“Gulabanza” by Dj Jigüe – music press release

Today let’s talk about “Gulabanza”, the first single opening the doors for the arrival of the 6-song EP Ekelekua that will be coming out on August 6 with the Guampara Music label.

Who is Dj Jigüe?

Dj Jigüe, one of the most recognized names in the electronic scene in Cuba, returns ‘a la carga’ with new music. His musical work is based on Cuban, Afro-American, and Caribbean music experimentation. Jigüe is also known for the use of sounds, noises, and silences.

Jigüe is known, among other things, for being the founder of Guampara Music (the first independent urban music label in Cuba); the forerunner in Cuba in the electronic scene, of mixing live electronic styles with Afro-Cuban percussion; the producer of the album “Havana Cultura Súbelo Cuba,” produced by Gilles Peterson, and recently for the multi-award-winning film “Bakosó: Afrobeats de Cuba.” To know more about Dj Jigüe, click here.

“Gulabanza” (single)

“Gulabanza” is an exciting sound experience that wraps you up in a spiritual way. Afro-Cuban percussion is present and decisive in Dj Jigüe’s baroque and futuristic experimentation process. Which also features percussionist Iran Farias (El Menor). 

Percussive rhythms of the Conga Santiaguera, a traditional folkloric phenomenon of Santiago de Cuba, are interpreted by typical drums of this century-old institution. The ‘galleta’ accompanies the ‘kick.’ The ‘Quinto’ improvises identically to the multitudinous Santiago conga’s ‘toques.’

As the song progresses and the galactic atmosphere grows, folkloric vocal elements are sensually present, reminding us over and over again of the rhythmic richness left by an indissoluble connection between Cuba and Africa.

The cover design is the work of Dj Jigüe himself, in an exercise of inspiration and creative need. Without recognized meaning, “Gulabanza” is a word created by Jigüe. It is a Praise to the ancestors of other worlds; a round trip between Santiago de Cuba and Las Pleiades.

References and review

“The music coming from the studio at Guampara exemplifies the sort of hybrid Cuban sound that is gaining momentum abroad but has been slow to work its way through traditional government channels. The Guampara sound is, like space itself, eclectic and unconstrained by conventional boundaries; it’s a buoyant blend of hip-hop, electronica, and traditional Santeria music”.

Lauren Du Graf (topic.com)

“The Havana-based artist has a unique success story, having worked his way to the top of Cuba’s nascent hip-hop and DJ scenes. Today, he’s got an international touring career as a DJ for the country’s hip-hop sensation Obsesión, as well as recent solo shows at festivals like SXSW”. 

Greg Scruggs (Vice.com)

“Today, DJ Jigüe can say that he has achieved it: his sound is quickly identified within Cuban electronic music, his stamp provides rhythm and a language where Cuban is not a pretext, but the essence brought to contemporary codes. Along this path, with his label Guámpara Music, DJ Jigüe overflows with leadership and gathers around him the best exponents of the Cuban underground, along with extremely popular young instrumentalists. Every day more people talk about them. And at this point, it is better not to say anything more…. but watch and listen !!! “

Rosa Marquetti (gladyspalmera.com)

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