Chancha Vía Circuito - Río Arriba

Río Arriba, Chancha Vía Circuito
ZZK Records, Argentina
Rating: 73
by Andrew Casillas

Pedro Canale and his Chancha Vía Circuito project is the latest ZZK outpost dedicated to exporting cumbia digital outside of its South American domain. On his full-length LP, the wonderfully titled Río Arriba, Canale continues to propel ZZK’s mission statement of hazy, indigenous-aping/sampling shuffle step, while also expanding the boundaries of the genre outside of the brash-beats of Toy Selectah and King Coya.
Indeed, Río Arriba likely has more in common with indie records like Espíritu Invisible than any of its parent label’s excellent compilations. The dance beats moves at a hiker’s pace; the rubato steeped in a steady groove. Under lesser artists, the pacing would be at a risk of inducing boredom, but Canale still fits his share of grooves in throughout. And the album’s opening trio is indeed some damn fine production work (particular praise going to the remix of “Pintar el Sol,” one of the more beautiful tracks the Club Fonograma world will produce this year). However, after that it becomes more hit-or-miss. Not a perfect record for sure, but something definitely worth the time for those who’ve already come under the spell of cumbia digital.