Nacional Records, Colombia
By Carlos Reyes
Our ‘Best of the Decade’ special was built on momentum and with no real guidelines but listing our favorite songs, but deep inside, we had an alert bump squishing our hearts in search for anthems. While Javiera Mena’s transcoded us “Al Siguiente Nivel” and Piyama Party fed our nostalgia through “Fan de Carcass”, we had this blare of including a ‘Latin Anthem’, whatever that is, it’s probably something along the lines of Choc Quib Town’s “Somos Pacifico.” Constructing such a sacred piece takes a lot of guts, and although the intentions are heart whelming, most artists end up displacing their energy in fuzzy laughable songs that only go as far as shouting for Latino unity. Now, “Somos Pacifico” comes out and we can’t help but embrace it, recognizing patterns to Hector Lavoe’s “Mi Gente” on celebrating the neighborhood, the nationality and the race.
‘Somos Pacifico’ meant finding equivalence between our Latino pride and creative dexterity, it also presented us with the most exciting new Urban act in Latin America. Choc Quib Town is a response to Colombia’s folklore through three personas (with wonderful voices) that are clearly affectionate to their roots and naturally competent to demonstrate their passion through music. Fortunately, the passion matches the skill, and it’s that excitement what makes these bouncy infectious rhythms resolve on their own terms. Oro is ChocQuibTown’s first US release and is a compilation album comprised of material previously published in Colombia. We’re probably not you’re average US-based website, so we can’t quite embrace this as novelty since we can’t separate the fact that, we’ve been hearing some of these songs since 2006. ButOro is far more than a hits album; it’s coherent and yes, uncontrollably contagious.
The afrobeat postures every piece on the right places, sometimes disclosing a precious street-quality to them and sometimes shuffling tradition over the walls of culture and language. “El Bombo” previously released on El Bombo EP is a song with so much reach that it could easily recapitulate the state of global pop in terms of its voluptuous aesthetics. “Busca Personas” stands out as a luminous piece on the ability of finding individuals through the Sun’s gifting light, while we can’t help but fall in love with “Pescao Envenenao” (feat. La 33) and “Son Bereju” all over again. Oro makes us think the world is twisted; Alexander Acha taking the Latin Grammy for Best New Artist over Choc Quib Town is an insult to rationality, singing “La Guadalupana” to a reggaeton beat is not dignifying of a breakthrough, this is>