Dos Santos and Money Chicha join forces, collectively pushing the limits of their cumbia-driven reverb-noir psychedelia into deeper vertigo-inducing sonic terrain. “Summit Sessions” is a unique collaboration growing out of their successful “Chicha Summit” tour in Texas, when they stepped into Beto Martinez’s Leche House Studios to write and record together. Documentary filmmaker Joe Rocha was there to capture the action—his short film gives an intimate glimpse into the fellowship between these musicians.
Both bands have been collaborating for nearly two years. Dos Santos’ latest EP Fonografic (2016) out on Electric Cowbell Records was produced by Money Chicha’s Beto Martinez. Prior to this, Dos Santos’ Alex Chavez (vocals, organ, guitar) appeared on Oozy, the 2012 release by Martinez’s world-renowned Latin funk band Brownout.
Martinez and company are no strangers to collaboration. Based in Austin, Texas, Money Chicha features members of the Grammy Award-winning Latin orchestra Grupo Fantasma and its offshoot funk outfit Brownout. These longstanding projects have collaborated with the likes of music icon Prince and GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, respectively. Money Chicha continues this tradition, teaming up with Chicago-based Dos Santos to record two psychedelic cumbia tracks, resulting in a 21st century U.S.-Latino translation of the South American Chicha musical style in all of its fuzzed-out, reverb-drenched, and percussion-heavy glory.
Dos Santos’ Latin funk inflected “Undercover” features members of Money Chicha and offers up social commentary on police brutality upon communities of color in the United States to the sounds of bugalú backbeats with a nod to Juan Tizol’s Caravan. Money Chicha’s Andean-inspired “Martes Negro” (Black Tuesday) features members of Dos Santos and offers its own political commentary on the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and what it means for communities of resistance. The subtle sounds of Mexican son jarocho can also be heard throughout this track. A collaborative effort from start to finish, “Summit Sessions” not only highlights organic heavy-weight sounds performed by some of the most talented musicians playing the cumbia genre in the United States, but also represents a communal spirit of camaraderie and creative empowerment through music and fellowship at a political moment when both are desperately needed. The vinyl 7” of the “Summit Sessions” will be released on Sonorama Discos (sonoramachicago.com) this Fall.
To celebrate their collaboration, Dos Santos and Money Chicha are hitting the road together and bringing the 3rd installment of the “Chicha Summit” to the east coast and midwest Aug 31–Sep 10. Fans can pre-order the exclusive 7″ vinyl, and cds and cassette tapes (with digital download) will be available for purchase at the shows.