Bands We Like: Kumbia Queers’s Tropipunk Carnival
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When raunchy queercore meets cumbia and the sounds of the tropics, plus a little electro, you get a magnificent mutant called tropipunk. This is what the mad punk rock científicas of Kumbia Queers discovered when they got together.
The five knock outs of Kumbia Queers Photo: myspace.com
For context: All of the members of Kumbia Queers, five Argentines and one Mexican, also play in punk bands. Frontwoman Ali Gua Gua also leads queercore outfit Las Ultrasonicas. The rest of the band plays in Argentina’s She Devils.
But when the six of them combine their raw energy and raging hormones to play cumbia, a bigger, badder beast emerges. (And then everybody dances.)
On their song “Chica del Calendario” the keytar and the guiro fall in love and have a beautiful commitment ceremony presided over by a hot transsexual. That’s what happens musically anyway — the video is a little less, um, romantic. On “La Isla con Chikas” they cheekily reinterpret Madonna’s Latin-influenced hit “La Isla Bonita.” The takeaway: They have an awesome sense of humor and they like girls a lot.
The ladies do not confine themselves to any one scene, however. They wouldn’t know how. They cite influences from Black Sabbath to Celia Cruz, play crazy parties for everybody — gay and straight, punks and cumbia fans — and tour throughout South, Central, and North America.
As they travel, they draw in more influences (hip hop, cumbia styles from across Latin America, what have you) and more fans wherever they go. They recently released their sophomore album La Gran Estafa Del Tropipunk and it is getting raves all over the place in Spanish and English. It’s like Ms. Gua Gua says, “Gay or not, it’s about people who don’t fit in any one place, and love to mix everything together.”
Still not sure what she’s talking about? Listen to the spooky, surfy, dubby, mixed-up “Kumbia Zombie” here and taste the Kumbia Queers rainbow: