Friday, April 15, 2011

ROMANOWSKI-The Instigator/Sol Cumbia (Bastard Jazz, 2011)

As you all already know very well, I'll pretty much buy anything that has the word cumbia on it if it comes in a black circle made of vinyl with a big hole in the middle. So I didn't think it twice when I saw this one.
Romanowski has quite a big name as a DJ and artist here in the Bay Area but I haven't seen him anywhere close to the local ñu-cumbia scene. Granted, I don't know the dude and I don't know what he looks like so maybe he was right there all this time, peeping in silence from some dark corner at the Tormenta Tropical or El Superritmo parties.
Thing is, like DJ Zeph did last year, plenty other local (and not local) DJs and beatmakers from other scenes (from hip-hop to dubstep) have recently discovered cumbia thanks to all the ongoing blogging hoopla and decided to try their luck with  everybody's "exotic" rhythm du jour.
Nothing wrong with that. I personally welcome them all, the more the merrier. I wasn't born into cumbia either so I could too be labeled a bandwagon rider. I really like the two tracks on this 45, and I'll probably play "The Instigator" a lot more in my eclectic sets because of its irresistible funky beat. But I doubt the "Sol Cumbia" track will ever make it into my cumbia sets, you see, it doesn't sound like a cumbia at all. It may have some cumbia tiny elements in the arrangements, but if you played this for a cumbia audience at a Sonidero party in Mexico or a bailanta in Argentina and claim it's a cumbia, they'd probably stone you to death. Have we reached the point when people start throwing the cumbia name just randomly in the titles of the songs/albums just to guarantee some sales as it happened with funk?

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