Bomba Estereo: Cumbia That Hits Like A Wave

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Sitting in the booth at KEXP, Bomba Estereo's music hit me like a wave. The only thing I could do was ride along with it; there was no point in resisting the band's infectious groove. Colombian cumbia and champeta rhythms reside at the root of Bomba Estereo's sound, layered underneath psychedelic and surf guitar, keyboards, dancehall vocals and dub bass. It gives the group a varied and modern sound that fuses electronic dub and hip-hop with a global feel.

The hypnotic beat and the layers of sound provide background for the vocals of Liliana Saumet, who reminds me of M.I.A. and Annabella Lwin from Bow Wow Wow. She's so full of movement and color that it's hard to take your eyes off her, but the band had no trouble keeping up the energy to match the dynamic singer. Together, they make an irresistible combination.

Bomba Estereo came together as a project organized by Simon Mejia in 2005, forming within the rich underground electronic scene in Bogota, Colombia. The group played mostly instrumental music early on, but when it recruited its fierce singer, Bomba Estereo expanded its sound. The result is not to be missed.

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