Meet DJ Lengua: New Cumbia O.G.

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Née: Eamon Ore-Giron
Raíces: Tucson, AZ, Lima, Peru and Mexico DF
Sounds like: DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Chico Sonido
You should listen to DJ Lengua because…finding the original records where he samples from is way too difficult.


DJ Lengua doesn’t get all the credit he deserves as one of the new cumbia movement’s pioneers, but he was there, doing his thing, way before most of us even realized that sampling an old cumbia record and layering it over a hip-hop break-beat was even feasible. Almost a decade before the appearance of Zizek Club and the “discovery” of cumbia by influential gringo producers and DJs, DJ Lengua was digging through flea markets down in Mexico City and Lima for obscure cumbia breaks in crates of dusty vinyls that nobody really cared about. Then he brought his treasured finds to San Francisco, CA, and played them at Club Unicornio, a legendary monthly party held in the heart of the Mission District that was probably the first of its kind. He took cumbia out of its traditional lowbrow context and placed it in a hip environment.

Eventually Club Unicornio morphed into a record label out of Oakland, CA, that presses exclusively on vinyl. Run by Lengua’s old time friend and renowned digger Sonido Franko, Unicornio Discos has released a handful of remarkable records from artist like LA’s Chicano Batman, Oakland’s Roger Más, and DJ Lengua himself. Cruzando is the title of Lengua’s second EP for Unicornio. It actually came out last year, but its commercialization was delayed for various reasons and now it’s finally available to the public.

The son of a Peruvian father and an Irish mother, born in Tucson, AZ, Lengua, whose real name is Eamon Ore-Giron (he also has a pre-Unicornio release under that name), grew up moving constantly all over Latin America and California–hence his unique perspective on cumbia music. He currently resides in LA where he can usually be seen at the Más Exitos party mixing rare cumbias with other bizarre Latin finds, from bolero to funk to early reggaetón to anything else, as long as it’s on vinyl. That’s the only format in which his amazing new album (with beautiful art by Julio César Morales) will be legally available, and you can grab a copy from HERE.