretty much sums it up. The languorous
“Analogica,” with its dreamy groove and beautiful vocals by Liliana Saumet +
Javier Fonseca and Shaun Turner, polishes off the original tracks with a classy
finish. Mad Professor’s dub tracks are pretty low-key, but certainly do the
trick. It’s not earth-shaking dub, nor is it supposed to be, but they do
offer a fresh take on an already outstanding collection of tracks.
DOWNLOAD: “Ariwacumbe,” “Analogica” “Chucusteady.” CARL HANNI