U.K.-born producer and Tru Thoughts recording artist Will Holland, better known as Quantic, uprooted his career and landed in Cali, Colombia. The move to the semi-tropical city was fueled by the crate-digger’s desire to delve deeper into the country’s rich music culture, which, naturally, including a hell of a lot of cumbia. This time, Los Miticos Del Ritmo, previously known as Quantic’s studio band, took the lead and recorded their self-titled album, an all-instrumental collection of cumbias. Already a natural fit, they recorded with Holland in his Sonido Del Valle studio.
The seven-piece ensemble’s debut is an analog treat: The old-world sound is so authentic that you can’t listen without expecting a little pop and hiss amidst the genre’s all-too-distinct ch-chchch rhythms. “La Libanesa” is so hauntingly repetitive that time gets lost between the metronome-like claps and the sweeping accordion melody. These songs, like each track on Los Miticos Del Ritmo, display the increasingly psychedelic side of the genre. Cumbia can often be quick dance music bursting with energy and doused in sweat, but “Satta Massa Cumbia” reigns in its sultry side with hazy back-alley accordions. And there are covers too—Queen’s famous anti-war anthem “Otro Muerde El Polvo” (that’s “Another One Bites The Dust”) and cumbia classics like Gildardo Montoya’s “Fabiola,” which also appeared on, wouldn’t you know it, Soundway’s pristine, Quantic-compiled The Original Sound Of Cumbia.