Ondatrópica Continues ‘Caribbean Cultural Experiment’ on New Album


A report by Judy Cantor-Navas for Billboard.

A U.S. tour in support of “Baile Bucanero” will follow March 10 release.

Colombian Mario Galeano of the Frente Cumbiero collective and Colombiaphile Will Holland, a.ka. Quantic, are back with a second album from their grooving Ondatrópica project, which the artists describe as “setting a new gold standard of Colombian music.”

Baile Bucanero (Soundway Records) was recorded in Bogota and the Colombian island Providencia, named Old Providence by the 17th-Century founders of an English colony there.

“Two contrasting locations, but united by their reputation as musically creative hubs,” Galeano and Holland relate in a release about the album. “Bogota, with its subversive underground expressing an active, punky, DIY mentality and Providence reinterpreting and updating a Colombian national identity through a proud renaissance of regional folklore coupled with a fervor for dancehall and reggae sounds.”

The artists explain that recording in Providencia was not a random decision.

“Being an Island originally settled by the British and later becoming part of the Colombian republic, the island has a heady mix of African, English and Spanish cultural heritage and is therefore a perfect example of the Caribbean cultural experiment. Rather than separate the stylistic Anglo-, French- and Spanish-Caribbean influences, our goal was to explore the common ground and the ways in which these different styles synthesize.”

In April, Ondatrópica will tour the U.S., with club dates in Chicago, Brooklyn, Austin, Miami and Los Angeles.

Baile Bucanero is set for release on March 10.

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