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Afro Colombian Power Sound
from New York City
M.A.K.U. Soundsystem is an immigrant band from New York City, with 6 musicians from Colombia & 2 Afroamericans, M.A.K.U embodies an active quest for identity through sound and bodies in motion, and puts on a party for everyday people. Born in 2010 the band has independently released two full-length albums, one EP, and toured across the U.S. and travelled outside to Colombia, Canada and Africa with their fiery grooves.
M.A.K.U’s distinctive sound is enriched with a variety of musical backgrounds brought to the table by each of its members. Although not inherently discernible there are hints of Colombian Folklore, Psychedelic-rock and Caribbean grooves. It all comes together through a D.I.Y. attitude of getting things done, from composing to releasing independent records; M.A.K.U. is as much about the music as it is about a way of life.
On stage M.A.K.U. juxtaposes traditional Colombian percussion, drum-set, keyboards, electric base, guitar and sizzling horns, creating an explosive performance filled with unshakable grooves. Lyrically M.A.K.U. talks about the realities of everyday people, encompassing love, hardships, culture, and the immigrant experience, but with a positive, spiritual and sometimes humorous spin. Through social media and a variety of music blogs and online outlets both local and internationally M.A.K.U. has generated already a fan base. M.A.K.U. has performed at universities, festivals and venues across the east and west coast of the US. M.A.K.U. has been the recipient of the globalFEST Touring Fund in 2012 and was nominated and selected as one of nine artist to join the 2014-15 New York State Presenters Network Touring Roster. They have been featured in such prominent media outlets as Afropop, WNYC, NY Daily News, Village Voice, TimeOut NY, Remezcla (NY, Los Angeles and Chicago), Periscope, Sounds and Colours.
Moris Canate: Alegre Drum,
Liliana Conde: Lead Vocal and Percussion
Isaiah Richardson: Clarinet and Saxophone,
Robert Stringer: Trombone
Juan Ospina: Bass and Lead Vocal,
Camilo Rodriguez: Guitar
Felipe Quiroz: Keyboard,
Andres Jimenez: Drums
M.A.K.U. Soundsystem announces the release of their international debut CD ‘MEZCLA’ (CD, Limited Vinyl edition, mp3 download) out on Glitterbeat May 27th
Please find the link to view the video clip (EPK) below:
The immigrant experience is scary and it’s exciting. Everything is new, everything is possible. There’s a city, a country, an entire culture to discover. It’s an opportunity to create, to find a voice that speaks loud and proud, to connect past and future. A chance to make history. That’s what the eight-piece M.A.K.U. Soundsystem does on their fourth album, Mezcla (‘Mix’). They give us America now, in the raw, through the eyes and ears of Colombians who’ve arrived and made their homes in New York City. It is, in every way, a mix, an invitation to think and to dance.
Mezcla is a relentlessly honest record. The music hits the feet and the hips, powerful and overwhelming, while the lyrics reflect the lives the band members live. There’s the giddy flirtation of a summer Saturday night on ‘Haitiana’ and the thought that comes from looking around somewhere so different and asking ‘What Do You Wish For.’ But it also embraces darker political questions that don’t have easy answers. The opening track, ‘Agua,’ for instance, wonders why some people own the seeds that should be for everyone – who are those who have and who are the dispossessed? And ‘De Barrio,’ the warm, inviting waltz that closes the disc, examines the journey so many coming from Latin America to the US undertake.
M.A.K.U. Soundsystem is a powerhouse that’s been built over years of rehearsals and gigs, criss-crossing America from the Lincoln Center Outdoors -in their adopted hometown of New York- to Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Canada and around the globe to the Roskilde festival in Denmark and onto the Atlantic Music Expo in Cape Verde. Everywhere they’ve won over friends: a storming appearance at globalFEST saw the band awarded a touring fund, while new outlets have kept heaping praise on them.
Afropop Worldwide praised the “frantic terrain” the band explores. National Public Radio raved about the “driving and gritty energy…this raw-edged, punk-tinged band explodes with the propulsive force of traditional rhythms and urban restlessness.”
It’s a statement, an embrace. Think and dance. A way forward delivered with the urgency that’s become a hallmark of M.A.K.U. Soundsystem. Mezcla captures the live sound of the band, that thrilling rawness where the rough edges become a vital part of the whole, plenty of freedom but with the tightness honed by night after night of gigs. And that’s exactly how Mezcla came together.
It’s passionate and blazing, turning from anger to tenderness, to endurance and hope. M.A.K.U. Soundsystem is the modern immigrant experience in a microcosm – and it’s not so different from all the generations that have gone before. People carrying their own mix of the past and the present, the old and the new, tradition and modernity. Mezcla reflects the lives they’re building.
“We try to keep it human,” Ospina says. “To give people something they can relate to.”
M.A.K.U. Soundsystem live in New York at Lincoln Center:
Official Video: ‘El Jugo’
The Making Of M.A.K.U. Soundsystem’s Third Album (EP) ‘Music Never Dies’
Official Band Website:
M.A.K.U. @ Bandcamp: