Album Review: Quantic & Nidia Góngora – Curao [Tru–Thoughts Records, 12th May 2017]

Curao brings together the mystical music traditions of the Colombian Pacific Coast with captivating modern day production to spectacular effect. Will ‘Quantic’ Holland and Nidia Góngora, who is considered one of the foremost artists of the typical marimba music of the South Pacific region, mix those unique & rich traditional sounds with modern day danceable beats for a killer new album.

Seemingly, effortlessly putting all of these elements together, Holland’s ability to interpret genres and work with fascinating collaborators has led this project to one of his finest albums to date. Through the partnership with Nidia, this work is the first time she has mixed outside influences into her beloved traditional style, bringing about a sound that few will be able to resist.

These two heavy weight artists have been weaving their sounds together for the best part of a decade now and they treat the stories and rhythms from Nidia’s homelands with the utmost reverence. This collaboration, being their most extensive to date, kicks off with the sunshine kissed ‘E Ye Ye’ with a laid-back beat & flute melodies which transport you to tropical climes.

If you were waiting for the sweet marimba sounds to drop, ‘Que Me Duele’ comes next and delivers in droves. With infectious sweeping electronic sounds, which builds to a cathartic crescendo, the track nods to the frenetic ‘Levanta Polvo’ rhythm and showcases Nidia’s vocal talents beautifully. Punctuated throughout the album are acapella tracks where we are treated to Nidia singing delicate harmonies – the heavy atmosphere taking inspiration from the diverse elements of the Pacific Coast.

The album continues moving with a diversity of sounds that keeps you guessing as to what is coming next. From the heavy marimba dance-floor tracks like ‘Muevelo Negro’, electro-groove sounds of “Ojos Vicheros”, to the arresting acapella sounds of ‘Dios Promete’ Curao, you will keep wanting to come back for more and finding new favourites to listen to.