Chancha Vía Circuito 

Río Arriba

Argentine producer Chancha Vía Circuito (aka Pedro Canale) crossed over to international notoriety three years ago as one of the founding members of Zizek Collective, the conglomerate of avant-guard electronic musicians from Buenos Aires who pretty much put the word "cumbia" in the mouths of DJs, bloggers, and taste-makers of the northern hemisphere for the first time. Cumbia, an Afro-Colombian dance-oriented genre of pop music, used to be widely regarded as low-brow and kitsch until the guys at Zizek (first a nightclub, then a label) made it hipster-friendly via mash-ups, remixes, and artsy electronic experimentation.

Río Arriba is Chancha's second official release and it marks a turning point in the history of the collective. This time he's stepping away from the cumbia format to embrace other South American folkloric sounds, more in tune with the Andes natives than the African Diaspora. Consequently, it has much less dance appeal than other Zizek releases. Granted, unlike other label partners (Frikstailers, El Remolón), Chancha was never too focused on the dance-floor. Rather, he was known for manufacturing down-tempo tunes on his bedroom PC.

What made Chancha stand out as a producer was his attention to detail and his minimalist use of percussion. He often replaced traditional instruments with noises borrowed from sound libraries or sampled from real life, and that's more easily appreciated on headphones than at a dance club. But will the "gringos" who adopted new cumbia as the "exotic" rhythm du jour keep supporting him? That remains to be seen. (ZZK Records)


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in CD Reviews

Most Popular Stories

  • Naima Shalhoub: Finding a Voice Behind Bars

    The Oakland vocalist recorded her debut album live inside San Francisco County jail — producing raw, emotional tracks that grapple with the impacts of imprisonment.
  • Kossisko on His Radical Evolution

    Though he enjoyed considerable success as the rapper 100s, Kossisko reinvented himself through his nuanced dance pop record, Red White N Cruel, and his new, androgynous image.
  • Techie Blood

    A punchy, violent barrage of noise.
  • Leftöver Crack

    The influential crust punks come to 924 Gilman.
  • Feels IV

    A homegrown music and arts festival with warehouse party roots.

Special Reports

Holiday Guide 2015

Your guide to the best gifts, gadgets, toys, music, and books of the year; plus holiday food and drink, snow sports, winter getaways, and more.

Taste, Fall 2015

Everything you need to know about dining in and out in the East Bay.

© 2015 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation