Music

Thornato and Benjamín Vanegas Team Up for "Mama Clo" (premiere)

Photo courtesy of Wonderwheel Recordings

Global bass pioneer Thornato teams up with Grupo Taribo's Benjamín Vanegas for a summery single based on food and folklore.

Lately, it seems like all the best new tracks on the more electronic side of the world music scene have their roots in the broad spectrum of Afro-indigenous sounds of South America - Uji, Chancha Via Circuito, just about any Quantic projects - and this is in no small part thanks to global bass pioneer Thornato. Originally from Sweden, Thornato travels the world to find musical inspiration, and in recent travels around the Pacific coastlines of Colombia and Ecuador, he's found it in abundance.

He's also found a collaborator in Ecuadorian singer Benjamín Vanegas, known for his work with Esmeraldas-based Grupo Taribo and Ecuadorian-Colombian marimba supergroup Rio Mira, the latter of which joins together artists from both nations bordering the river of the same name.

It's here, straddling the river, that we find ourselves with "Mama Clo", a new single from Thornato and Vanegas via Wonderwheel Recordings that blends coastal folklore with refreshing beats to usher in the summer recorded on the very shores Vanegas and Grupo Taribo call home. "I was there preparing for a live performance with Grupo Taribo, and during our down time, I got to work with Benjamín Vanegas," says Thornato.

The results are delicious. Everything about the soundscape of "Mama Clo" - the resonant tones of Jud Wellington on marimba, Eduardo Martinez's light hand on other percussion, crisp handclaps and cautious electronic touches - is simply satisfying, and that carries over to the lyrical themes as well.

"Mama Clo is a fictitious character that represents our mothers and grandmothers, who are experts in the gastronomy of the Colombian South Pacific and the Ecuadorian north," explains Vanegas. "The song speaks of that connection that we have - the Colombian South Pacific and the Ecuadorian north through our gastronomic customs."

It's fitting. This is a track that warms the heart and soul. Vanegas ("a master marimba maker," as Thornato notes, in addition to his vocal credits) has a vocal presence that lends itself perfectly to an atmosphere of collaboration. His delivery is sincere as he engages with traditions and their relevance to the permeation of modern political states in favor of unity. Thornato's production helps to further illuminate the joy Vanegas takes in performing these expressions of cultural identity, while also making for a seriously catchy track.

As a duo, Thornato and Vanegas are, at the risk of sounding cliché, dynamic. "Mama Clo" adds yet another aspect to the Global Bass genre, one with a subtler - but no less exciting - impact than your standard drum-and-bass number. The perfect push away from mercurial spring, it lays the perfect foundation for a radiant summer of globe-trotting, whether on your feet or in your earbuds.

Single "Mama Clo" comes out on Wonderwheel Recordings on Friday, 24 May.

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