Arriving two years after his last full-length effort (“Jallalla”), Lagartijeando (aka Mati Zundel) once again returns to Wonderwheel with an expansive new album, “La Tercera Vision.” A maturation of the Lagartijeando sound, “La Tercera Vision” (“the third vision”) sees the Argentinian wade into uncharted, if sonically familiar waters, bridging his Andean inspired electronic-folk with psychedelic ambience, West African instrumentation, and even a few moments of pop melodies. The beauty of Lagartijeando’s work is its ability to marry seemingly unrelated styles and sounds to something seamless and wholly original.
“Isla de Sol,” the opening track, introduces the album with a taste of Mati’s classic sound: Andean pan flute, the familiar chugging rhythm of a cumbia beat, luscious string arrangements, and a sampled vocal. Moving on, “Mano de Fatima” (the project’s second single) sees a fusion of traditional Moroccan Gnawa instrumentation with digital cumbia rhythms, featuring the work of Khalil Mounji on vocals and guembri (aka sintir, the three-stringed, skin-covered lute used in Gnawa music). Eva de Marce – a singer-songwriter-producer based in Madrid – takes centre-stage on “Tierra Natal,” with her vocals coming through in a rich whisper, singing a melody reminiscent of a lullaby.
At the album’s halfway mark, Lagartijeando introduces a new direction for his sound with “Onda,” a collaboration with the Brazilian artist Tagua Tagua. An earworm of a melody is sung over a joyous beat that nods to pop sensibilities while being satisfyingly infused with Zundel’s sonic DNA. It’s a gem of a tune that suggests an exciting new sound for the Argentinian. A few more collaborations close out the album, two with Mexican singer-songwriter Madeleine Bachan Kaur (“Crepúsculo” & “La Montaña Sagrada”), “Magaleña” with Javier Arce, and the album closer “Ware” featuring Sajra. Also included in the album is “Sideral Cumbia,” the first single released earlier this Summer, which has seen extensive press and radio support from the likes of Vice / Noisey, Electronic Groove, Sounds And Colours, KCRW (“Today’s Top Tune” & “Morning Becomes Eclectic”), and KEXP, as well as landing a spot on Spotify’s “Fresh Dance” playlist.
Lagartijeando is the name of producer, musician and DJ Mati Zundel. Strongly influenced by his travels throughout Latin America, Mati’s signature psychedelic dance tracks latch onto everything from traditional folk sounds from the Bolivian altiplano to the jungle beats of Brazil. Mati hypnotically fuses his traditional influences (with an emphasis on shaman chant and charango loops) with contemporary electronic beats, creating a sound that once left NPR speechless.