British DJ Will Holland has practically become a household name for current enthusiasts of latin American music. A crate digging curator of the world’s sounds, he’s established himself most recently in Colombia, with the comprehensive “Original Sound of Cumbia” series, a tour of the country’s rich musical history. His latest offering provides the flip-side, Colombia’s contemporary musical scene. A collaborative concept between Holland and the acclaimed bandleader Mario Galeano (Frente Cumbiero), the project grouped together Colombia’s most accomplished musicians, 36 are featured throughout, to record in one of the country’s most legendary and storied studios, Disco Fuentes. The collection of songs not only showcases both classical and modern styles of the country but also the borderless nature of their influences and interests. So, while songs such as “El Caimán Y El Gallinazo” and “Cien Anos”, classics of Colombia’s past, are featured as context for the album’s history, what makes the album a unique achievement are the songs that step outside of past stories and step into new territory. Tracks such as “Suena”, a mixture of hip hop and Colombian instrumentation and composition, and “Libya”, displaying a crossroads of Klezmer, Middle Eastern, and Colombian styles, highlight Holland and Galeano’s contemporary and vastly creative ear, highlight that this project isn’t simply an exhibition of one region’s styles, but moreover an exploration of how these styles translate to a more global setting, how they look towards the future.
- music label: Soundway 2012