Oh man! Call me old school, but for me there's nothing like getting free CD's on the mail! Back in the day, during the peak of my music journalist career, I was getting about 20 new CD's every week in my mailbox. Now that's a great perk for such a low-paying job.
I know, the CD is a walking-dead format, and there's no more point in spending lots of money sending CD's for review consideration when you can just forward a link for the journalist to download the album free... and it's more environmentally conscious!
But what can I say? I just love getting surprise free stuff on the mail. It just makes me happy! Especially when it comes from friends of mine like the guys of Bang Data!
And no, we are not related by blood. But of all the people who came out in recent years going by the name Data (DataRock, Data MC, datA, Fat Data, Bunk Data, Data Raper, Data Leak, Data Archiv, Data Hero, Data Dog, etc. and yes, those are all real names) Bang Data are... the second best! You see, I still hold the first place because mine is my real name, no alter-egos needed when your parents name you like this!
Anyway, Bang Data appeared early last year in the San Francisco's Bay Area scene and I isntanly approached them with the idea that we should do some shows together because of the whole "Too Much Data" gimmick that would look great on the flyers. We did end up sharing stage in a couple of occasions, so I'm very familiar with their impressive live show commanded by the talentous bilingual rapper/singer Deuce Eclipse, whom I know since 2001, when I fisrt met him doing backing vocals for local hip-hop legends Zion-I.
I've been a huge fan of Zion-I since their very first single, so big respects to Deuce Eclipse who can really control the mic and is equally good rhyming and singing in both English and Spanish. For this new project the Nicaraguan MC stepped momentarily away from hip-hop to enter the lurid realms of Latin fusion when joining Juan Manuel Caipo, drummer of rock-en-español band Orixa (often confused with Cuban rappers Orishas) and two other guys in guitar and bass. The result is Bang Data, an eclictic mix of rock with rap, plus reggae and yes, cumbia!
For their debut album they put together seven tracks, showing all the diverese styles they can accomplish. The best one is hands down the opener (named after the band): a contagious cumbia-rap in the style of Ozomatli, where instead of the traditionally dominant güiro sound they include some batucada style drum breaks curiously similar to the ones on Los Fabulosos Cadillacs' classic "Matador".
The rest of the tracks are also pretty good but nothing I'd actually spin in my DJ sets. The album closes with an odd cover of Piero's classic cheeseball "Mi Viejo" recontextualized in rap shape. I demand more cumbia from Bang Data and more free CD's from everybody else!
Buy it here or here.