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El-Dusty “Locos Only Vol 1”

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By this point, the mixture of cumbia with other modern dance sounds has essentially ceased to shock. While new fusions can occasionally erupt (the mixture of classical sounds, sonidero-style cumbia, Argentinian folk and electronic murk showcased on Fauna’s last release being a particularly strong example), for the most part, newness in and of itself is no longer enough. And as it turns out, that’s not the worst thing that can happen. Instead of losing steam, cumbia seems to have entered a period of more subtle evolution, with artists pushing things forward step by step instead of leap by leap. In essence- “We’ve got the fusion. Now what do we do with it?”

In the case of the Corpus-Christy based producer El Dusty, this means that his latest release “Locos Only Vol. 1,” is an expansion on his previous work, moving into Baaure style trap (on opener “Vato locos 4 Ever”) and full-on house (on “PartyCero”) while never forgetting to keep one foot in the cumbia bangers on which he made his name. While the straight ahead moments sometimes seem a bit samey, the set abounds with moments of real sonic invention- the sudden slowdown to dancehall speed at the end of “Te Ves Buena,” for example, or the duel between spiraling organs and drum machine clatter that drives “El Amor.” While the set doesn’t contain many tracks as strong as those two, taken as a whole, it is varied, smart, and thoroughly enjoyable. Definitely be sure to check it out!

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