El Pocho

Maybe it's our tribal ancestors, our hunter gatherer blood, our ties to the wandering land, the gatherings around camp fires to hear stories played out through song and dance, the power of the unspoken tale, that aural and visual poetry that hits right you in the gut, inexplicable, mysterious, even in our hyper-connected, all-knowing world: maybe that is why hand-crafted drums are so beautiful.

We as a label, have always been fascinated by the juxtaposition of merging live instruments and drums with modern, machine-created grooves. South America and its wondrous kaleidoscope of rich music styles has often been the source of inspiration for our drums, and not just because we come from the continent. The fact is, Latin America is home to some of the most exhilarating rhythms known to man, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the whole place moves to the beat of the drum.

One of the tracks on El Pocho's debut release on Cadenza Lab features master percussionist, singer, and multi-talented Spanish-American musician José Mangual Jr., who explained in an interview in 2004 just how saturated some South American countries are in rhythm: "You see, in the discotheques and nightclubs throughout Colombia, there are actual percussion instruments that anyone can pick up and play along with the song that is playing. I mean, this is a place that you go to dance, and if you have a little familiarity with the instrument (or perhaps you don't) you can pick it up, and play along with the record."

That's exactly the kind of communal dancefloor spirit we endorse here at Cadenza, and you can feel that energy and vibrancy on El Pocho's debut release 'Introducing'. With two exotic house tracks full of Latin spirit, the record is modern salsa with an electronic dancefloor edge. Now all that's missing is you and your drums.

A - Led by live drums and rolling percussion, A Mi Amigo has a gorgeous, flowing, infectious rhythm to it. José Jr.'s vocals are electrifying and husky. The carnival has arrived and it's smoking a bit fat Cuban!

B - Don Quixote has a darker, sci-fi flavoured South American vibe. With eerie pads and chaotic, relentless drumming, the track has an unstoppable tribal energy. The conga percussion is feverous, the electronic synthesizers are warped, and the arrangement is wild, almost voodoo like. Don Quixote is a most unusual house track, and it seems El Pocho may have a dark side beneath their sombreros.

Who are El Pocho?

El Pocho are a newly formed East London posse of musicians, street artists, writers, designers, and film makers who share a common passion for far flung beats and culture. They recently remixed the classic Toto La Moposina track, Adios Fulana, which showed their roots in Afro-Latin beats, swinging percussion, and carnival vocals.