Oro - Choc Quib Town
Whichever way the wind blows, there, in your search for exceptional music you will surely find gold. Trending contemporary global sounds isn’t so much navigation as it is letting the currents take you where they will. After spending much time satiating our cravings in North Africa and Brazil, the Pacific trade winds have picked us up and cast us ashore in Colombia. Bogotá’s underground scene appears teeming with innovation and inspiration, and now the Afro-Colombian rhythms of the coastal regions are giving up their treasure. Oro, the North American debut from Choc Quib Town is a shining, impressive find. Mining the rich musical heritage of Colombia’s African descendants (one third of the country’s population) Choc Quib Town are three MCs who are boldly claiming a place for their people in Colombia’s collective cultural identity. As groups like Novalima have done for Afro-Peruvian culture and the late Andy Palacio for the Garifuna, Choc Quib Town has respectfully contemporized the ingrained beats of their ancestors to keep them vital in the 21st century. The Latin Grammy-nominated trio composed a manifesto for their music with the song Somos Pacifico which was adopted as a kind of anthem for Afro-Colombians even before its inclusion on Oro. The disc cleverly wraps hip hop and R&B in exotic polyrhythm, polished to startling clarity by the production collaboration of Richard Blair (Sidestepper) and Ivan Benevides (Carlos Vives). DJs beware. Its potent production will jump out of the midst of any mix or mashup. If your tastes tend toward hard salsa over reggaeton, you’re going to love Pescao Envenenao, a standout that features the big band of Colombian salsa dura monsters, LA 33.