Peruvian producer Eduardo Otayza explores cumbia from a seemingly woozy and psychotropic perspective under his alias Sonidos Profundos. His latest full release from Sello Regional is Malandrena, a nickname for the seaside Peruvian district of Magdalena del Mar. Four originals and four remixes comprise the release.
“El Terror” fuses a glitchy vocal sample, minor-key synths, a booming dembow riddim, and a rubbery bass line into a pleasingly unique sound. “Grass” is a weaving riddim that feels like it’s caught in a smoky haze. “Jugo Cósmico” blends a plaintive guitar, zipping synths, and a bright cumbia sweep into an ear worm of a track. Horns, claps, and thick breaks give “Enciendelbong” a far more salsa-friendly feel.
The remixes are a mixed bag, all of which bear deep similarities to great moments in classic rap. Chilean producer Dash Slktr’s edit of “El Terror” holds the break-friendly krautrock sensibilities of Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock,” while Peru’s Tribilin Sound crafts a remix that keeps that New York salsa feel, but slows down and focuses on the interplay between the trumpet and the bass line, drawing a strong similarity to A Tribe Called Quest’s “I Left My Wallet In El Segundo.”
From techno to salsa and beyond, Eduarto Otayza’s unique perspective on cumbia allows for a plethora of exciting takes that are well worth hearing.