It feels like Chikita Violenta was gone for a really long time. Their last album, TRE3S, came out in 2010, but three years isn’t too unreasonable of a hiatus. So why is it that their absence felt so marked? Maybe it’s because of what they represent for me.
Chikita Violenta was one of the first bands that got me into “this scene,” whatever “this” is. When I first started working for Remezcla—back when I was in diapers—I was a general music head, not a specifically Latin music head. I loved finding new things but never delved deep into the annals of Latin American music. I didn’t have the vocabulary or the references to fully articulate what was going on artistically in these countries. And then Chikita happened and I started to understand that it’s not just about finding bands that wave their flags and folklore in your face—although that can be great and creative, too—it’s about finding good musicians; musicians who can speak the language of music. At this, Chikita Violenta is quite fluent. They’re one of those bands that have found some success abroad because of the mutability of their sound. It’s not necessarily pegged to a particular cultural context. This isn’t to say their beloved Mexico isn’t alive and well in their sound. If anything, through this site and others, you’ll have noticed that Mexico is being channeled through hundreds of iterations. But this is to say what we’ve always tried to say: there is no “Latin music,” there’s simply music from Latin America. Actually, all of this is to say that Chikita Violenta has a new song out and you should listen to it. No, really. That was my whole point all along.
Out today, the once-again-Dave-Newfeld-produced “Colapsomanía” feels more aggressive than the yelpy “All I Need’s a Little More.” But, in essence, it’s Chikita through and through. Some bells and whistles (and a lot of tambourine) have been added for enhancement, but this is still the Chikita Violenta that fostered me into this world. And for that I thank them.