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If you’ve been caught in a top 40 feedback loop, you’d be forgiven for thinking the world has descended into a chaotic death wobble of mildly musical commercials for consumer products you either can’t afford or don’t want. You might have missed the coming of age of a generation of post-“Latin Invasion” Latinos that have managed to reach forward and backwards for futuristic sounding historic musical references, and crisscrossed through the Caribbean, Central and South America to cultivate Pan-Latino tunes that 2 decades ago were almost unthinkable. As the Afro-Cuban beat was cultivated through the mixing of sounds from Western Africa to New Orleans to Havana, we are witnessing a new, 21st century blending of Latino music traditions infused with psychedelic rock, hip hop, and electronic instruments. And this is just the beginning, so hop on board now with La Misa Negra.
La Misa Negra is no obscure band- they’ve orbited in the same solar system as Ana Tijoux and Bomba Estereo, for example, but the Afro-Latin music scene is itself mostly hidden from the mainstream for reasons we simply cannot easily explain here.
This Oakland, CA based 7 piece is fronted by a Colombian-born vocalist, and while the Cumbia influence here is unmistakable, the balance of the band’s multi-cultural inputs and influences is delightfully present as well. Tunes like “Sancocho”, with it’s merengue thrust, share a catalog with “Pistola”, a Latin Jazz song that explodes with percussion as danceable as Colombian Salsa artist Joe Arroyo’s “La Rebelion”. And speaking of rebellion, check out “Duena De Mi” for the national anthem of the People’s Republic Of Iminent Revolution. If you don’t speak Spanish, trust that this song should have been Beto’s official campaign tune. He done fucked up, but he still has time to get his shit together before 2020, and this is your chance to get down with some Afro-Latin love.