We were first turned on to cumbia editadas (or edited cumbia) by a mix of the Sonido Royal soundsystem put together by Turbo Sonidero Futuristico. It’s a crazy sound- denser and more industrial than most cumbia, pierced by sudden explosions of sound FX (almost dubstyle) and ridden roughshod by the DJ’s booming, echo-laden voice. The music is often slowed down, causing the pitchbent melodies to shimmer and sag over themselves, while vocals are chopped and layered and stretched and then shouted over by the DJ, the whole descending into an endless, otherworldly grind. In terms of editadas’ place within the general constellation of cumbia styles, it seems likely to be at least tangentially related to cumbia rebajada, a highly slowed down style popular in Mexico and the southern US. But- as is always true- those similarities could just as easily be a case of parallel sonic evolution.
According to Turbo Sonidero himself, “I was introduced to Sonido Royal’s work back in 2008 after I played a set at a live stream with El Tigre Sonidero, a local traditional sound system from here in California. After I played my set, Tigre Sonidero, told me my style reminded him a lot of the Cumbia coming out of San Luis Potosi. He showed me Sonido Royal and Kiss Sound, two fierce rivals in the sonidero scene in San Luis Potosi. They both play Cumbia Editadas, a style that was created in San Luis Potosi and produced by producers like Danni Mastah and Master Maniaco. Even though both have a similar styles, Sonido Royal calls the music he plays MDB, Musica De Barrio (Music of the Hood); Kiss Sound calls his style Kumbia WEPA.
In 2011, I traveled to Puebla, a southern state of Mexico and after asking in various pirate CD stands for Sonido Royal or Kiss Sound Cd’s and nobody knowing what I was talking about, I knew I had to go to the source of Cumbia Editadas, San Luis Potosi. I went to San Luis with a couple of friends and bought everything that I could.”
Some digging on the internet turns up a CRAZY lot of this stuff. The best of it is (that we’ve found at least!) is collected in any number of epic mixes taken from live performances. It’s mostly all great- so start searching!
Here is the mix that sparked our interest:
Here is a mix of Kiss Sound
And here is one of our favorite youtube sessions from Sonido Royal