The “Banana Sound Cartel”, formerly known as “Los Transatlanticos”, is a worldwide artist collective known for mixing Colombian Cumbia, Afrotropical and Electronic Music. “Banana Sound Cartel” refers, with a twist of irony, to the well known concept of “Banana Republics” and the unfortunate stigma of the Colombian drug cartels; building on the Colombian diverse heritage to revisit and recall its creative future. We are very happy to be part of this project and sure you will like this 6 Track EP with Remixes from Yukicito, Panther Panther, Sonido Berzerk, Dead Stare, Nixtamal and Andrés Digital.
We was talking with Pablo Gaviria about the Project.
TB – The travel started in Bogota as Los Transatlanticos and now you release the Album Crema and Crema Remixed in Europe as Banana Sound Cartel. So how was your transatlantic flight? Heard you lost some Bags.
PG – Yes missed some bags, but with those looses and the transatlantic effect, you reinvent yourself as an artist and come out from the deep within your animal power, and the power of the Sound Cartel come from the tropics, from the so-called “Banana Republics”. In this European scenario with few bags, I tried to cook with 3 other Gorillas an original recipe of the Old School Colombian Electropical Music form early 2000’s which I’m part of as a recording studio co-director and music producer in Bogotá since 2003.
TB – How does the Cartel works, present the Band!
PG – This Elite Cartel is long time Colombian techno producer (Paulo Olarte) at the FX-pads and Cowbell, singer from “Huevo Atomico” recognized Colombian reggae band, now on Guitar (Raul Parra), on the trumpet the warrior (Camilo Morales) “Carela” who’s part of the Colombian jazz and underground scene for long time too, on the Colombian Alegre drum and Gaita flute the cool vibe of (Sebastian Desmeules) and last but not least, me (Pablo Gaviria) on loop programing and a medium djembe drum that I use as a “llamador” drum.
I produced the album coz I had more time then the others -lol- and the result was this sound. But anyone in this Cartel can mix a hit and would’ve made a really cool thing with a different sound. This was made for the Dance Floor. If you play that on the dance floor, I’m pretty sure they’re gonna start dancing. jejejej
TB – Tell me how did that original Album Crema come to live. When did you start to work on Crema.
PG – CREMA was recorded and mixed from May 2017 and September 2018 through collaboration between my recording studio Mono Estudios in Bogotá and my home studio in Geneva (KUEPEA). During the year I sended files to my studio in Bogotá so Colombian musicians on both sides of the Atlantic collaborate among the 4 Gorilla musicians based in Geneva and to cut the crap..it was produced between beers, rum and spliffs jamming on in a living room.
This work contents these endemic Electropical-Electrocumbia roots and know-how, but also shits on any contents; it’s primitive, recursive experimentation among friends. It’s beyond the human, it’s simian, and it’s feminine because we’re throwing up 2 new babies into the music world; Completely different like brothers but from the same belly.!! Jejejeje which is Crema Album with Hawaii Bonsaï Records and Crema Remixed with Tropicalbass Label. We also had with this Colombian-Swiss exchange, a nice support from the Swiss Cultural Cooperation for the South, so I can pretty much say that this new-born, is a half-blood a “mestizo” between independent and label Release support.
So… to close up the Banana Sound I’m talking, Crema comes to life, thanks to everyone who believes and loves music, who believe and feel art expressions as unique moments with unique people doing it.
Thanks: Jaky, Axel, Elissa, Vicky, Vanessa, El Dragon Criollo, El transformer, Carela, Omar, Alvaro, Andres, Antonio, Big Mancilla and everyone who connect me with somebody in this transatlantic journey.
On this Mixtape Sr. Gaviria presents the Sound of the original Album in a cool mix. The original Album Crema will be released on Hawai Bonsai Records on Vinyl and Digital soon.
TB – Nowadays the Cumbia has a lot of different Sounds, there are whole universes in Argentina and Mexico, but the Cumbia Colombiana is the root of all Cumbia Styles. Son Palenque, Biomigrant, Systema Solar, Akilin, Bomba Estereo, Las Pirañas spreading the new Sound but a longtime Colombia seemed a bit conservative in upgrading the Sound. How does the nu cumbia movement get on today in Colombia?
PG – Man is a though question and is gonna be a long answer, coz I don’t wanna hurt no feelings here…
Ok, is true that Colombian Cumbia is the mother-core but cumbia rhythm is just one of many afrocolombian rhythms that many people label them as Cumbia.
We didn’t take too long to upgrade it; the music industry took too long to accept it. This electro-cumbia was happening, if I’m not mistaken since 96, probably before with the experimentation of the 60’s 70’s with electric GT and synths like Los Pirañas who dive into this psyco chucu chucu; and even before this “Colombia boom” were really good projects.. I remember Tumaco Club cool live act early 2000’s, Entrecasa Label cool stuff too, I had in 2004 a JungleDnB Live Act mixing reggae, champeta, cumbia with the singer of Bomba Estero called Paralelo 6/40 and she was singing before with Mister Gomez another old school project from the melting pot of the electropical and live band Colombian movement that was happening at the moment 2000-2008 in Bogotá. So the Colombia nu cumbia scene is almost, the same guys like Humberto Pernett original Cumbia Computer man just to name one.
So, if you ask me, I think the scene asks for both, the electronic content but most of all, salsa music so the night does his magic. The nu Cumbia movement… I think it was and still is somehow a movement that came from the underground, the clubs, from the indie scene in Bogotá with musicians from all over Colombia coming back to our musical roots so we can feel the Colombian Jazz, Reggae, Hip Hop, House, Techno etc., Our own. Check “NarcoPsychotic Malpatriota” Colombian heavy metal band that uses Bambuco, Joropo riddims on heavy metal arrangements… That’s crazy!
Right now, Colombian music is in the eye of the hurricane like Brazilian music or Punjabi riddims before Brazil was feeding the European electronic sound and scenarios, which I think is great coz everyone can feel the Colombianidad! And Banana Sound Cartel can give you some! We’re next door! We’re squatting in Switzerland!! lol
TB – On the Remix Album we have interpretations of the Sound coming from LA (US), Veracruz (MX), Bristol (UK), Frankfurt (GER), Nantes (France) and all the Remixers did a great job. For a Producer it’s always a great moment to check out what other Producers did to the Sound. Tell me something about the Remixes, what are your favs?
PG – As I told you before, is like brothers, Crema has a Personality and the Remixed Album another, but came from the same belly and I love to see how both releases see the music world completely different; One carries de electrocumbia intention and the remixed album gives a mutation and carries the feel of new art expressions which came from what they felt when they heard the Electrocumbia tunes.. jejeje .. getting a lil cheap philosopher. All are favs coz is interesting to hear your music rearranged but for my djsets I’m playing a lot Andres Digital Candela RMX, Dead Stare Loca RMX, and love the Aprieta RMX by Yukicito jejeje but haven’t play it yet when I play Señor Gaviria extended dj sets prob. I used all of them.
The Cover was made by the Gran OM – Check his stuff