Guasá, Cununo y Marimba – Album Review

Originally posted on Sounds and Colours, you can read the full review here.

Despite their prolific contribution to Colombian culture, Afro-Colombians, who make up between 10-20% of the country, have long been marginalised. What attention they have received has mostly focused on musical exports – champeta, cumbia – from the Caribbean coast. But a new compilation, Guasá, Cununo y Marimba, subtitled Afro-Colombian Music from the Pacific Coast, sheds light on the often-overlooked musical traditions from the Pacific region.

The double-album (21 songs) has been put together by Palenque Records founder Lucas Silva and Montreal-based digger Philippe Noel (Canicule Tropical). Lucas recognises that the Caribbean is rich in rhythms: “Over 50, he says, and they’re the most well known: cumbia, bullerengue, lumbalu, son de negro, and of course porro which came from brass bands. Then today you have the afro-funky things, psychedelia…” But the Pacific coast, a broad stretch of dense jungle that meets the sea, is equally rich, with over 70 rhythms and counting.

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