Argentinian artist Chancha Via Circuito (aka Pedro Canale) makes his return to Wonderwheel Recordings with his fifth full length: “La Estrella.” Cutting his teeth early at Buenos Aires’s legendary ZZK digital cumbia parties, the Chancha moniker became known worldwide as the originator of the cumbia-inspired electronic music that takes cues from environmental sounds and South American folkloric traditions. Pedro’s musical progeny include names such as Nicola Cruz, El Búho, Dengue Dengue Dengue, King Coya and many more.
Texturally rich and highly emotive, the album spans 11 songs that meander between lush instrumental soundscapes and upbeat vocal numbers, all tied together by Chancha’s signature production style. “La Estrella” – meaning “the star” in Spanish – opens with “Dandeleon,” which plays like a meditation of fluttering vocalesque pads and sonorous bass; while Pedro is joined by the acclaimed Argentinian trio Fémina on “Cometa,” where his refined beat offers an ideal space for the three singers’ voices to inhabit. “Cometa” (“comet”) also furthers the album’s celestial themes, which also touch on spirituality, love, ephemerality, and nature. Frequent collaborator, (Polaris Prize-winning / Grammy-nominated) Lido Pimienta offers her vocal chops on “Amor en silencio,” which showcases the Colombian-Canadian’s harmonizing prowess over an instrumental of panning percussion and syncopated xylophone chords. Additional features come by way of artists such as the Meridian Brothers (recently acclaimed in a longform New York Times piece) on “El pavo real”, as well as Las Añez (“Ese peso”), Federico Estévez (Moninja) “El árbol y el hacha”, Manu Ranks (“Ouh Lord ouh Dios”), and María José Montijo (“Aguacero”), whose various nationalities, backgrounds, and styles help give the album a pan-Latin feel as refracted through Pedro’s mystical, multi-colored lens.
Pedro Canale has been working on Chancha Vía Circuito, a musical project that has allowed him to travel the world and put his mark on what is now known as Latin American electronic music, since 2005. Beginning his explorations in digital cumbia, but soon moving into electro-acoustic experiments inspired by his travels and encounters with Indigineous traditions of the Andes and beyond, the “Chancha sound” has transformed into a notable reference for an entire new generation of artists, in turn birthing a new sound that spans the globe. To date, he’s released 5 albums (including “La Estrella”) which have expanded far outside of Latin America and can be heard playing at the top festivals in Europe and the U.S. such as MUTEK, Roskilde, and Vive Latino. The general public will recognize Chancha’s sound thanks to one of their remixes, “Quimey Neuquén,” being used in an unforgettable scene in “Breaking Bad”.