Video: Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas – "Ula Ula"

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After ten years of going solo, Dante Spinetta and Emmanuel Horvilleur got together for this highly expected reincarnation of the legendary rapping duo Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas, and it seems like time didn’t pass. Sure, they’re more experienced and mature, but not older. They look the same, they sound the same (or better!), and they still have the funk.

Chances is the title of their seventh official album and it fits comfortably in their catalog right after Versus and Leche — the recordings that helped them define their style and solidify their sacred alliance with funk. Their respective solo releases that happened during that ten-year hiatus — full of explorations with glam rock, cumbia, and raw hip-hop — didn’t seem to affect them permanently. When they got together in the studio late last year to start working on Chances, it was as if they picked up right where they left off.

Heirs to the Argentine rock royalty, Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas had a very precocious debut in 1991 with Fabrico Cuero where they channeled some third world translation of the Beastie Boys over left over Fito Páez beats. Trying to build at least some street cred, they went underground with their second album and started expanding their repertoire incorporating other genres besides rap. It was with their third album Chaco (1995) that they crossed over to the rest of Latin America via MTV. Finally, they started to get the respect of the critics who until then dismissed IKV as a gimmick.

Even though their abstract and non-sequitur lyrics never satisfied the demands of the true hip-hop heads, they ended up geting respect with their aforementioned fifth and sixth albums where rap was not the focus any more, it was just one ingredient in their majestic funky salad. Dante and Emmanuel proved that even if they were not the best hardcore MCs, they had achieved a supreme South American interpretation of ’70s African-American funk in a style that was completely their own.

Chances has them going back to that formula that they developed in the late ’90s where they immersed deep into their fantasy world: a mix of Blaxploitation movies, martial arts, comic book-like characters, and they even have characters of themselves as sexual superheroes. “Ula Ula” is just the first single off Chances, an album is packed with potential hits, a few surprises (there’s even a rap-metal collaboration with Molotov!), and a sexy album cover photo. I have a feeling there will be a lot more singles and videos coming out soon, and hopefully more Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas funky albums.

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Download: Illya Kuryaki & the Valderramas – “Ula Ula”
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Download Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas’ Chances below: