Robin Perkins and Agustín Rivaldo – aka El Búho and Barrio Lindo, respectively – are two great minds that think alike. Their 2014 ZZK-released joint EP History of Colour was their first full-fledged collaboration, and also the cornerstone for their new Shika Shika collective. It was conceived as a meeting place for artists from all over the world and from different creative disciplines, focused on marrying the electronic and the organic in their work – something the two of them have undoubtedly mastered. They inaugurated Shika Shika’s imprint in late 2015 with the release of Barrio Lindo’s outstanding Kayak Break EP. Now the label’s catalog features works by Kraut, as well as Perkins and Rivaldo together as History of Colour.
It’s always a smart move for young labels and collectives to let the music speak for itself, rather than relying on written presentations of their work. On their new compilation, that’s exactly what Shika Shika did. Confluencias is a two-volume series that includes 18 songs by musicians and producers from 12 countries. Though they don’t necessarily hail from a specific location, these creators’ diverse backgrounds coalesce into a powerful brew of organic and electronic textures, resulting in a cohesive, globetrotting body of work.
Some of the songs included here are club-oriented; others follow a much more contemplative path. But all of them certainly feed from a natural palette. Standout tracks include Nicola Cruz and History of Colour’s marimba-led collab “Paruma,” Jyun Jyun’s feel-good “Mahu,” and “El Canto del Orinoco,” a hypnotic journey from Venezuela’s Arutani. Kaleema chips in with her mystic track “Ritual,” and Greek producer Benjha’s bouncy “Shallow Waters” sounds like an intercultural clash.
This is a compelling effort that helps flip the script on stereotypes of “regional music,” and the best possible way for Shika Shika to show us what they’re about.