Cumbia: “the musical backbone of Latin America,” the omnipresent beat connecting Latinx communities from New York to Tierra del Fuego. What started as a shuffling dance by West African slaves in Colombia now has spread worldwide, picking up the peculiarities of whatever region it lands in. It’s merged with indigenous flutes, German accordions, and got psychedelicized in the Peruvian Amazon. Cumbia is one of the richest musical traditions in the world because it gives and receives at the same time.
For Omar Lozano, growing up in El Paso meant hearing cumbia at family gatherings, quinceañeras, and on the radio. His parents also turned him on to disco, Chicano soul, and rock, and he took this love of music east to Austin. Here, he founded Trucha Soul Records, the city’s only Latin-music focused vinyl label. They supply the cumbia 45s to DJs around the world, focusing on regionally-unique talent in Texas and Mexico. Lozano is also fascinated by Mexican soundsystem culture: sonidos, giant stacks of speakers that start block parties by blasting cumbia. With the help of Mexican experts, he’s built his own soundsystem to turn Austin on to the joys of banging to that 2/4 beat.
This week on My KUTX, Lozano is our guest DJ. We recorded his set at Lou’s as part of our live summer My KUTX series (the final installment is August 29 with Abraham Alexander). In this hour, Lozano digs deep into his cumbia and Chicano soul favorites. Hear My KUTX on Saturday, August 12 or listen anytime right here.
- Sunny & The Sunliners – “Cariño Nuevo”
- Juan Gabriel – “No Tengo Dinero”
- Chalino Sánchez Y Los Amables Del Norte – “Nieves De Enero”
- Como Las Movies – “Cumbia De Los Monjes”
- Fito Olivares Y Su Grupo – “Aguita de Melón”
- Bobby Pulido – “Desvelado”
- Lisandro Meza – “Lejanía”
- Celso Piña y Su Ronda Bogotá – “Cumbia Poder”
- La Gallo 3:20 – “La Panicumbia Calle Grande” (feat. kche bkr)
- Son Rompe Pera – “Los Chucos Suaves” (feat. Macha)
- Leo Acosta – “Rencorosa”
- Minyo Crusaders & Frente Cumbiero – “Cumbia del Monte Fuji”