Bomba Estéreo is a Colombian band founded in Bogotá in 2005 by Simón Mejía.Their music has been described as “electro tropical”or “psychedelic cumbia”.
Bomba Estéreo’s new album ‘Deja’ is the band’s long-awaited first album in 4 years. The album was mixed by Damian Taylor (Björk, Arcade Fire). ‘Deja’ is about leaving behind the unnecessary baggage in our lives and re-connecting with what is meaningful and essential – with the earth. It’s about a hope for our future and finding a better balance between technology and the natural world. In the middle of the pandemic, Bomba and a community of collaborators got together in a Caribbean beach house in Santa Marta.
Where the Sierra Nevada mountains meet the sea, they let it all go and recorded the album. For ‘Deja,’ Simón and Li wanted to make the album more of a “community” effort. Simon found increasing chemistry playing live shows with guitarist José Castillo and the folkloric percussion of Efrain “Pacho” Cuadrado. Li recruited her longtime friend Lido Pimienta and the Afro Cuban duo OKAN for the session.
New Album “Deja” divided into four sections, each representing an element—water, earth, fire, wind.
Songs like “Se Acabó” have Saumet expressing how she’s sick of crying and ready to heal, and how the future will bring the light. Musically speaking, Deja is perhaps Bomba Estéreo’s most fully realized work to date; the production is so lush that you’re as likely to get lost in its textures as much as you’d be prompted to dance.
“Conexión Total” gets its spark from the presence of Nigerian singer Yemi Alade. Even when Bomba Estereo get dark, there are moments like “Ahora” which features field recordings and Saumet’s spoken word-intro as if conducting a guided meditation, giving the listener a chance to breathe.
Deja is at once energetic and subdued, heartbroken as well as full of heart, and a balance between their ancestral heritage with cutting-edge experimentations. With this album, Bomba Estéreo propose dance music as a gateway to a better tomorrow.
On “Tierra,” one of the most arresting moments of Bomba Estereo’s new album Deja, vocalist Li Saumet offers a bleak list of crimes against the planet: “They took away the sea, sky, and wind,” she sings. “They took the wind from us, they burned the jungle, they sold the lands, they put out the sun.” But then she reassures us that they have not taken away our dreams since we can write history from now on.
NMR (photo: press Bomba Estéreo)