Prepare yourself for ‘techno palenquero’

“We start with the drums,” explains Franklin Tejedor, “and everybody connects with what we are doing. From then on, nobody sits down. We don’t look back. We go forward, like a horse.” Franklin is describing how they go about business in Mitú, the Colombian duo that consists of himself and Julián Salazar, former guitarist with the psychedelic cumbia outfit Bomba Estéreo. As well as chanting in palenquero, the language of his hometown of San Basilio de Palenque, Franklin plays the alegre drum, while Julián takes control of a bank of drum machines and analogue synths. The result – what they call ‘techno palenquero’ – is a fascinating, dancefloor-friendly face-off between roots and electronica, one that offers plenty of trance-inducing, mind-altering moments. What it isn’t is a slight updating of Colombian music past. As Franklin says, Mitú are all about the future, about going forward. Reverse gear is not an option.

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