4 Amazing Tracks From The New Colombian Music Scene

By - 25 April, 2012

This collection of songs is intended to avoid specific genres and tries to portray the vast amount of risk, experimentation and creativity that is involved in some of the new Colombian sounds. Expect the unexpected from this music, which goes way beyond generic tags like “fusion” or “world music,” and digs freely into the realms of Andean folk, punk, cumbia, free jazz, pop or psychedelia.

Bituin – Mi Querencia

Bituin’s debut album was perhaps one of the most exciting releases in Colombian music in 2011. With a very uncommon lineup (2 vocals, bass and drums), the band shows a vast array of avant-garde arrangements and improvisations over traditional songs from countries like Argentina, Mexico or Chile – taking a very personal and uncommon approach to widely popular tunes.

The vocal interplay of twin sisters Juanita and Valentina Añez stands out in this cover of “Mi Querencia”, a classic tune from Venezuelan composer Simón Diaz. Just the tip of the iceberg in a record that brings a new angle to Latin-America’s musical heritage.

Suricato – Títeres de Avellaneda (0:00 a 2:57)

Ranging from pop melodies to the most visceral and dissonant improvisations, Suricato’s debut album in 2011 startled the Colombian music scene by extending the boundaries of what a “jazz” record should be: tender lyrics mixed with collective jams and noisy improvisations; obscure atmospheres laying ground for some punk-like shrieks; thoughtful, clear trombone arrangements on top of almost childlike tunes. By allowing many styles to develop together, the band has managed to create a highly distinctive sound.

Suricato’s lineup includes the virtous drumming of Jorge Sepúlveda – surely one of Colombia’s best percussionists, the amazing solos of Kike Mendoza – who shows with his playing a delicate balance between free and traditional improvisation, and the versatile voice of Maria Mónica Gutierrez.

Meridian Brothers – Satanás

Bizarre lyrics, amazingly crafted soundscapes, rhythms with an echo of Colombian traditional music, instruments sounding like nothing you’ve ever heard before: Meridian Brothers, one of Eblis Álvarez’s weirdest musical endeavors, shows a humorous, surrealistic side of Colombia’s Avant-Garde.

“Satanás” (Satan), depicts some of the elements that usually appear in this band’s songs: nonsensical lyrics, weird descriptions of fictional characters and the overall feeling that you’re hearing about Colombia’s absurd political and social traditions. All of this mixed, as usual, with layers of thoughtful electronic noises and programmed sounds.

Benjamín – Samba Del Averno

Benjamín are one of the most interesting acts in contemporary Colombian rock. Drawing from experimental rock bands like The Mars Volta, their live acts are a feast of noise, absurd poetry and very intense psychedelic atmospheres.

“Samba Del Averno” is not a samba at all. Inspired by the bambuco tradition – a folkloric rhythm from the center of Colombia – the song shows Benjamin’s interest in repetition, extended forms and a very particular and almost aleatoric approach to lyrics.

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