If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that the world of regional mexican music (encompassing genres like banda, corridos, grupero, Norteño and rancheras) is on the cusp of a riveting experimental wave, ambitiously pushing sonic boundaries and attracting legions of new fans. Whether on wild trap-corrido hybrids from La Plebada, Natanael Cano and Bad Bunny teaming up on the “Soy el Diablo” remix, or Trillones showing synthpop love to banda brass and his native Mexicali on “Bien Librado,” an entire musical canon once perceived as limited by tradition is opening up to a world of possibilities. Joining this riveting insurrection are Los Pikadientes de Caborca, who’ve tapped British-Pakistani singer-songwriter Sanwal Esakhelvi, and Indian rapper, producer Kuwar Virk for a wild ride of textured cumbia horns and evocative bangra percussion titled “Punjabi Cumbia.”
Since first hitting the scene in 2008 with viral single “La Cumbia del Río,” Los Pikadientes de Caborca have cultivated a reputation as lovable left-of-center weirdos due to their earnest songwriting, extremely lo-fi productions and uproarious music videos. While thriving on punkish grit, the volatile Sonoran crew broke for a prolonged hiatus between 2011 and 2018, eventually returning with two new party-starting albums. However, “Punjabi Cumbia” ushers a bold new chapter for Los Pikadientes, delighting in its cross-cultural significance and presenting what is easily their glossiest production to date. Cumbia, bangra and Pancho Pikadiente’s unmistakable vaquero twang swirl into a bonafide banger about lust and seduction, accompanied by a cheeky animated video directed by Fabián Guerrero where globetrotting and beautiful women collide into what could be a musical episode of Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?
“Punjabi Cumbia” is the lead single off Los Pikadientes de Caborca’s forthcoming album Cumbia Sin Fronteras, a conceptual LP featuring 14 genre-bending duets with artists from around the world. Beyond Esakhelvi and Virk, guests include Peruvian cumbia diva Maricarmen Marín, Panamanian ska band Los Rabanes, Costa Rican fusion masters Los Ajenos and Salvadoran banda Sinaloense favorites La Auténtica Banda LL, all adding their own unique spice to Los Pikadientes’ bananas concoctions. While eager to blur genre lines, plenty of regional heroes have also been enlisted for the project, including Sinaloan star Fidel Rueda, Sonoran cumbia legends Grupo La Kaña and Dallas romantics Energía Norteña.
Watch the video here: