Editor’s note: This article was originally published March 16, 2014
There couldn’t have been a better way for me to end South by Southwest than at the mercy of Alguacil’s hypnotic rhythms at the Flamingo Cantina. The Colombian band’s truly special blend of electro-cumbia, reggae, dubstep and hip-hop injected the lively crowd with a contagious energetic spirit.
Colombian musician and producer Manuel Gamboa, who founded the successful Dub Killer Combo, launched the project after having collaborated with artists such as Manu Chao and Asian Dub Foundation.
After spending most of South by Southwest experiencing the Latin American musical offerings, I’m glad I saved one of the best for last. Alguacil’s show left me feeling grateful to have soaked up so much international music that’s often overlooked and under appreciated.
Congas, DJs/rappers and accordions? All part of Alguacil’s unique makeup that shines with originality. The group weaves Spanish lyrics with San Andrés–Providencia creole, a language spoken on Colombian islands. Alguacil’s music has a heart, a point-of-view and undeniable spirit, which transcends language.
Alguacil wrapped up their show, and fans at the Flamingo Cantina’s cozy confines chanted “Olé, Olé, Olé, Olé,” ending this year’s South by Southwest.