“We are becoming more and more a global community,” Colombian-American artist Kiko Villamizar said on Sunday, two days after he brought down the house at Empire Control Room. Performing to a packed house and a very diverse crowd, Villamizar and a massive ensemble of over a dozen players took the audience on a hip-switching journey through the music of the Americas. His set blended elements of Afro-Colombian forms like cumbia with salsa, reggae and Tejano — a form Villamizar feels is under-appreciated locally despite being the regional music of the area. In the process, he beautifully brought to life the songs from his new release “La Remolacha.”
With the Peligrosa DJs chopping South American sounds into hip-hop heavy dance jams on the patio and first psychedelic cumbia outfit Money Chicha who opened, then Villamizar’s crew playing rock solid, crowd-moving sets on the inside, the entire evening was a testament to just how exciting Austin’s Latin music scene is right now. “Pachanga (Festival) is helping raise visibility of just how interesting brown folks can be in the ATX,” Villamizar said.
Peligrosa also deserves plenty of credit for keeping the Austin scene in the national and international spotlight. The DJ crew has done three U.S. and two European tours. The party on Friday signified a new phase for the group, Villamizar’s album is the first release on the group’s new record label Discos Peligrosa. The next release, a compilation of songs from Peligrosa and Houston’s Bombón crew is due out in February. And the great news for everyone who likes to move and groove is the fantastic two-room set up of top notch bands inside while the DJs break it down on the patio will be back again next month.