Picture yourself in a rural Chilean Andean town, or even in the highlands of Mexico, it’s carnival season and you are immersed in a colourful and warm-sounded rhythm with no chance of not dancing. This is what Chico Trujillo’s latest album Reina De Todas Las Fiestas (The Queen of All Parties), is about: pure cumbia fiesta rhythms. The album title correctly reflects this musical Andean party spirit.
By collaborating with Argentine rock star Kevin Johansen on “Los Nervios Que Te Di” and with Chilean group Banda Wiricocha (a carnival band based in northern Chile’s Iquique), Chico Trujillo have managed to create a pan-Latin American album, making it attractive to cumbia fans from all over. Therefore it only fits that La Reina De Todas Las Fiestas was recorded in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, incorporating the different music styles and rhythms from across the continent. Interestingly enough, each of these countries have their own cumbia style, and Chico Trujillo have been successful in creating a melting pot from all of them.
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The album’s tracks strongly feature instruments from across the Andes, blending incredibly rhythmic bass with charango in “Malgeniosa”, mixing accordion, clarinets and woodwinds in “Playas Marinas” and a charango beginning leading to a gorgeous Andean pan flute solo mixed with orchestral brass in “Alturas” that puts the listener in the highlands of the Andes, whilst maintaining the fiesta vibe. “La Reina De Todas Las Fiestas”, the title song presents the catharsis of the album by featuring immensely rhythmic carnival percussion with a subtle samba bloco beat leading to beautiful horn instrumentals, a mash-up of the entire album.
It’s almost as if Chico Trujillo have created a Nueva-Cancion-Andino-Cumbia album that is catchy, at some parts definitely danceable and an inter-cultural mix of music from across Latin America. When I need positive and cheerful music, this album is the one I listen to first.
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