I am up to my ears in non-blog writing, which means that I haven’t had time to feed the internet with my buzzing thoughts on cumbia; nueva cumbia; Lacanian cumbia trolls; why nobody talks about Super Grupo Colombia even when they come to play a heavily promoted New York City show; the subgenres I keep noticing – like ‘songs about being drunk in the morning’ and ‘songs about cumbia reaching cities like Philadelphia and Miami’; and much much more. For cumbia is nothing if not generous.
I have a folder containing tribal guarachero tunes that sample Hossam Ramzy and I have another one with the tribal remix + cumbia original done up as nice little pairs, and I will share these things, but before we get to that, we need to do our homework.
CUMBIA EN MONTERREY.
This 2002 article, Cumbia Sobre El Rio: Celso Piña exports Monterrey’s new Cumbia Dub , goes deep. Required reading.
Here’s a high quality gift — a ‘Monterrey cumbia’ with a guy singing in English about the black man playing his drum. Songs like this were made for me. “The black man plays his drum and the women begin to shout / I want to dance la cumbia de Monterrey”
Los Reyes Vallenatos run things in Monterrey. This band played at the ArcoIris tribal party I covered in the Fader article (Erick Rincon pointed out that most of the bandmembers were in their teens!). Pablo Lescano and Damas Gratis have recorded with them as well. This cumbia gets a lot creepier if you live, like I do, a few blocks away from bars where these dollar dances happen.
and the man himself, Celso Piña — given the slo-mo scraper remix, sonidero melt, CUMBIA POWER. Can’t turn it off!