♫ > A1. Amor Eterno
♫ > A2. FiebreFiebreFiebre
♫ > A3. El Hablamocho
♫ > A4. Space Duendez
♫ > B1. El Baile De Sorayo
♫ > B2. Sonidero Funk
♫ > B3. Low Co
♫ > B4. La Noche Se Acabo
♫ > B5. BONUS TRACK
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Just as cumbia has morphed to custom fit every region and culture it has reached, El Keamo now aims to follow this tradition of abstraction and transformation, pulling from personal and genre-based references across acid, deep house, cumbia rebajada, trance, high-energy cumbia tribal, dub, and beyond.
The album namesake, El Keamo, nods to the playfulness of iconic Mexican cumbia groups like Los Kiero and Grupo Kual, though the sound is a departure from this groundwork. As El Keamo went through an immersive introspective process of facing and overcoming self-doubt throughout the writing process, the output also offers a recorded rendering of the transmutation of that brave, explorative energy.
The record begins with “Amor Eterno,” a heady, synth-heavy track that glides through nostalgia for Los Angeles’ weeknight live music staples The Smell and Low End Theory. Downtempo “FiebreFiebreFiebre” revels in dub and 90’s G Funk influences, nodding to the ripples of cumbia innovation from Peruvian duo Dengue Dengue Dengue! “El Hablamocho” enters uptempo terrain with a cross-section of cumbia norteño, driven by a rolling bass layered with rave-inflected supersaws.
“Space Duendez” invokes the feeling of cruising in the heat of a Los Angeles summer, with a mellow synth line that references ATB’s “Til I Come. “El Baile de Soraya” opens the Side B of the record by leaning into hardstyle that’s contrasted by the mellow opening notes of bird calls. “Sonidero Funk” features a remastered version of the previously-released track, with synths reverberating across an off-kilter melodic journey. “Low co” slows the pace to a laid-back intonation, before moving into “La Noche se Acaba,” closing the record on a dripping, gloomy note.
The album is the third release by El Keamo on record label Talacha, preceded by his Escalofrios EP and his collaboration with Halfmann, El Talacha, pressed to 7” vinyl. El Keamo was recorded over the span of a year and a half beginning in 2021, from the base of the artist’s home studio in Reseda, California. The album is an exercise in resourcefulness, as El Keamo primarily recorded using Studio One, a pair of headphones, and a second-hand MIDI keyboard, after the pandemic forced him to shut down a shared art and design studio.
El Keamo’s team includes creative director Carlos Avila, label owner Diego “Talacha” Guiterrez, and artist Javier Ramirez, who created a custom painting for the album artwork. The painting depicts legendary imagery of the founding of Tenochtitlan– replacing the original location of Lake Texcoco in Central Mexico with Sepulveda Basin in Los Angeles, alluding to the diaspora of Mexican descendants in the city, alongside the Mexica’s search for a homeland and a connection to identity through their ancestral roots.
Review by Sara Skolnick aka Riobamba
- Label: Talacha
- Cat No: TLCH008
- Format: LP
- Speed: 33 RPM