Whatever you want to call it– ñu-cumbia, cumbiatrónica, or, as G-Flux puts it, “space cumbia”– this style of music continues to maintain the popularity that it has garnered over the last several years. Just in the past couple weeks, we’ve covered new releases by Manduka, a Franco-Chilean adherent of the genre, and the DC-based Empresarios, who blended ñu-cumbia in with salsa and reggae on their Funk the World 19 mix. G-Flux, who also lives in DC, collaborated with Empresarios earlier this year on the infectious “Sanguijuela.” Now he’s got a brand new release of his own, a 45” out today on Electric Cowbell.
G-Flux, who moved to the US from Mexico City to study music production, first broke onto the scene four years ago with “El Ciclón del Caribe,” a collaboration with Mexican duo Afrodita. In that song’s video, Afrodita, who dress in Aztec outfits, are transported from ancient Mexico to a modern party via a time machine, summing up the roots-meets-electronic sound of modern cumbia that G-Flux has mastered.
On side A of the new 45”, G-Flux teams up with Los Master Plus for “Ritmo Universal.” Los Master Plus, a vocal duo from Guadalajara with fantastic mustaches, are best known for their own hilarious video, a cover of Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire,” retitled “Sexo En Fuego,” featuring green screen fireworks, a lovely lady, our mustachioed heros, and for whatever reason, an ostrich. “Ritmo Universal” is trance-inducing cosmic jam that makes a fine case for cumbia as a universal dance music– something that can be enjoyed by both aliens and humans from all over the world.
Side B finds G-Flux reuniting with Afrodita, along with the Peruvian chicha guitarist Jose Luis Carballo on “Meneito.” The song begins with an echoing cough, some “ooah-ooah”s and then an introduction of the song as “la cumbia, la chicha, la rumba… la nueva… tropical…. internacional!” G-Flux’s production mixes together surf-sounding guitar with vocals, horns, and some UFO-style electronic effects to great effect.
Bring on the alien-Aztec dance future!