Saturno 2000 – La Rebajada de Los Sonideros 1962-1983 is one of the most unique, unexpected releases to come out in the past few years. Compiled by Eamon Ore-Giron (aka DJ Lengua) and released on the Analog Africa label, it’s a collection of rebajada music, a cumbia sub-genre in which Sonideros (sound system operators) would take cumbia songs and considerably lower their tempo, making them sound slower, more sensual and more intoxicating, creating a slower tempo for dancing.
The birth of rebajada is a subject that has generated some debate, but it seems to have started when two families of brothers – the Pereas and the Ortegas – travelled around Latin America selling records to Sonideros. With the brother’s records in hand, Mexican Sonideros began incorporating Colombian music into their sets. Their beats fit perfectly with the Mexican dance steps, but they were just a bit too fast. So some sonideros began experimenting with equipment, and Marco Antonio Cedillo of Sonido Imperial sound system created a revolutionary pitching system that could slow records down to match the tempo Mexican dancers were used to.
At about the same time in Northern Mexico, in Monterrey, sonidero Gabriel Dueñez was nearly electrocuted during one of his sets by a short circuit that nearly set his record player on fire. As a result, the platter on his record player started spinning slowly for the rest of the party, turning cumbia into a new style altogether. The local teenagers went crazy for this new sound and harassed Dueñez until he finally agreed to record pirated cassettes for them. These cassettes became popular among the young people in Monterrey, and they turned rebajada into a celebrated youth movement.
Now, this previously unheard music is available for wider audience to enjoy. Featuring 14 tracks of early rebajadas from Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, deep cuts from pioneers of the sound like Polibio Mayorga and La Sampuesana, the queen of all rebajadas. The compilation showcases a range of styles and features performances that were either never recorded or have only been heard by aficionados until now. Overall, it’s a brilliant work of psychedelic art, sure to please fans of world music. A must-have for your collection.