Manduka (AKA Hector Pizarro) is a Franco-Chilean DJ based in Paris. His new EP, Mi Pollito (available streaming on his Soundcloud page), is his second project of 2013 after a remix EP of Dengue Dengue Dengue’s Simìolo. Manduka won Dengue Dengue Dengue’s remix contest for his effort, and Mi Pollito stands as further testament to his prowess as a cumbia specialist, expanding the genre’s basic rolling beat by seamlessly mixing dub and electronic elements into his sound. Growing up in Quilipué, Chile, Manduka listened to La Sonora Palacios, a Chilean cumbia group formed in the 60s that continues to play into the current day. He closes the EP with remix of their 1968 song “Llega La Cigüeña,” turning the 60s cumbia classic into a dreamy electronic soundscape interlaced with whistles and horns.
Manduka further references his Chilean heritage by incorporating spoken word by the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda onto “El Luchador.” The song captures Neruda’s surrealism, as his voice echoes across tropical dub atmospherics.
The four tracks on Mi Pollito mix together Manduka’s Chilean cumbia roots with the imported flavors of dub and the cosmopolitan feeling of Paris, creating a satisfying and all-too-short listening experience. We expect more good to come from the young DJ.