yo digo baila, tu dices dance

The other day, Matadornetwork.com had this article about Argentine music on their homepage, which I thought was pretty decent timing, because I had just made a playlist devoted to the songs I heard in bars, at parties, and on the radio while I was there. The article notes the fact that Argentine artists are rarely in the top ten, which is expected because the US exports so much manufactured music, but that's not what I wanted to write about. The article is punctuated by brief mentions of Argentina's return to cumbia.

I had never taken conscious notice of cumbia before going to Argentina (even though cumbia is originally from Colombia), kind of like how I had never liked merengue before going to the Dominican Republic. I wrote it off as "regional" music that I would never find an interest in. I have a few songs by the Colombian singer Fanny Lu on my iPod, which my zumba instructor calls "a soft cumbia," but after being exposed to it a little more, I'm not certain if that's a valid description. Anyway, the first time I saw cumbia performed was at a party in Argentina, when five people got up on the ledge of the swimming pool, formed a line, and danced to this incredibly rhythmic music, with lots of smiles and hip-shaking. Who said the country was only known for its tango?

Cumbia is experiencing a renewal in popularity, influenced by electric and synthesized beats and catchy lyrics. Bands such as Palenke Soultribe, Bomba Estereo, and El Hijo de la Cumbia make it a pleasant, happy listen, that makes you want to get up and dance. From my experience? Perfect for getting out of bed in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. You are absolutely right! Cumbia is the actual rhythm that you will hear at night clubs and pubs. Tango is just tradition and mostly enjoyed by older folks. I remember when I was in my apartment in buenos aires I used to hear cumbia on ever car, and even my neighbous listened to it!