I've been listening to a lot of cumbia sonidera in the early days of 2023. It's a style of music from Mexico, where the listeners and dancers want their cumbia played hard and slow: 80 to 90 beats per minute.
The genre got started when DJs accidentally or intentionally slowed down cumbia recordings from Colombia, Peru and other parts of South America. The first Mexico City band to play cumbia sonidera live was called Super Grupo Colombia (SGC), which featured several members of the Pedraza family of San Juan de Aragón, a small town that's now part of Mexico's sprawling Distrito Federal.
Ángel Pedraza, the son and nephew of SGC's founders, has his own band called Grupo Kual? (yes, the question mark is part of their name) who have a new album out now. You'll hear a track from it this week on Global A Go-Go, plus some more examples of cumbia sonidera.
Also this week (Sunday January 29, 1:00-3:00 PM on WRIR, for two weeks afterwards at wrir.org/listen, check your local listings for airing on other radio stations, and any old time at my podcast site): three new reggae singles; more chicha from the Peruvian jungle; a tribute to Zimbabwean feminist pioneer Stella Chiweshe, who passed away on January 20; Afrobeat with a political bent; and some blazing Malian Wassoulou rock.