Chancha Vía Circuito: Bienaventuranza review – eclectic electronica


Contrary to reputation, music in Buenos Aires is not confined to tango. The city has developed a thriving “digital cumbia”’ scene that imports freely from South and Latin America and blends their styles with electronica. The lurching rhythms of Colombian cumbia, the stridency of reggaeton and even Andean pan pipes are all part of the mix distilled by producer Pedro Canale, who trades as Chancha Vía Circuito and whose third album, 2014’s Amansara, won international plaudits and a place on the Breaking Bad soundtrack.

Bienaventuranza (“Bliss”) is equally engaging. Some of its cuts are simple folk instrumentals: Los Pastores is played out on Cuban guitar, Sierra Nevada on Andean flutes and pipes (instruments usually dreaded thanks to shops selling scented candles), both given discreet bird and animal calls. Grittier are tracks that call on guest vocalists; Ilaló floats the elegant voice of Mateo Kingman over an insistent cumbia shuffle, while the reggaefied La Victoria comes with a rap by Colombia’s Manu Ranks. Canale is, however, a mystic child of nature as much as city hipster: his beats come from both drummed logs and synths, and he constantly evokes the high peaks of Peru and the forests of Amazonia. South America’s answer to Massive Attack.

Watch the video for Ilaló by Chancha Via Circuito.
Neil Spencer

The GuardianTramp

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