Hard hitting horns funkin’ up 50s style Cumbia, a tight rhythm section dissecting Afro-Colombian progressions, skankin’ guitars infusing reggae grooves, and a front man recreating the ancient mythological stories of Colombia all intertwine to create what is now Melbourne’s unique 9-piece Latin Reggae outfit Madre Monte.
Madre Monte’s sound is representative of Colombia’s unique culture, a marbled ancestry of African, Indigenous and European descent, a product of a long and dark history of colonization, slave trade and migration. They have cleverly discovered the perfect unison between these Afro-Colombian styles and their cousin and neighbor, reggae. Through their music Madre Monte give a history lesson in traveling sounds, rhythms, instruments and the power of music to stay true to its roots yet adapt accordingly to new environments.
Faced with a new environment themselves, the band’s founders Mauricio Gomez and Henry Peña have been dedicated to recreating the authentic sound of traditional Cumbia, interweaved with influences from their new multicultural home Melbourne. The band was formed in 2008 and represents the old-school sound of their musically rich homelands with a distinctive contemporary flare.
To date, Madre Monte have performed to large crowds at festivals around the country including Brunswick Music Fesitval, Port Fairy Folk Festival and Cygnet Folk Festival. The band has undertaken successful residencies at notorious music institutions Bar Open and the Workers Club, showcased at the Australasian Worldwide Music Expo, toured Tasmania, sold out their debut EP Reaction and released their second EP Raza:Madre receiving great airplay on Melbourne’s PBS, RRR and nationally on JJJ.
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by Carlo Santone.