Sonido Gallo Negro – Sendero Mistico (Glitterbeat)
Mexico’s instrumental vintage cumbia group, Sonido Gallo Negro, release their second album. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
Hailing from Mexico City, Sonido Gallo Negro (roughly translating as Black Rooster Sound) are a nine-piece group playing instrumental tracks in a variety of happy-go-lucky styles.
On Sendero Mistico (Mystic Path), first released in Mexico in 2013, they blitz their way through psychedelic themes with the occasional ghostly shouting whilst playing a mix of spaghetti western and surf. It’s high energy from start to finish and executed with aplomb.
Following the release of their 2011 debut album, Cumbia Salvaje (Wild Cumbia) they rapidly appeared on national television and major festivals and have already performed in Europe. Their sound is exciting and brash, fusing traditional Latin and cha-cha sounds with those of indie and psychedelia and the end result is an album of highly polished madness.
Several of the tracks are introduced by soundbytes in a Spanish voice including La Patrona, a slow start to proceedings before El Ventarron picks up the pace which is then rarely lost. Hammond organs and congas aplenty.
Every track has a great hook, none more so than Alfonso Grana (Selvatica) which displays some great guitar work and bears resemblance in style to the wonderful Los Chinches. Tzantza Soul has a sublime dubbed-out intro I would have been intrigued to hear more of, but the favoured spaghetti/surf sound takes over.
The brilliantly titled Inca-A-Delic brings yet another unforgettable hook and album closer Mistery Of Zangbetos goes samba with electric guitars! It’s certainly an enjoyable album and one which succeeds at fusing several musical styles into one overflowing pot. Perhaps for the newcomer it may sound a little repetitive but continued listens (and there will be plenty) will ensure that it is enjoyed for the fun album that it is meant to be.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul is working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, the BBCs longest running alternative music programme. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow hiapop Blog on Twitter, @hiapop.