First Listen: Talking Heads Get Cumbia-fied on Tribute Album from Ponk Records

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Ponk Records have decided to pay tribute in album form to one of the Talking Heads’ seminal moments, when they took the stage for their now-legendary Stop Making Sense live-recorded performance, which this year reached its 30th anniversary and still manages to enjoy a high level of cultural relevance. The Talking Heads’ omnipresence in alternative pop culture (that’s not an oxymoron, right?) reaches across borders, infiltrating the creative inspiration of artists across Latin America. Cue Sin Mucho Sentido, Ponk Records’ tribute to these legends.

The label has taken on the almighty project of reinterpreting tracks from Stop Making Sense, inviting artists to make attempts to approximate–or reinvent–David Byrne’s signature vocals that have made it to many a dance party soundtrack. The Brooklyn-based label–which clearly is not shy of taking on challenges, as it’s one of the few US-based Latin indie labels out there in the game–recruited some of Latin alternative’s up-and-comers for the task to make some unlikely pairings for a cover album of the classics.

The strongest output on the compilation also happens to be the opening track, with Torreblanca delivering a more controlled, horn section-weighted, clap-your-hands-to-the-beat version of “Psycho Killer.” Highlights also include Ulises Hadjis and Presidente delivering a minimalist, loungey version of “Slippery People,” while Broolyn-via-Colombia newcomers Balancer synth up the surf rock-y “What A Day That Was” original. Things get extra-experimental with Coronel do a clean hip-hop version of the downbeat “Take Me To The River,” and Sonido San Francisco cumbiafy “Burning Down the House.”

Head on over to purchase your copy at iTunes, or stream it below.