Friday, March 12, 2010

COPIA DOBLE SYSTEMA-Cumbia Colegiala (Urban World Records, '10)

For a while now we've been talking about neo-cumbia experiments hailing from the most unexpected corners of the planet, Australia, Switzerland, The Netherlands and now... Denmark!
OK, not now, in reality, back in 2007 Danish neo-cumbia already hit the news when Fighters + Lovers released the CumbiaClash CD remixing revolutionary cumbias by the FARC (Colombian guerrillas) and pissing a lot of people off, particularly Colombians who are too sensitive about this issue.
Anyway, this debut EP due to be released later this month by Copia Doble Systema also comes from Denmark and it's filled with remixes of a dub cover version of "La Colegiala."
"La Colegiala" (Spanish for "the schoolgirl") tells the story of an adult male being infatuated with a teenage schoolgirl who walks by him daily, which by today PC standards would be considered a perverted child molester in the US, but back in the day in Latin America this topic was even ok for TV commercials. This cumbia is tremendously popular among Mexicans that's why I always thought it was original from that country but today, doing some research before writing this I found out that the original was actually a classic Chicha (Peruvian cumbia) song written by Walter Leon and his group Los Ilusionistas in the early seventies. Later in the 80's it was covered by Rodolfo y su Típica in a more Colombian fashion and that was the version that crossed over, I assume, because it was featured on a Nescafe commercial on TV.
In 1985 the song was covered one again, this time by Mexican weirdest über-commercial cover-band Los Joao. These guys made covers of pretty much everything that was being played during those days (from Lionel Richie to Raffaella Carra) and in Mexico their kitschy proto-techno versions and more famous than many of the originals. I guess that was the version that became popular in Mexico, but maybe it was La Sonora Dinamita's version, I don't know for sure. The thing is, everybody and their mothers covered that song and then this wacky wannabe-rapper, also from Mexico, called Caló did his own radio-friendly cumbia-rap cover too and it went through the ceiling. That particular cumbia became so ubiquitous that I ended up hating it. I didn't even care much by the dub version done in 2008 by S.O.S. for a Sol Selectas compilation (DJ Sabo!).
And now this! Four remixes more of La Colegiala in case you didn't have enough!
Anyway, regardless of my personal dislike of the song, I liked these new instrumental versions, specially the Mega Bo mix. I don't know how these Danish people got into cumbia in the first place and how did they discovered that one song and I'm really curious about that. Did they hear the original Peruvian version first, or the Colombians one or the many Mexican versions? I guess we'll have to ask them.
You can listen to Copia Doble Systema's EP here and starting March 26th you can purchase it on Juno.

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