Brian Lopez and Gabriel Sullivan have been at the forefront of the Tucson scene for a number of years – lending their talents to the likes of Calexico and Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta as well as both being members of Howe Gelb’s Giant Sand.
Four years ago, inspired by Peruvian Cumbia, Brian and Gabe dedicated themselves to the exploration of the hard edge, guitar-driven trippy cumbia popular in the Amazon and the poorest barrios of Lima.
After a few years of playing as Chicha Dust – and becoming one of Tucson’s most popular band in the process – the group renamed itself XIXA and started writing all new material, mixing their rocking past and their passion for psychedelic cumbia – a sort of desert rock with a Latin edge and a strong taste for hallucinogenic experimentation.
XIXA’s debut EP, Shift and Shadow, consists of three original songs and a cover of the Meat Puppets’ Plateau(popularized by Nirvana). Their own songs include the title track, Shift and shadow, which mixes the experimentation of alternative rock with Chicha hooks; the downtempo Dead Man which showcases a more introspective side of the band, and La Cumbia del Paletero which is, you guessed it, a cumbia.
In all, a perfect introduction to a multifaceted, unclassifiable band.
Their debut album, Bloodline, will be released in February. (vinyl, CD and Digital)
Watch for appearances at APAP, in January, and SXSW.