Three track EP Agua is the latest instalment from Bogotá’s premier fusion band, Bomba Estéreo. In a delayed sweep away from 2017’s long-player Ayo, the group’s first feeler of upcoming album Deja is a clear statement of intent.
The group—who will be recognisable to UK listeners for their long-time place in the FIFA soundtracks—have made the most of the interlude. Four years have provided space to self-produce, affording Agua the freedom to toy with new ideas.
Still, the roots in folky Cumbia provide a necessary undercurrent to guide ‘Agua’, ‘Deja’ and ‘Soledad’ around a central motif. Fluctuating production values overlay three otherwise simple rhythms that feed into the unrefined conceptual bent of “Earth’s four elements: agua, aire, tierra and fuego, [and] the connection and disconnection of human beings from the planet.”
Abstractly, then, the teaser is not worlds away from Nicolas Jaar’s four-part record Telas, released last year, though the lyrically-minded Liliana Li Saumet (vocalist/lyricist) will be keen to dive deeper into emotional oscillation and recovery.
She says: “Deja is one of those albums that, even in its disparate sections, forms a unity. It’s an album that transmits joy, loss, exhilaration, and sadness all at once. Some heavy things are happening to the world and we have to share them.”
Very much wrapped up in the politics of the personal, the depth of expression afforded by self-production is felt on Agua. More focused and pronounced than the wandering adventures of previous albums, Agua is a mature, calculated promise of good things to come.
Words by James Reynolds
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