Austin's cumbia all-stars Grupo Fantasma have a new release, "American Music Vol. VII," on Blue Corn Music, that dropped in late March. The record pushes the boundaries on the band's signature styles, liberally mixing Latin rhythms with hip-hop, funk and boogaloo.
The album was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, a town that later became a flashpoint of Trump era border policies when a tent facility housing thousands of immigrant children was constructed in the quiet border community.
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“That really brought into focus the concept that was right under our nose being constructed,” Grupo bassist Gret Gonzalez told the Statesman last month.
One of the most powerful tracks on the album is the politically charged single "The Wall," which features L.A. Latin hip-hop outfit Ozomatli and Miami-based Latin fusion act Locos Por Juana. The song is written from the perspective of an immigrant seeking a better life in the United States. A new video that includes lyrics in English and Spanish, dancing border control agents and a puppet master president emerging from a desert lava pool underlines the strident message of protest that soars over the track's hip-moving groove.