Son Rompe Pera’s “Pájaro Cezontle” Gives Mexican Marimba Music a Punk Edge

Lead Photo: Photo by Ana Fuentes
Photo by Ana Fuentes
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From the outskirts of Mexico City, Naucalpan brothers Kacho and Mongo Gama relaunched their father’s old ensemble Son Rompe Pera in 2017, but instead of performing its popular marimba-based repertoire the traditional way, they brought their punk heart to the mix and created their own style.

Their father Batuco taught them to play the marimba when they were only boys, and they are now using it as the main instrument in their latest musical endeavor. Alongside three more musicians, they perform original songs and selections from the Mexican, Colombian, and Peruvian cumbia catalogue, giving them a twist by filtering them through their punk and garage point of view.

Son Rompe Pera are ready to debut with Batuco, their first full-length album, and homage to the brothers’ recently deceased father, which is set to drop on February 28 through ZZK offshoot label AYA Records. The first preview we get from the album is their rendition of Super Grupo Colombia’s classic “Pájaro Cezontle,” where the band’s street grit can be felt all over and the marimba melodies are the absolute protagonists.

For its music video, exclusively premiered here at Remezcla, the Son Rompe Pera combo take over the streets of Santiago de Chile, where they spent a season in 2017 and recorded Batuco. With the visuals, they take us to the massive Persa Bio-Bio street market, a place they used to frequent on the weekends to reconnect with their street musician origins. Kacho and Mongo perform their signature percussion instrument with dexterity, sporting black punk rock clothing to emphasize the contrast that their music represents.

“The basics of Son Rompe Pera have been developing since we were kids, and the music and streets are in our blood,” the Gama brothers share on their press release. “We found the markets flooded with old, forgotten folk music, and so as kids we decided to carry the marimba with us and create this musical project from our own roots, mixing in rhythms which we thought would never be musical brothers, like cumbia, punk, and the sounds of our barrios and our everyday lives.”