Mati Zundel: South American rural beat

Mati Zundel shows us some love.

This week I was all set to write about another artist entirely and then I started listening to Matias Zundel’s new album, “Amazonico Gravitante,” and I couldn’t wait.  

I interviewed Mati in Buenos Aires in 2010 for his first ZZK Records’ release, Bailando under the name Lagartijeando, the record that introduced him to the U.S. and Europe.  We spoke about his field recordings in Bolivia and rural Mexico.  He is of that rare class of hip musicologist who transmits folk-spun art gospel to the world at large.  Speaking with him I was struck by his passion and respect for the indigenous treasures he’d dug up in various rain forests and villages along back routes through Latin America.  He talked about how the meticulous process of documenting local rhythms through field recordings along rural routes under tropical or desert conditions with a microphone in tow.  That he could take those gems and translate them for a broad audience is a rare skill.  He was making club music with ZZK, but from his travels it morphed into an anthropological form that put him in a separate category even from stellar label peers like Chancha Via Circuito.

2012 finds Zundel featured on NPR and ready to take the jungle to the northern capitals across the western hemisphere.  Give an advance listen to the new king of electro cumbia and Tron-tinged folklorico.  Mandolin-sized guitars from various mountain folk lilt over wood-thumping bass and echoing pan-flutes.  A Peruvian lady shaman guests on one song, a testosterone-charged MC the next.  

Mati is from a country town in Argentina but the songs stretch across the continent from Chile to Ecuador.  The same spinning, acoustic strum that accompanied Manu Chao hits shows up in well-crafted songs with a global appeal.  There is the common thread of reggae-meets-Latin on some tracks but Amazonico Gravitante spans a vast spectrum. Songs feel almost familiar but they manage to transport you to the farthest-reaching realms of South America, to its most exotic pockets of people and their sounds.  

Meet Mati the sonic butcher:

 
Get an insider’s view to Mati’s travels in Bolivia, where he engages in the business of empanada contraband and instigates a public fervor with a tiny guitar:



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Grimm choice: Tax fraud trial could dog NY…

Rep. Michael Grimm may be splitting his time between the campaign trail and a courtroom where he is due to face tax evasion charges.

Local

Met Opera, unions extend talks for 72 hours,…

Met Opera agreed to extend negotiations with its labor unions for 72 hours, preventing a threatened lockout, the organization said late Thursday.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures August 2…

Summer Streets, the NYC Triathlon, the Ecuadorian Parade and festivals will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on 'Calvary' and his very…

Brendan Gleeson discusses how "Calvary" began over drinks and how his priest character is the opposite of the officer he played in "The Guard."

Movies

Interview: Chris O'Dowd does funny and serious in…

Chris O'Dowd talks about "Calvary," an Irish comedy-drama about a priest (Brendan Gleeson) under fire.

Movies

'Alive Inside' and 'Code Black' are documentaries with…

Two new documentaries — "Alive Inside" and "Code Black" — portray different issues but suffer from the same problem.

Music

Caught a Ghost catches a soul/rap vibe

Jesse Nolan says Caught a Ghost's sound aims for two things everybody likes: soul music and '90s rap.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…