Beats and Bodies of Water: Montoya’s “Otun”

Chris Daly offers a quick word on the Italy-by-way-of-Columbia artist's newest single.
By    May 14, 2019

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Chris Daly does a double breaststroke that would put you to shame.

Sometimes, the journey makes the adventurer.  Case in point, Columbia-born Montoya started his musical career as a classically trained violinist.  Today, he can be found residing in Treviso, Italy’s  Fabrica, a “cultural subversion center,” and putting his pan-international stamp on the world of beats.  A world traveler from an early age, the musician has taken his tenure with such world-famous groups as Cuba’s Gran Teatro de La Habana and Vienna’s Muikverein to create the amalgamated sounds that are his ZZK label debut, “Otun.”

Montoya takes a collector’s approach to his music, incorporating everything from Amazonian and Andean tribal folk music to modern reggaeton and traditional salsa, all over thumping beats.  Unsurprisingly, even with one master helmsman, each track has its own distinct feel.  Opener “Perla” leads with driving synths and a disembodied, nearly robotic voice chanting over native percussive instruments.  “Solo Quiero,” featuring the sultry vocals of Bogota’s Pedrina, brings the bedroom vibe, while the title track, featuring Nidia Gongora, is a tribal dance floor scorcher.  And so it goes, Montoya completing a yeoman’s job melding and merging the various sounds he’s ingested thus far on his musical travels.

Otun is both a lake and river in Columbia, the only source of drinking water for area communities.  Montoya is here to make sure you will not go thirsty today.

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