MAKU - Culebra Coral
by Names You Can Trust
Title: Culebra Coral / Contra TAMBOR
Speed: 45 RPM
One of the original catalysts of Latinx music in New York City, MAKU Soundsystem has been the connective tissue for several creative projects, bands and community roots for over a decade. As a group with a rotating membership, they’ve recorded multiple albums both DIY and for worldwide labels. Throughout their various iterations, the heart and mission of the ensemble has consistently built bridges, rather than tearing them down, remaining a remarkable beacon of positivity in a consistently competitive environment. The inspiring atmosphere has nurtured several notable musicians and acts over the years, including members of Combo Chimbita, Dilemastronauta, Bulla en el Barrio, Leon Brothers and Prince of Queens. Now down to a core group of three musicians, alongside percussionist Moris Cañate, MAKU and Names You Can Trust have finally teamed up for a vinyl edition after many years of collaborative shows and connections.
Perhaps their rawest and darkest recordings to date, this stripped down quartet is an ode to the creative source of their core members, lead singer & bassist Juan Ospina, drummer Andres Jimenez and guitarist Camilo Rodriguez. The A-side, “Culebra Coral” is a snakebitten taste of la cumbia, played with an experience and restraint that only enhances the end result. It’s a free driven approach born from familiar experimentation, rather than modern day trends — a singular jam, refined from years of playing together. Part psych, part cumbia, total MAKU. The B-side, “Contra Tambor,” is emblematic of the group’s roots in the traditional sounds of la tambora, a drum-forward percussive arrangement that follows Jimenez and Cañate on a free-driven approach to the ritualistic movements of the drums, this time drowned with an antidote of analog FX, synthesized glitches and atmospheric coros.