Jairomendez - Puta Rumba EP

Puta Rumba EP, Jairomendez
Cocobass Records, Venezuela
Rating: 65
by Pierre Lestruhaut

The online description of Jairomendez’s Puta Rumba EP, tells the story of a Venezuelan “campesino” who started to grow a great affection towards electronic music and later decided to sell his cattle in order to buy equipment to make this type of music.

Coming from Cocobass, the online label that released María José's Violentato Single-EP while telling the story of how he was killed but resuscitated at the second day (take that Jesus!), Jairomendez’s travesty into becomng a DJ sounds a lot more like a post-millennial online joke than a Farrelly brothers screenplay happening in rural Venezuela. Still, that’s about enough to grab the attention of a lot of people curious enough to find out what a music project with the desire and potential to become an internet meme might sound like. Hell it might even feature its own campy take of South America’s unlikely YouTube viral hits.

But when you finally get to listen to this EP, after the initial WTF reaction, you’ll find out that there actually isn’t much in any of the seven tracks in Puta Rumba to help it build a reputation as internet phenomenon. Though it might have been a little too much to expect that the witticism of the “campesino” turned DJ approach would be in a way overseeing the album’s progression, there’s still not a single attempt at humor in it, either verbal or musical. What you get is an initial group of good songs that work pretty well as dancefloor staples with heavy stabbing beats, followed by a mash-up with label mate Mr. Iozo, where Beastie Boys rap over “Eye of the Tiger”. But where the album probably works better, both conceptually and musically, is in its two final tracks, accommodating cumbia and bolero along with hip-hop and jungle for the interest of online electronic music enthusiasts. The last one being a very interesting remix of Lucho Barrios.

Even though it is a bit far from channeling traditional latin rhythms for modern music revisionist purposes, which is what I ideally expected it to be, it might seem a little ridiculous to be judging something for what it isn’t rather than what it is. All I can say is Jairomendez doesn’t seem to be much more than your average good-not-great mash-up SoundCloud DJ. Or perhaps I’m just looking at it from the wrong perspective and it’s simply a very powerful statement about the importance of the memeficaton of musical projects in the digital era. As if Maria y José didn’t know how do to that better than anyone else.


karenT said...

New kid sure knows his stuff. THis album cover is amazing, hot damn!

Considering this is CF, not the most cumbia-inclined website out there, I agree with the rating. (and suggest this album cover to go on the short list for best of the year, please)


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