“Cumba Mela is an international music collective, encompassing the gathering and soul celebration of a musical journey that unites all four directions of the earth. This sonic global experience is as culturally rich and diverse as the demographic landscape of New York City, the home of Cumba Mela. Cumba Mela blends a colorful array of international genres such as nueva cumbia, kuduro, samba, afro-latin bass, dubstep, electro, baile funk, balkan-brass, and many more. Their original tracks and remixes range from a selection of intercontinental folk influences to urban bass.” –CumbaMela.com
I first heard about these guys the same way I hear about most quality new music- through the grapevine at underground Brooklyn loft parties and warehouse bass bangers. What began as a dim buzz quickly exploded into an outright trend; suddenly, all my friends in the industry were working with Cumba Mela in one way or another. I finally took the time to sit down and listen to their entire Soundcloud inventory, plugging my computer into a more formidable sound system and berating Ranchsauce until he agreed to pay attention and listen with me. We spent the next hour wobbling around, laughing at the dubby U.S Military cadence and wompy Hare Krishna chant. I have been searching for electro- kirtan, and these guys deliver even better than I imagined. Their music encompasses a wide range of genres while maintaining stylistic continuity, embodying the spirit of community.
If you’re in the New York area, make sure to check out their weekly residency at Bembe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and go to CumbaMela.com to find out about upcoming gigs. For now, give these tracks a listen and be prepared for some serious head bopping and spontaneous wiggles: