Argentina’s Pedro Canale is Chancha Via Circuito, a decorated veteran of the digital cumbia revival, and El Búho (“The Owl”) is Rodney Perkins, a British-born peregrine (apologies for the ornithological reclassification) and, with Agustín Rivaldo, partner in the Shika Shika label. This EP on the worthwhile Wonderwheel imprint finds the two prominent producers of savvy tropical grooves embarked on four interesting excursions.
“Oruga” and “Murga del Viento” are a couple of creaky, cryptic cumbia crawlers, shuffling across the floorboards of a haunted riverboat adrift down some tributary of the Amazon that God has surely forsaken. One imagines Werner Herzog and Gabriel Garcia Marquèz in the corner, playing cards with la Llorona herself. On a lighter note, the enchanting “El Mago Georges” moves like a nimble monkey through the sun-dappled rainforest canopy.
The final track, “Una Pulgada de Silencio”, places the earnest vocals of Argentine folk singer Gus Goncalves over a dragging, dub-soaked trip-hop beat and synths a bit similar to Andean pan flutes. Nice enough, but not quite in keeping with the truly evocative preceding tracks.