Mexico City’s Son Rompe Pera began performing at local events alongside their father when they were kids, accompanying him on the traditional Mexican marimba. Today, they are at the forefront of the contemporary international cumbia scene, as they take what they learned in their youth to new heights, and push the marimba to its limits. Their absolutely unique blend of sounds comes as the result of a typical youthful rebellion when as teenagers they left behind their marimba upbringing and began to play in various punk and psychobilly bands. Now they´ve come full circle, incorporating the marimba together with their rock influences, giving it a new twist never before seen in what has always been a Mexican folk music instrument.
The live shows of this garage-cumbia-marimba-punk band (the only band of its kind in the world) never disappoint, and always manage to fill the dance floor with a sweaty mess of dancing fans. Their authenticity shines through as they give their modern interpretations of Mexican, Peruvian, and Colombian classics, as well as their own original material and some surprise covers. The contrast of the traditional marimba with their youthful attitude and street sense connects the audience to the past while they dance into the future.
The band released their debut LP in March 2020 on the international cult label AYA Records (a subsidiary of the legendary electro-cumbia label ZZK Records) right as the Covid-19 pandemic hit, making it impossible to tour behind what many have called one of the best records of last year. Their last live show was at the iconic Vive Latino Festival in Mexico City, where they performed alongside the Chilean cumbia superstars Chico Trujillo (whose lead singer produced their album), and then of course their tours in the US, Europe, and Mexico were all canceled. But the global lockdown didn’t stop them from growing their fanbase, as they were present in virtual events like Mole de Mayo in Chicago and the World Music Institute´s end-of-year celebration, as well as online festivals in Ecuador, Italy, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia. With their name growing bit by bit, they were invited to do an “at home” session of Live on KEXP, the ultra-viral live performances from the prestigious Seattle radio station, as well as being selected as an official band at the 2020 WOMEX international music conference.
Back in the real world, under quarantine and without real concerts, Son Rompe Pera decided that the best thing they could do would be to go back to their roots, performing in what was the only place where live music could happen for almost a year: the great outdoors. They became a weekly fixture at Parque Mexico in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, where they would bring moments of joy to the masked, timid fans who ventured out for fresh air in the difficult months of 2020.
Now they will finally make their US debut this month, and with two new projects to promote as well: “Bootleg Cumbia Vol. 1”, the 5-song EP from their Live on KEXP (at home) session (available only through Bandcamp), as well as a new collaboration (out August 6th) on the track “Ay! Ke Cumbión” by the iconic Mexican riot grrrl Ali Gua Gua (Los Ultrasonicos, Las Kumbia Queers) for her upcoming album Menos Pause, which also features one of the fiercest next-generation rappers in Latin America, Mare Advertencia Lirika. It’s an upbeat jam, mixing Colombian rhythms with Son Rompe Pera’s iconic marimba, as Ali and Mare trade verses about cumbia’s power to unite Oaxaca, Veracruz, Naucalpan, and all of Mexico in a night of sweaty chaotic baile in the deep barrios of Mexico City. Oh, and there’s a great trombone solo too!
Their tour will take them to two of the most important stages on either coast, the Levitt Pavilion in Los Angeles and the iconic Lincoln Center in New York, with more stops including the 2nd edition of the “Barbés in the Woods” Festival presented by the legendary venue in Brooklyn, and the urban chaos of Pittsburgh’s Pittankatonk Festival, with smaller shows along the way. And they were just added to be the opener for the legendary Mexican ska-mestizo-rock band Panteon Rococo, on their upcoming California tour dates.
One of the most interesting young bands to emerge from Latin America, a Son Rompe Pera show is a must-see for fans of all ages who want to spice up their summer with some cumbia punk!