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Live Pirañas! As Scary as It Sounds…

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It sounds like how ants crawling under your skin feel.

Sometimes it sounds like if there was a HAL computer on George Clinton’s mothership, and then it went crazy and tried to kill the crew, and then it was shutting down and dying and spitting shredded ribbons of tone every which way.

In the right mood (and you better believe that the Afropop HQ is deep in that mood right now), Colombia’s Los Pirañas are the best band in the world. Featuring the undeniable talents of Mario Galeano (of Frente Cumbiero and Ondatropica), Eblis Álvarez (the mastermind behind the exquisitely skewed Meridian Brothers) and Pedro Ojeda, the group plays a particularly vicious brand of cumbia, exuding punk aggression, post-dub dynamics, and warped sense of melody that’s all their own. Or, to put it another way, if you accept that the Meridian Brothers are a sort of cumbia Frank Zappa, then Los Pirañas are Captain Beefheart. Just as weird, but roiling with a primal intensity that its more composed comrade lacks.

Unfortunately, despite our fervent wishes, the only Pirañas we’ve had access to until now was a single and an album. Which is why this live set from a Mexican Redbull Panamérika show is such a pleasure. The guys rip it up over the course of an hour, pouring out track after track of the twisted, instrumental grooves that we know and love. It’s no different than their previous material, but it’s more, and right now, that’s enough.

Check it out!

Los Pirañas – En Vivo desde Cine Tonalá en México DF by Panamérika on Mixcloud

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