MINYO CRUSADERS: “Minyo Cumbiera” 12″ EP. Released 24th July 2020
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MINYO CRUSADERS & FRENTE CUMBIERO: “Minyo Cumbiero” 12″ EP. Released 24th July 2020
Tokyo-based ten-piece and wild Japanese folk-song fusionists, Minyo Crusaders join forces with Colombian cumbia radicals Frente Cumbiero on the history-making Minyo Cumbiero, the first ever Japanese-Colombian collaborative release, and one that fuses ancient Japanese folk songs with heavyweight Colombian styles. Recorded across two days in Bogota in August 2019 Minyo Cumbiero includes versions of an ancient Japanese rap tune, modern cumbia standard and 1980s’ Chinese computer game theme-song and captures a thrilling exchange between two radical and triumphant groups. Japan and Colombia may be cultural opposites on different sides of the world, yet the countries are bursting at the seams musically and on this EP both groups stridently drive their respective music cultures and histories in exciting new directions with powerhouse horn sections, rippling dub basslines and rampant Afro-Latin polyrhythms creating carnival grooves, released here via London-based label, Mais Um.
For an uncompromisingly contemporary and inventive take on traditional Colombian cumbia, look no further than Frente Cumbiero. Headed by Colombian songwriter and producer Mario Galeano Toro (also a founding member of Ondatrópica and Los Pirañas), the Bogota-based crew have spearheaded Colombia’s thriving new-look cumbia movement for well over a decade, fusing cumbia rhythms and bass weight electronics with releases featuring collaborations with the legendary London-based dub producer, Mad Professor and US-based Kronos Quartet.
Following the release of their acclaimed debut album, Echoes of Japan in 2019, Minyo Crusaders – or MinCru as their Japanese fans know them as – have won-over a global audience with their unique take on Japanese folk music. A debut debut European tour in 2019 saw main-stage performances at Le Guess Who and Transmusicales and was soon followed by shows at WOMADelaide and WOMAD New Zealand in early 2020 that saw audiences intoxicated by their mix of traditional Japanese folk songs (min’yō) and Afro-funk, Thai pop, Ethio-jazz and reggae. Fronted by singers “Freddy” Tsukamoto (his nickname comes from his hero, Freddie Mercury) and Megu, with guitarist and bandleader Katsumi Tanaka, the members of the ten-piece are drawn from Tokyo’s vibrant and diverse jazz and Afro-Latin scenes.
Collaborative release between Japanese ten-piece Minyo Crusaders and Colombian cambia radicals Frente Cumbiero