Borderline Latin: Cumbia Cosmonauts, The Soundtrack of Survivors

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Borderline Latin is an exploration of the influence of Latin music in styles, places and rhythms beyond its traditional borders, and of different types of cross-pollination between Latin music and other musical creatures. Each week, we will feature a song or musical style whose rhythm, themes, melodic inflections or influences have earned it the name of Borderline Latin.

Directly from Australia, this week’s Borderline Latin artists are bringing the sounds and rhythms of the tropics into the most southern of hemispheres and beyond, colonizing venues in Europe with their “tropical space cowboy” attitude. Who are these self-proclaimed tropical space cowboys, you ask? They are the Cumbia Cosmonauts.

The core of Cumbia Cosmonauts are producers Saca la Mois DJ (née Moses Iten) and Soup (née Thomas Campbell). A group of guest musicians join them in their live performances, featuring accordion, brass, percussions and even a theremin. It all started after Saca la Mois DJ was mixing beats and touring Mexico in 2007; he decided to focus on cumbia and after returning to Melbourne, and joined forces with Soup and accordion player Carlos Parraga. Before releasing their music officially, they produced remixes for well established Latin artists like Nortec, among others. In 2010 they released the digital album 500% Cumbia Mixtape and in 2011 came Vostok-1. Now they have released Tribal Amazonico through La Chusma records.

But why cumbia? Saca la Mois DJ has stated that “cumbia laughs in the face of adversity,” and also that it is an all-encompassing, inclusive style. According to him, cumbia is “the soundtrack of survivors.” Their particular brand is a mixture of tribal, chicha funk and dub. Check them out, track 5 and 6 are for FREE download below:

Click HERE to read more “Borderline Latin” profiles. For comments and tips, please contact me at:, and for more info on my “Borderline” works, visit Borderline Projects.