After having participated in many “French Latin” bands such as The Bongo Hop, Who’s the Cuban, Cumbia Ya! and Cumbia y Cardón, the Colombian Pao Barreto, settled in Paris for almost ten years, launched last year her solo career with a first album, “Spiralis”, released in spring 2021.
Her compositions draw on a multitude of styles: festive Caribbean rhythms (porro, champeta, cumbia) rub shoulders with highly reverberated electronic sounds, with touches of soul, funk, swing and reggae.
Her texts celebrate the themes which are dear to her: the connection to nature, the cyclical rhythm of everything and the capacity of each one to transform.
Psychedelic afro-caribbean Cumbia
Drawing from influences like Cumbia, Merengue, Dub and afro-caribbean rhythms, Candeleros surrender to a sort of exorcism full of differents sounds in which they reach altered states of consciousness. All of this includes percussion sounds coming from the beyond, Andean echoes, cinematic atmospheres and tunes that seem to come from an old episode of The Twilight Zone. Candeleros music is like digging into a postmodernism hole to find the very pure of tropicalismo.
Candeleros is a plurinacional group of six people that come from Colombia and Venezuela. They have their operational center in Madrid, from where they try to expand a multicoloured psychedelic sound to dance. “Echar una candela” is commonly known as the improvised reunion around the tobacco, fire and music. “La candela” also is the measurement for the lights units and their intensity. “Candela” and “fuego” are also used as metaphors for passion, hit and love.
Candeleros goal is to unify the afro-caribbean sounds as a proof of identity, folklore and modernity. William, Fernando, Urko, Sergio, Alex and Andrés come from places where we can listen to rhythms like Cumbia and Son. They have mixed these rhythms alongside with percussion sounds and guitars to create a sort of psychedelic ritual.
During their seven years of musical trajectory, Candeleros has performed in differents shows around Europe and United States. They have performed in important festivals such as Sonorama Ribera, Trans Musicales de Rennes (France), Sziget Festival (Budapest), BAM Festival (Barcelona), SXSW (Austin).
In addition to all of this, Candeleros music can be found in music platforms such as KEXP radio, FIP Radio, Radio Gladys Palmera and Sofar Sounds Madrid.
Accordion player and composer, Carmelo Torres is considered as one of the main protagonists in the story of Colombian Cumbia. He is the living legacy of Cumbia Sabanera, a rural accordion style of cumbia from San Jacinto, in the Caribbean region of Colombia, influenced by the traditional flutes.
He learned to play vallenato first, by himself, before he met the ‘King of Cumbia’, Andrés Landero who was his teacher since kid, and started to play cumbias.
Since Landero passed away in 2000, Carmelo’s major concern’s been to carry on his teacher’s legacy, keeping the cumbia genre alive and teaching the youngest.
Carmelo is now knowned as The Accordion Bible. In 2019, Carmelo Torres’ music still smells as the music of the countryside, the sabana is present when he sings about labour works, nature, life and love. Indeed, He lives this new century and the globalization of our world musics as cumbia and vallenato and his music can be danced in nightclubs making part of our generation, looking backwards and towards in the same song.
With his group, he has performed widely at home in Colombia at caribean festivals winning all the contests and at the prestigious Festival Colombia al Parque in Bogotá in 2013. Torres has also travelled extensively with his conjunto as far as Europe, Australia, South Korea, Morroco and throughout Latin America in México, Panamá, Perú, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brasil.
WOMEX 2019 Official Selection