Techno-futurists Mitú have returned with Siempre, a four-track EP that marks their transition from analog gear and palenquero percussive instruments to digital drum pads. The result is the Afro-Colombian coast translated in the bogotano techno underworld context. It’s a reflection of both of the worlds that Julián Salazar and Franklin Tejedor of San Basilio de Palenque inhabit as urban dwellers with raíces they keep close, rooted in other places and times.
On Siempre, the cinematic “Interkudi” leads in to mark the clear entrance of a new sound, as if they’re expertly testing out the gear to warm up for the ensuing frenzy. Take the synth-driven hypnosis of “91,” a track that layers drum pads and disparate voices for perhaps the most linear and bottled example of all of the tracks. “Cazador” is la selva rendered digitally, putting Mitú’s new mechanisms for creation on full display, balancing electronic processing with a sample bank that translates the sounds of nature with a MIDI-fueled lexicon. “Obisi,” previously released as a single with a black-and-white, strobe light-inflected video, offers up a driving, chanting ritualism transformed through robotic vocals. The meaning behind the repetition in the lead single is unclear, but its subversive phonetic quality emerges as the most essential element.
Released via Tigo Music Colombia, the tracks are the result of experimental sessions in a small cabin outside of Medellín, presenting a sense of self-defined ritualism that creates space for their improvisational dialogue to shine through. Their innovation of techno palenquero is inseparable from rhythms directly linked to Afro-Colombian culture, showing a level of craft that reveals the deep respect the duo clearly has for these traditions, while warping them enough to make a completely transcendent sound that is totally their own.