If you’re going to jam, jam with a purpose. That’s what we always say. There is nothing more transparent during a show than the way a musician feels about his or her music. Los Angeles’ own Palenke Soultribe definitely had their passion on display at their recent show presented by the Beso Group. The main men — Juan Diego Borda (Insecto) on the mic, Andrés Erazo (Popa) on keyboard and Andrés Zaluaga on drums — pack crazy folkloric beats and dance rhythms that combine rock, indie, punk and heavy house propelled by drums and thrown off by break beats. These guys have come a long way from Palaina Dinamita, their previous project, and have brought with them the surging underground electronic movement from Colombia to our very own doorstep.
We caught up with Palenke’s manager, Guillermo Wrightman, who says “the band’s growing, discovering and persevering,” and highlighted the bands’ heavy electronic house style, which incorporates Latin beats with a Sigur Rós approach and salutes to one of Latin music’s most successful independent groups, Kinky. “Kinky is our friend”, he said when we noted that an audience member compared tonight’s performance to the Mexican band “when they were cool.” Wightman totally dug the comment.
One of the highlights of their newest album, Oro — nominated for best dance/electric album at the 2010 Independent Music Awards, by the way –, is the track “It’s Not Your Fault,” a collaboration with Kinky’s César Pliego. Other contributions from Latin artists Sr. Mendez and Locos por Juana make for an insanely inventive mix.
DJs Donovan and CBass closed the show with explicit Latin house mixes. Some in the crowd said they loved their set as much as the main event, which obviously is a huge compliment for these already prolific performers.