Pelao (2011) was the first full length release by La Chiva Gantiva, a band I’ve only just discovered that began life as a group of Colombian students in Brussels connecting with their homeland and musical heritage. Alongside traditional Caribbean instruments they incorporate the more familiar bass guitar, the clarinet and the saxophone but it is also their long string of diverse global influences that give them their unique sound:
Colombian (with the likes of Toto la Momposina, Lucho Bermudez and Petrona Martinez), Latin (Fania All Stars, Irakere), African (Fela Kuti and Tony Allen), Jazz (Lionel Hampton), funk (the legendary James Brown) and rock (Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine).
Since their beginings the band has grown to include Colombians, French, Flemish, Walloon, and Vietnamese. The result of this cultural soundclash is a unique musical style and explosive on-stage energy, that has opened their path to many of biggest festivals throughout Europe.
“One of the best antidepressants of this autumn” (Vibrations, FR)
Here’s the title track from Pelao released in 2011
“Pelao” was produced by Richard Blair, an English producer living in Colombia. In addition to his work as an engineer for Peter Gabriel (“Us” & “Blood of Eden”) and Real World Recordings, Mr Blair is, with his project Sidestepper, one of the major players in Colombia’s digital Cumbia scene. The mutual sources of inspiration of the producer and the group and the irony of reverse immigrations (the Colombians in Brussels and the Englishman in Bogota), make for an ideal collaboration between musicians and producer.
1. Por Eso Canto
2. La Chiva
4. Pa Ke Gozen ?
6. Pink Flamingo
11. Pa Q Ça