Kowalski’s ► No.17 : MALPHINO – Visit Malphino

Malphino are an outer-national, mystical band from an imaginary tropical island that has dreamt up a cinematic score and audio backdrop to their idyll. A promised land of hypnotic cumbia rhythms, subtle digital warbling, accordion textures, voodoo vapours and woodblock charm awaits the off piste explorer willing to step through the arch and Visit Malphino, the debut album from this London based collective of musicians and visual artists.

The joyous, often frenetic, style of cumbia that Malphino have landed on, tips its hat to the various denominations of modern cumbia movements worldwide yet carves its own unique, transcendental spin on the genre. Reinterpreting the traditional Colombian banda, playing organ, accordion and tuba, their sound integrates an array of percussion and rhythms from either side of the Pacific ocean with a strong emphasis on East-Asian folkloric traditions alongside the distinctive origins of Brazilian forró, 1930’s Cuban rumba, Peruvian chicha and cumbia in a myriad of styles.This heady mix of volcanic sounds is given extra potency by a fluid use of electronic sequencing, with reverb and echo effects laced into the melodic lines and vocals to recreate the dreamlike rapture of their magical island.

 

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