PREMIERE: Sonido Gallo Negro & Grupo Kual Revive Sonidero Spaces in “Cumbia Triste”

Lead Photo: Photo by David Barajas.
Photo by David Barajas.
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Sonido Gallo Negro is keeping sonidero spaces alive with their psychedelic cumbia music. The Mexican group brings sonidero back to their pueblo in the music video for “Cumbia Triste,” which is premiering today on Remezcla. In an interview, Sonido Gallo Negro opened up about their collaboration with Grupo Kual, the need for sonideros, and what’s next.

Sonido Gallo Negro hails from San Juan de Aragón, a pueblo in Mexico City. In 2012, they released their breakthrough album, Cumbia Salvaje. For over a decade, their futuristic take on cumbia music has charmed audiences around the world. 

“We always try to reinvent ourselves,” Sonido Gallo Negro shares with Remezcla. “We don’t like to stay in a formula. We think that what is interesting for us as musicians, our public, and new audiences is a constant evolution.” 

In Nov. 2022, Sonido Gallo Negro returned with their most hypnotic album yet, Paganismo. For a majority of the LP, they collaborated with another band that formed near San Juan de Aragón, Grupo Kual. The trippy “Fantasmagoría” has become one of the big hits from the LP. 

Paganismo is an album where we abandoned many methods of the music industry and we were guided more by intuition, being with the right people, and doing what thrilled us,” the outfit shares. “‘Paganismo’ is about searching for new musical deities.”

Now they’re is releasing “Cumbia Triste” as the next single from Paganismo. The song is a cover of the classic by Ecuadorian composer Polibio Mayorga. The group’s otherworldly version of “Cumbia Triste” reflects their sonidero-ready sound.

“The original version is faster, and the idea we had was to transmute it into a sonidero groove,” the group shares. “It’s a cadence that accompanies the day-to-day work of thousands of people in the city: a slow and very rough rhythm.”

For the “Cumbia Triste” music video, Sonido Gallo Negro returned to their own stomping grounds of San Juan de Aragón. Along with Grupo Kual, both bands spark up a large sonidero in the streets that has the whole neighborhood dancing. There are even queer couples in the mix who are moving to Sonido Gallo Negro’s groove.

“Our director Gustavo Gamou, who is also a great friend of ours, managed to capture the incredible moments that happen involving a ‘sonidero’ dance in Aragón,” Sonido Gallo Negro says. “Even though we had to move out of the neighborhood, this is a tribute that shows where we grew up continues to inspire our cumbia and the way we make music.” 

Sonido Gallo Negro has plans to release a deluxe edition of Paganismo soon, including a collaboration with Joyce Musicolor. The band is also bringing the sonidero to iconic music halls around Mexico City. Sonido Gallo Negro’s next performance is taking place at California Dancing Club on Mar. 31. After touring Mexico, the band is hoping to perform in the U.S. next.

“We want to play diverse festivals,” the group adds. “We believe that Sonido Gallo Negro can connect with multicultural audiences. We want to take our interpretation of Mexico as far as we can.” 

Check out the music video for “Cumbia Triste” below.