Tambutronic (Jiga Musica, 2014)
KiT (Kuenta i Tambú) is one of the international music acts that will be performing at the influential globalFEST showcase in January 2014. To coincide with this presentation, Jiga Musica is releasing the band’s latest album Tambutronic in the North American market.
Tambutronic presents a 21st-century hybridization of tambú music of Curaçao, mixing traditional music with pulsating bass-rooted electronic dance music. KiT was founded in 2005 by Roël Calister, a Curaçao-born percussionist living in The Netherlands. The initial sound was acoustic, but things changed in 2010. “Like a lot of people, we were listening to hip-hop, to dance music,” Calister recollects. “We started experimenting with beats and electronics to give our music the feel that fascinated us in European electronic music, music we really loved. We released an EP and the style we call Tambutronic was born.”
While some pieces sound like straightforward electronic grooves, KiT also presents their traditional music side on Tambutronic. “On ‘La Señora’ you hear a very old style of singing from Curaçao. We’ve added bleeps and synths to give a modern contrast to that,” Calister says. “We wanted to bring it all into the 21st century.”
“But I also wanted to give glimpses of where it all came from. ‘Zunta Zunta’ is untouched, that’s how the music often still sounds. It’s a work song from the west side of the island. The last track, ‘Bool’ is traditional tambú with solo percussion on top.”
KiT’s Tambutronic sound has become popular in Curaçao. “The people there are very proud that we took the step to give the old music a new look,” Calister reveals. “We stay true to the roots but we also give the island its own voice in the modern world.”
The globalFEST performance on January 13, 2014, Webster Hall will present the live version of the band with a mix of acoustic drums and electronic beats and the vocals of Diamanta von Lieshdek.
Tambutronic reveals an exhilarating mix of muscular electronic basslines and the Afro-Caribbean sounds of tambú music.