Death Rumba… have you encountered this?
It’s not a dangerous subset of dance with steel-toed shoes and spiked castanets, although abstract interpretation could define it as such, death rumba is actually a genre born of a manic concoction of Latin-infused trumpetry and Punk-like abandon. Big Lion and The Filthy Old Orchestra’s EP, “An Introduction to Death Rumba”, is a window into a world where scantily-gowned dancers smile as they cucaracha you hard upside the head. You should also watch out for the Russian Barynya knees thrown in there for good measure.
I have listened to this collection of tracks incessantly for a while now and I still don’t feel qualified to offer a definition shorter than a paragraph. It’s unlike anything I have ever heard – it’s eccentric musical genius. The EP itself is exceedingly aptly titled; the first track holds your hand for the first minute or so with a familiar simplistic Latin rhythm but you are soon unwittingly sacrificed to gravelly punk vocals and an instrumental that thinks it’s much cooler than you… and probably is. Finally you emerge from the close of Petryorshka reeling but subconsciously reaching for the repeat button. Don’t be frightened, go around again! I was brave myself and now opener, “Death Rumba” is my jam.
If you’re feeling a niggle of familiarity in the back of your mind that you can’t quite isolate let me attempt to appease you. The Big Lion is in fact James Stevenson of Red Crow and his ensemble of dirty musicians is a mix of his band-mates and a number of other talented artists. When he approached me with his solo material, I was sold before pressing play, however I had no idea that what had landed in the STX submissions would be so… incomparable to anything. The diverse array of sound achieved by this community of artists is frankly ground-breaking. It is a baffling level of musical accomplishment and I for one am entirely unprepared for whatever’s next to be unleashed from their armoury. Everybody duck!