Ana Tijoux performs at the Red Bull Panamerika event at Echoplex in Los Angeles on 21 March 2014. (Carlo Cruz)
It was an excellent night of music at the Echoplex this past Friday night, as the Red Bull Music Academy Panamérika presented the electrifying acts of Subsuelo, Kumbia Queers, and Ana Tijoux.
Opening up the show were global bass dance group Subsuelo, a collective group of artists based out of Boyle Heights. Fans enjoyed tracks “Me Quedo Con Los Recuerdos” and “El Viejo Boombap” the most. It was nearly impossible to resist dancing while this group took to stage. Subsuelo takes traditional Latin music and adds a dance club, avant-garde electronica spin. The clash of these two wildly separate genres is surprisingly refreshing, enough at least to get anyone’s feet tapping.
The six women of Kumbia Queers took the stage after Subsuelo and delivered an exciting dose of tropi-punk and cumbia covers of The Cure and Black Sabbath. The sextet, originally from Mexico and Argentina, blends cumbia, Afro-Cuban rhythms and punk rock in one incredibly original sound. The group’s wardrobe was also like something from Mad Max and the best part of the show featured some masked Mexican wrestlers.
French-Chilean hip-hop artist Tijoux topped off the show with a solid performance of new material. A seasoned hip-hop lyricist, Tijoux was fresh from her SXSW showcase and it was evident she wanted to make this Los Angeles visit worthwhile. Having magical, and even mystical, stage presence is something that is elusive to all artists, yet Tijoux seems to do this naturally, effortlessly. Almost shaman like, her words captivated the audience throughout her performance, particularly when she delivered her hit “1977” and “Vengo” off of her latest release, Vengo.
The way the music scene is evolving among Latin American musicians is certainly an eye opener. Groups are overlapping genres and experimenting with electronic elements not previously heard before. These artists are going into uncharted waters and it’s interesting to hear their material and escape into strange landscapes of musical harmonies and rhythms.
Red Bull Panamérika is a weekly one-hour radio show from Mexico City that plays emerging Latin American musical acts. Red Bull Music Academy is also one of the largest resources for cutting edge music on the web. Since 2005, they’ve been responsible for putting up new and rare interviews, mixes, and updates within the Latin music scene.