Review Bondi Blaster’s Lo Juimo! – Like A Party On A Bus
The resurgence of cumbia is a great thing for aficionados of the genre, as well as new fans who will no doubt be attracted to its saucy blend of Latin American and African sounds. Bondi Blaster’s Lo’ Juimo! is another reason to get excited. Chock full of what he calls cumbia linyera, hip-hop, Brazilian pop and even a bit of dub, you’ll wonder where this music has been all your life.
So who is Bondi Blaster?
Juan Data is the man behind the outfit, in which he collaborates with Dub Snakkr and a handful of others. Of the alter-ego, he says: “Bondi is Argentine slang for bus. And urban buses, with their loud radios, have been key players in the propagation of cumbia music and other kitsch expressions of low-brow pop culture throughout the continent.”
That’s for sure. Born and raised in Caballito, a middle-class neighborhood of Buenos Aires; Juan Data discovered hip-hop and dance music culture at the early age of 13.
The influence is certainly heard on Lo’ Juimo!, where, for example, he brings on Barranquillero (now a Miami resident) hip hop artist Ephniko and Nes, of Mexico City’s R.A.P. Squad, on the piping hot “Cumbia Nena”, which you can listen to here:
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The song is a wonderful combination of the origin of Cumbia (Colombia) with artists hailing from the countries where the genre would find wide commercial markets success.
[Side note: I personally discovered Ephniko last November at Bowery Electric, when he performed alongside New York City-based bands, Butcher Knives and Escarioka, two cumbia-gypsy-dub and punk bands heavy on the South American membership. Ephniko puts on one heck of a show.]
The stand-out track on Lo’ Juimo! Is, without question, “Alta Farra” (see video below). It’s infectious and that’s probably because you’ll try to figure out what Bondi Blaster is saying while playing it over and over again like I did.
Juan Data gets on the mic and delivers three verses plus the chorus using exclusively words with the letter A. Rattling off verses over an Andean-folk background provided by Gabriel Navia, it truly is, as Juan Data describes, “an extreme exercise in verbal acrobatics that will drive the attentive listener crazy.” Yes. Been there. Done that. And I love the song.
Listen to the full album below:
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