Guadalajara, Mexico’s Bial Hclap combines his loves of rap, cumbia and dub reggae on his latest free-to-download Veneno EP. Bial poisons our eardrums here with six excellent tracks. Four of these are originals, with two remixes rounding out the release from Wakan Tanka Records.
The EP is best reviewed as a study in not-so discordant styles, surprisingly and inventively blended together. “Deep Skanks” is exactly as advertised, as a horn sample, a live electric guitar and electro dub reggae combine with organic cumbia to create a track that works comfortably as either a cumbia or reggae ballad. Mood Fu‘s “Veneno” has a similar balladier-friendly soul groove, but with more bass. Afrocumbiero’s “Cumbia Tropical” completes the trio of soul explorations, this track feeling more in line with technocumbia than anything else on the EP.
Bial’s rap roots are certainly explored here too, snap-friendly trap beats are ear-worms on “Picadura de abispa,” the track featuring the rap stylings of Fidel Nadal and Jah Fabio. A whistling synth in the top of the mix that feels more “wild west” than “too turnt up” puts this one over the top in the best way possible. “Thug Life”‘s minor key synths undulate against the bassline, the organic cumbia sway of the track intentionally creating an aural friction that actually benefits the overall production.
“Whasanas nuevas” is the mind-bending outlier here, the one track that could be just as comfortable as a vibe-friendly festival jam or a late-night underground party DJ weapon.
The EP is free-to-download here.