If our memory serves us correctly, the last time we got an official track from DJ, producer, and ethnomusicologist Canyon Cody was in 2014, when he and Captain Planet released their vertiginous joint remix of Celia Cruz and Willie Colón’s “Pun Pun Catalu,” included in Fania’s Myrtle & Wyckoff EP. After years of delivering tons of fire edits and bootlegs on Soundcloud and hosting his Subsuelo parties in L.A., he’s back to bring us more Caribbean flavor with his reinterpretation of Cuban chanteuse Daymé Arocena’s “La Rumba Me Llamo Yo.”
On her original version, which is part of her latest album Cubafonía (2017, Brownswood Recordings,) Arocena brings her jazzy magic to an irresistible rumba track, balancing her lyrics, sung in Spanish and Yoruba, with a masterful scat to bring the dead back to life dancing. Canyon Cody’s version gives “La Rumba Me Llamo Yo” a more standard structure for the club, having fun with chord progression to play with the song’s emotional range. The remix keeps building up and up, until it finally unleashes its house music power, accentuated by the precise use of Arocena’s splendid scat and piano stabs.
It’s tricky to give a track a makeover when it’s this good, but if someone has the chops to do it, it’s Canyon Cody.