Chicago-based psychedelic band Dos Santos and Texas-based Latin psych and cumbia band Money Chicha make the absolute perfect pair. Celebrating a nearly two-year collaboration, they are releasing two new tracks and will be hitting the road together at the end of the summer, beginning on August 31 in Brooklyn.
The Chicha style heavily informs the music of both groups and can be heard in the two new cumbia tracks that have resulted from this epic collaboration: Dos Santos' Latin funk-laced "Undercover," which features members of Money Chicha, and Money Chicha's Andean-inspired "Martes Negro," which features members of Dos Santos. Alex Chavez of Dos Santos explained the Chicha style for those who may not be familiar with it. "Chicha is comprised of a number of Afro-Latin rhythms, particularly Colombian Cumbia and Afro-Cuban beats," he said. "However, while that is the rhythmic foundation, it is layered with fuzzed-out, reverb-drenched and percussion-heavy sounds. This specific fusion emerges in Peru in the 60's and 70's; thus, it is deeply coated with the psychedelic, surf guitar pyrotechnics and garage organ grit of American popular music that people were listening to at the time, while it also displays the melodic underpinnings of the indigenous musics of the Andes mountains. So, it's a unique blend, and one that quite honestly is happening in other places and within other genres throughout Latin America." Also making its way into the mix is the 'onda groupera'/'músical tropical' of Mexico in the 1970s, "which likewise drew upon the same well in terms of rhythmic and sonic influences, but with a Mexican and U.S.-Mexico Border tinge," Chavez said. "Both Money Chicha and Dos Santos are influenced by these genres, such that you can hear echoes of Los Mirlos (Peru) and Rigo Tovar (Mexico) all at once in this collaboration."
Beginning August 31 at Brooklyn's The Bell House, the two Latin groups will kick off the third installment of the "Chicha Summit," which they originally and successfully toured through Texas, and with great success. "Part of what makes this collaboration so unique is that we are two separate bands who collaborated organically in the studio and now we are, in a sense, re-creating that same energy in a live setting at all of these shows. It's exciting," Chavez said. "Members of Dos Santos join Money Chicha on some songs and vice versa, so the show is a live representation of what we've done in the studio and, quite honestly, captures how we all get on with one another creatively. We've known each other for a long time and have collaborated on the stage and in the studio on various occasions, so we've really come to develop a great working relationship with one another. Ultimately, it's just always a pleasure to create and spend quality time with musicians who not only share a similar musical background—which makes it easier to share ideas, for sure—but who are also just good people. We're like family. We can't wait to hit the road and bring that energy to new audiences."
Concert goers can expect to experience an electric and eclectic show that will empower, unite, and bring Latin music alive in a whole new way. "You can't predict how people will react or what people will take away," Chavez noted, "but...you can always hope and for us, in general, it's about hoping that people walk away with an appreciation for this music, our take on it, and an understanding that this music is very much a part of the musical landscape of the here and now in the U.S. We play cumbia, chicha, and psychedelic-tinged Latin sounds and rhythms; and a lot of Latinas/os and folks who appreciate Latin American music can certainly identify and identify with all of it. So, to be sure, we already have a captive audience of sorts, but we definitely open up points of departure that surprise people, challenge people's taken-for-granted notions of 'Latin' music, and, in the end, we hope that those unexpected moments enlighten folks, get them to dance, and allow them to connect with us and with everyone surrounding them at the shows.
"It's no secret that música Latina has attained a certain politics given the current state of affairs in our national political landscape," Chavez continued, "and so singing in Spanish, playing these musics, and convening people by and through them really grates against some the ugly impulses in this country right now that are about division, exclusion, and a short-sided understanding of what 'American' is. So, in a sense, we hope people walk away connected, empowered."
Take a closer look at Dos Santos and Money Chicha's collaboration in the behind-the-scenes video below.
Catch Dos Santos and Money Chicha this Thursday, August 31, at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY. Get tickets here.
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