01. Mambo Cósmico 3:57
02. Tolú 3:02
03. La Danza de los Diablos 4:34
04. Cumbia Ishtar 3:24
05. ¿Quien será? 2:43
06. La Focá (Cha Cha Chá) 3:10
07. Catemaco 3:39
08. Mambo Egipcio 2:39
09. Danza del Mar 3:35
10. Danzón Fayuquero 3:44
11. Cumbia de Sanación 9:57
Hailing from Mexico City, Sonido Gallo Negro’s exhilarating third album continues their exploration into the psychedelic richness and rhythmic pulse of Amazonian cumbia while at the same reaching for new sounds and textures – such as mambo, cha cha, porro and danzon.
Filled with frenetic, red-hot identities and sonorities, Mambo Cósmico galvanizes the international reputation Sonido Gallo Negro has earned through their powerful concerts and their earlier records – Cumbia Salvaje (Savage Cumbia, 2011) and Sendero Místico (Mystical Path, 2014 – released outside of Mexico by Glitterbeat).
Mambo Cósmico is a sonic collage that is not only musical, but also cultural and historical. This combo of nine musicians, seek out a new and unexpected musical cosmos that goes beyond their well-honed Mexican and Latin American influences. Their navigational charts point towards an additional synchronicity of sound and imagination with the Middle East, the Hispanic old world and Africa, as embedded within the Americas.
Of the eleven tracks included on Mambo Cósmico, nine are group originals, Tolú by Lucho Bermúdez and ¿Quién será? by Pablo Beltrán Ruiz being the only cover versions. Also, for the first time some of these pieces include vocals and group choruses.
Let’s look closely at Mambo Cósmico’s wildly addictive compositions:
1. Mambo Cósmico is the psychedelic mambo that opens and names the album. To start with a mambo is to begin by sharing a new set of coordinates for the group: “I am your destiny, cosmic forces the explanation of the astrological tendencies that condition the forces in your Zodiac sign, listen…” states the recording that initiates the track and sets the route that will follow…
2.Tolú is a porro by the 50’s Colombian musician Lucho Bermúdez. It is said that porro was born in the pre-Colombian era, and was played by indigenous gaiteros bands, and later enriched by African rhythms. Porros were also played exclusively with drums, voices and hand clapping.
3. La Danza de los Diablos is a carnival piece played and danced to at the Mexican Costa Chica, shared by Guerrero and Oaxaca. Within Sonido Gallo Negro’s prism the track is dedicated to Gaspar Yanga, the only black Mexican warrior, who fought and led an Afro-Mexican uprising.
4. Cumbia Ishtar further features the historic prism Sonido Gallo Negro has travelled into: it is a cumbia dedicated to Ishtar, the enigmatic Babylon deity of fertility, love, war and sex, who guards the secret of humanity’s beginning, and henceforth of the beginning of all music.
5. ¿Quién Será? is a famous mambo by the vintage Mexican bandleader Pablo Beltrán Ruiz, which has been turned into a sweaty psychedelic twist in Sonido Gallo Negro’s version. It reminds us both of Frank Sinatra and the Mexican contemporary idol Pedro Infante as it sends us giddily back to the future.
6. La Foca Cha Cha Chá: This popular Cuban music genre evolved from the 50’s danzon – porros lineage and eventually took over the world. This track is a tribute to the dance and to its master Perez Prado, affectionately nicknamed Cara é foca (Seal Face).
7. Catemaco is a Mexican cumbia that honors one of the most emblematic towns of Mexico’s magic geography. The town is a home to sorcerers and shamans. It is a place where all types of holistic healings, both white and black are performed next to a lagoon within one of the country’s Southeast jungle landscapes. In the end “It is written that everyone who knocks at the doors of the occult shall have an answer”.
8. Mambo Egipcio is doubtlessly psychedelic, frantic, singular and Sonido Gallo Negro’s first mambo. It testifies that Cuban Dámaso Pérez Prado chose Mexico as the cradle of the genre – hip hip hooray! The album’s artwork includes an illustration of the Egyptian Thot, God of music with its long-beaked avian head alluding to this piece.
9. Danza del Mar is essentially a 50ish porro/cumbia hybrid with a proper coastal flavor, which takes the listener’s hips to the sand, the night, the sea – to its sounds and dances.
10. Danzón Fayuquero: In Mexico the danzon tradition is preserved with all the elegance and formality of the ceremonial dance’s mathematical formulas of stop and start foot movements. In Sonido Gallo Negro’s hands, this becomes a sensational merry go round. In Mexico City, the contraband quarter par excellence is called Tepito. It is the next door neighbor to the most famous dance hall for danzon, mambo, cha cha and cumbia: Salon Los Angeles.
11. Cumbia de Sanación is a downtempo cumbia that aims to generate a hypnotic, psychedelic, healing feeling. It was first publically shared track from Mambo Cosmico, when it was uploaded to online platforms, barely three days after the recent Mexico City earthquake.
Sonido Gallo Negro are:
Edwin Irigoyen: congas
Truc Casasola: timbales, bass drum, snare.
Gabriel López: lead guitar and Farfisa organ
Israel Martinez: bass
Lucio de los Santos: flute and bongos
Julian Sampler: sampler and organ
Jorge Alderete: theremin and visuals
Roberto Vargas: güiro and percusion
Alex Gonzalez Villaseñor Escobar: trumpet in Mambo Cosmico,Tolú, ¿Quien será? and La Foca Pascual Montaño: trumpet, Mambo Egipcio
Mitze Maíz: vocals, Catemaco and Danza del Mar
Alexis Ruiz: vibes, Mambo Cósmico and La Foca
Master Javier Carrillo Velazquez: violin, Danzón Fayuquero
Isaias Chay Martinez: arcusa, La Danza de los Diablos
La Bruja de Texcoco (The Texcocan Witch) string harp, Catemaco
Visuals, are as usual by Dr. Alderete, and they capture a map of images that leave an open door to all kinds of cosmic journeys.
Gabriel López recorded, mixed and mastered the record. T-Vox Records, his studio, was the recording venue.