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Global Music Column – March

Ale Hop & Laura Robles – Agua Dulce

The cajón contains a radical history. The box-shaped percussion instrument is now commonly used in acoustic setups but it originated in 19th-century Peru as a makeshift means of enslaved people defying Spanish colonial restrictions on music. Workers would put down their wooden crates and begin using them as drums, beating out rhythms and producing dances that have since become part of folk tradition.

For Peruvian artist Ale Hop and percussionist Laura Robles, the cajón’s subversive past has been obscured by its contemporary ubiquity. On their debut album, Agua Dulce, they present nine tracks of electronically processed and deconstructed cajón rhythms, aiming to reconnect a percussive sound with its rebellious roots.

Read the review in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 31/03/23]

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