August 20, 2017

Rio Mira | Marimba Del Pacifico

ARTIST: Rio Mira
TITLE: Marimba Del Pacifico
Colombia’s Afro-Caribbean musical genres like cumbia, champeta and vallenato are now well known around the globe. Less recognized are the Afro-Pacific styles; this album shines a light on marimba music from the El Pacifico Sur region of Ecuador and Colombia. Rio Mira features two of the region’s marimba superstars, Ecuadorian Larri Preciado and Colombian Esteban Copete. Highlighting the music’s African roots, their playing links directly to that of Malian balafon players like Keletigue Diabate and Neba Solo. The marimba lines snake and ripple through the music in a manner similar to the way contemporary composer Steve Reich uses marimbas and other tuned percussion instruments. The aural landscape is gentle yet propulsive, with a variety of drums and shakers driving the rhythms forward. The other crucial instrument here is the human voice: most songs feature multiple singers in call-and-response format, and lead singer Karla Kanora is a powerhouse. The producers have wisely avoided the temptation to tart up this music heritage with remixes, guest stars and the like. That can come later; for now let’s get acquainted with this extraordinary tradition.
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