Bomba Estereo – La Cumbia Sicodelica

Year :
Ondatropica / Ana Tijoux / Brazilian Girls

Historically, genre fusions have not been for me. My brief and unfortunate rap-rock phase notwithstanding, I haven’t cottoned much to mash-ups of different styles. Feel free to pile on the subtle influences and/or modern touches, but spare me the overtly clumsy attempts at fusing two perfectly good genres. Every once in a while, though, I can find them oddly fascinating. I wrote previously about a pretty bizarre mix of merengue and trap. This song gives a go at blending cumbia (a tropical Colombian type of music/dance) and psychedelic rock. The result is mostly meandering, splitting the difference between the two and losing a lot of what each has to offer in their wildly different ways. The experimental fusion reveals itself as a success, though, when the song breaks into its jam of sorts.

Cumbia maintains a steady beat; it’s meant for dancing. Psychedelic rock noodles around; I don’t really know what it’s meant for. With the two meeting in the middle, the dancing aspect is lost. But the jam is given a more uptempo beat and gets more of a structure. As someone who easily gets bored with listless solos or jams, I’m able to get into this one.  It’s kind of a shame, though, that it takes awhile to pick up speed and doesn’t really do anything too interesting.

I don’t really understand much of the Spanish lyrics, but they seem really intent on reinforcing how *psychedelic* the song is. Really, as far as this particular genre fusion goes, it skews much closer to psychedelic rock than cumbia. I’m a guy who can get into Latin music but typically steers clear of psychedelic rock, so I have a weird hesitation on the matter of whether or not I like this song. It’s an honest effort but not really all that interesting in execution. The merengue/trap song worked because it made no real attempt at genre fusion. This mostly suffers for it. ”La Cumbia Sicodelica” isn’t very bold beyond its premise. If nothing else, it is what it is.

I’m not one to put middling songs on the front page of the site.  We are, after all, aiming to write about great songs.  However, when a song’s premise is as out there as this one’s is, I feel like sharing. Give “La Cumbia Sicodelica” a fair listen. It may not be perfect or even great, but I’m sharing it because I doubt there’s much else like it.

Jeff Bennet (@JeffBennet) goes with Drake any time someone asks him who his favorite band or artist is, because he has this personality flaw where he needs to be all things to all people.

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