WFMU and Barbés Records are joining forces to present two of North America's pre-eminent cumbia bands: Very Be Careful from LA and Chicha Libre from Brooklyn. They'll be joined by DJs representing both old school and digital cumbia.
Cumbia became popular in Colombia in the 50s, and its mix of
indigenous and African rhythms quickly spread to the rest of the world.
In the 70s, Peruvians introduced psychedelic electric guitar and
renamed the music Chicha, while Mexican musicians added rock drums and
synth to create Sonidero, and Argentineans introduced the Keytar to
create Cumbia Villera.
In the past 5 years, a worldwide cumbia resurgence has infiltrated rock, hip-hop and electronic music. From Monterey's rebajada to Buenos Aires digital cumbia, young musicians are recycling their grandparents' music and launching a global musical rebellion.
VERY BE CAREFUL (pic L, live in Japan, via myspace) is a homegrown Los Angeles band that plays Colombian Vallenato music. They keep the music rootsy with the use of a traditional instrumentation of accordion, guacharaca, bass, caja vallenata and cow bell. They have the drive, energy and overall attitude of the best punk bands, which has helped them gain and retain a faithful audience whose dancing owes more to pogo than it does to cumbia.
Very Be Careful has performed at clubs and festivals all over the world. They come to NY only once a year, so dont miss them!
Listen to Very Be Careful spinning records and chatting live with DJ/Rupture on Mudd Up last year.
CHICHA LIBRE (pic R) play Peruvian chicha music, a style that is loosely
inspired by Colombian accordion- driven cumbia. It incorporates the
distinctive sounds of Andean melodies, some Cuban influence,
psychedelic rock, and the modern sounds of surf guitars, farfisa organs
and wah pedals.
Chicha Libre is a Brooklyn-based Franco-American group that has toured all over the US, and they're becoming popular in Peru, the birthplace of Chicha music, where the band has appeared on various magazines and tv shows. They have been invited to play a series of concerts in Lima this fall, with legendary Chicha band Los Shapis.
Listen to "Six Pieds Sous Terre" (mp3) from ¡Sonido Amazonico! (Barbés Records 2008)