Brooklyn’s resolutely reliable NYCT have initiated a split-single series, and the first release in this line shows that it’s off to a great start. Split singles work best when the two acts involved have as much in common as they do in contrast. These two slices of catchy neo-chicha are both sourced from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. The distinctions, however, are striking. Terror/Cactus is a one-man show; Martín Selasco, an Argentinian transplanted to Seattle, comes with a cute, lively little strictly-digital chicha built around a street recording from Mexico. The grand struggle of existence itself is, in a way, reflected in a sidewalk churro vendor’s fight with a greedy, thieving crow. Things scale up and rewind on the B-side; Orquestra Pacifico Tropical is an 11-piece outfit from Portland. Full-bodied, lush and shiny, with robust group vocals and a sassy faux-Oriental hook pinning it down, “Regreso” does indeed step back to the original heyday of classic psychedelic cumbia. In a contest between these two great tracks, there’s no obvious winner, except perhaps the listener – and that goddamn crow.
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