A Journey Through Latin America’s Classic Cumbia Rhythms, As Chosen by Chancha Via Circuito

His music may nod heavily towards Andean folklore and downcast trip-hop, but there’s no doubting the debt Chancha Via Circuito (aka Pedro Canale) owes to cumbia.

While currently on a European summer tour, where he is playing festivals in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Hungary, and elsewhere, Chancha has found time to pay homage to South America’s musical lifeblood by putting together this cumbia playlist.

Since the 2012 release of his sophomore album Rio Arriba on Buenos Aires’ esteemed ZZK Records, Chancha has been at the vanguard of the Latin American digital cumbia movement. 2014 brought us Amansara, this time on Wonderwheel Recordings, and upheld the Argentine experimentalist as one of the region’s most interesting musicians, cited by peers such as Dengue Dengue Dengue and Tremor as an important influence.

Chancha’s list – created exclusively for Remezcla – offers a diverse and bailable taste of some of the tunes to have inspired his career so far. And it brings in several countries along the way.

Peru’s dedication to chicha, the style that merges surf guitar with regional cumbia rhythms, comes from Los Destellos, the Lima legends formed in 1973 and still going strong more than 40 years later. Mexico’s Los Ángeles Azules also appear with broken-hearted classic “Cómo Te Voy a Olvidar.”

Unsurprisingly, it is Colombia and Argentina which feature most prominently. The African roots of Colombia’s cumbia heartlands is represented through the inclusion of Petrona Martínez, while the more studio-based sound of La Sonora Dinamita also warrants a place here.

Argentina’s contribution to the international cumbia lexicon is in the electrified tones of la cumbia villera, with Damas Gratis of Chancha’s hometown of Buenos Aires on board.

There’s little room for the current digital cumbia generation which locates Chancha at its center. Seeing as most fans will be familiar with those artists, Canale instead focuses on presenting some of the musicians who preceded the modern scene.

Chancha Via Circuito recently played at the Charco Festival in Madrid, which aims to promote Latin American musicians in Europe. The festival represents Europe’s most enticing event for amantes of LatAm music, with Bomba Éstereo, Jorge Drexler, Juana Molina, Molotov, Chico Trujillo, and others sharing the bill. Charco has other events lined up with musicians from Latin America and elsewhere at venues across Spain. You can find full details on their website.

Stream the playlist on Apple Music below: