Electric Cowbell is insanely passionate and prolific in putting out way left of center music from all genre's, the most recently to pass across my turntable have been of the salsa-funk world music variety, but that's not even fair. If there's something really interesting I would have never heard of, EC is already there providing this kind of entry point to entire new worlds. Case in point is this single from Los Riberenos, a Peruvian band working in the Chicha genre. This is humbling stuff, as much you'd like to think you have somewhat of a handle on things happening in contemporary music, when something like this is happening out there, it's a sign of just how pigeonholed your own taste can get. Mix it up once in a while, it doesn't have to be a music lesson, but do you need another one-sided experimental noise single? I'm just saying be well rounded...and I'm truly thankful for these sounds.
So the A-Side, "Silbando" features some major crooning from leader John Beny, over a rolling slow conga fill opening, then that washboard scratch sound drives this one home. As soon as it picks up, a great twangy, sort of surf guitar sound plays the lead melody, improvising all over the rhythm in between John's vocals. Nice background kids singing backup. The mix of percussion is impressive, building through various slightly varied tempo's with triangles, kettle drums...an entire village of metal banging. I think that can't even be helped, performed live, you'd be compelled to bang on something. It's a brief one, they hardly get into another chorus which fades out, but there's still the B-Side which is a remix of the track by Brooklyn's Greenwood Rhythm Coalition, and that's another thing Electric Cowbell does that no one else I know of is doing, highlighting the interpretations and variations of these sounds by Brooklyn artists. Here they've kept the original largely intact, with the addition of a groove bassline, which until now, you didn't realize was missing. There's even more variation on the percussion, layers of more eclectic instrumentation with a dub slant at times, big time delay and echoing unrecognizable pieces of the original. The guitar is given even more room to shine when the whole thing comes to a stop. This one is housed in a pavement style collage sleeve on black vinyl.
So what do I think of the Electric Cowbell section of the seven inch shelves? It's making me a better person. Check out the tracks and pick this one up from Electric Cowbell Records.
Very excited about this one! Barbes Records has exclusively licensed Electric Cowbell Records a song from the new Roots of Chicha ll complilation. Chicha is essentially a sort of psychedelic cumbia-based music from the Amazon basin in Peru. Incessant twangy surf guitar playing montunos alongside propulsive, percolating percussion is the modus operandi of a chicha group. On side A we have the hauntingly beautiful track by Los Ribereños "Silbando" that gets a tasty remix on the B-side by Brooklyn's Greenwood Rhythm Coalition for NYC Trust. Los Ribereños, led by John Beny, is another Peruvian 60s band which specialized in a mostly Cuban repertoire but gave it what we can, in retrospect, call a chicha twist. A the time of this recording, chicha was getting a little more syncretic, with an occasional Andean flavor, but guaracha (a mid-20th century Cuban style of music) remained its strongest element....and this chicha-infused guaracha 45 is destined to be a world-class psych burner classic!