Review Kanaku Y El Tigre – Quema Quema Quema

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The evolution of Kanaku y el Tigre is apparent with their new album Quema, Quema, Quema. The Peruvian indie-folk band have expanded their sound with Anglo-influences and vintage undertones. Known for their psych-folk-tinged music, their latest is a vibrant take on the subdued sound of their debut Caracoles.

Compared to that album, the songs have more complexity with layered melodies; they are compositions that require patience. Songs develop in intricate layers and rhythms that change frequencies throughout the masterly-composed tunes. Solid beats are infused with synthesizers, piano and pop choruses, making for a blissful mix of digitally-composed sounds and classic instruments overlaid with killer vocals. Despite a greater digital presence, the group maintain an elegant vintage air through their use of voice and percussion. Likewise, although there is a more upbeat groove to the album their Latin American folk essence is not forgotten with the accompaniment of gentle guitar and other instruments in the songs.

The integration of a more energetic pop sound is an experimental move for Kanaku Y El Tigre. The harmony of the ten tracks and the overall composition of the album is exquisitely done bringing energy and joy to the listener. The strongest songs are found in the middle of the album. “Quien Se Queda Quien Se Va”, “Si Te Mueres Mañana” and “Bubucelas” are at the album’s heart. They all share common characteristics, developing highs and lows that give depth and variation to their grooves. The use of sound effects is seamlessly united with the band’s percussion and guitars creating a beautiful united musical manifestation. Also present in these three songs is the sound and influence of Latin America music, along with an essence of psychedelic folk that still lingers.

Two of the tracks in the album are sung in English, both sharing the same name (written in Spanish and English). The first song is called “Quema, Quema, Quema” and immediately starts off with synthesizer, piano and sound effects that transitions into lyrics. The levels of the song change quickly from high intensity to low, creating an energetic feeling. At first I felt influences from Black Keys and their upbeat melodic style. The second song in English is called “Burn, Burn, Burn” and features Sergio Saba. This song starts off slow with lyrics and a quiet harmony and develops with higher intensity using synthesizer and other instruments. They are two masterly-composed tracks, though also two that have minimal Latin American influence, sharing a very Anglo sound.

Quema, Quema, Quema is Kanaku Y El Tigre’s first international release. The easy going and lively lyrics, containing many free-spirited messages, are said by the band to be inspired by Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road”. They are at the forefront of the new sound that Kanaku Y El Tigre have created, one that will surprise the listener and keep them moving with the power of their beats.

Quema Quema Quema is released by Tiger’s Milk/Strut Records and is available from Amazon UK, Amazon US and iTunes

Watch the video for “Si Te Mueres Mañana” below:


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