- DJ Python, Kelman Duran and Florentino put their heads together for a record of psychedelic reggaeton.
- While DJ Python, Kelman Duran and Florentino hover around the same genre—what some may call "deep," "deconstructed" or just "experimental" reggaeton—they've each carved out their own distinct niches within it. New York's DJ Python comes to the project hot off RA's favorite album of 2020, Mas Amable, which pieced its dembow-influenced rhythms together with the flow of a deep house set. Kelman Duran, on the other hand, is known both for ambient edits of classic reggaeton vocals and his larger-scale conceptual albums like the jazz and hip-hop-tinged Night In Tijuana. Mixpak affiliate Florentino produces sharply-designed beats that channel his Colombian heritage and UK upbringing for artists like Spanish pop star Bad Gyal.
Goteo, the trio's first official release as Sangre Nueva, is impressive for how seamlessly the artists' disparate aesthetics mesh. "There wasn't much discussion in terms of what was happening conceptually and emotionally on each track, nor was it needed," Florentino told RA in the lead-up to the EP's release. In some places, it feels obvious who's doing what: the somber, synth-laden cumbia of "Sincero" could have easily been an extra cut on Mas Amable, if not for its high-pitched vocals, which are textbook Duran. But in most places, like opening slow-burner "Hurt," it's harder to tell, as its rhythm slinks along surrounded by an abyss of airy voices and shifting ambience.
The densely-layered nature of the project rewards careful listening, but if a track veers too far into reverberated abstraction the trio quickly sling it in the opposite direction. This juxtaposition of headier atmospheres anchored by the more direct punch of the rhythm section works especially well on tracks like "Sola," where a wall of echo and delay effects locks into the most immediately-gratifying, hip-swinging beat on the record.
Goteo is a testament to how collaborations can make each artists' work feel more complete in unexpected ways. Here, Python, Florentino and Duran trade places filling in the missing links in each other's styles, arriving at a stripped-down and psychedelic vision of reggaeton imbued with a time-dilating sense of space. Sangre Nueva stretch the limits of reggaeton's tropes and pull them into new and exciting territory without losing sight of the genre's vital foundations.