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.
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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!
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