LOS COTOPLA BOYZ: MILLENNIAL CUMBIA FOR THE END OF THE WORLD
It all started in Bogotá, the nexus of tropicanibal. The Colombian capital has helped launch acts like Frente Cumbiero, Los Meridian Brothers, Romperayo, Chúpame el Dedo, Dub de Gaita, Los Pirañas, Ondatrópica and El León Pardo – artists who stand out not only for their virtuosity, but the connection between traditional folklore and lysergic futurism that has hypnotized audiences around the world.
The new tropicanibal generation includes groups such as La Sonora Mazurén, La Tromba Bacalao, Los Yoryis, El Conjunto Media Luna and, of course, Los Cotopla Boyz – a fiery five-piece that formed in 2018. In the post-pandemic dystopian multiverse of today, their mission is to save the party.
Their live shows evoke images of frantic Power Rangers singing epic chants about their adventures – but instead of heroic feats, they write humorous lyrics inspired by their everyday lives. The melodramatic “N’sync” is about that chat where you get ghosted; “Me Malviajé con las Galletas” recalls the hallucinogenic experimentation of ingesting cannabis and flipping out. These experiences also produced songs like the clumsy lost love of “Dame tu Wasap,” the cathartic “Tren de Cotopla” and the ode to excess that is “Raspafiestas” – that moment in your life when the night seems eternal and you float from one party to the next until the world ends.
Along with “Plankton (Abanico Sanyo)” and “El Peruanito,” these songs are part of Mamarrón Vol. 1, a compilation of seven millennial cannon shots inspired by Los Mirlos, Los Hechizeros Band, Anan, Wendy Sulca, La Sonora Cordobesa, Bad Bunny, Yandel and Los Corraleros de Majagual.
They’re all tracks from a debut album which was released in the middle of the pandemic and will be re-issued in 2022 by AYA Records (an imprint of ZZK Records). As well as being pressed on vinyl, the record will include the bonus track “El Peruanito” – remixed by Colombian producer Santiago Navas. It’s a sneak preview of Mamarrón, Vol. 2, an album of remixes by figures such as Frente Cumbiero, Cerrero, Prendida, Sonido Confirmación, DJ Rata Piano and Felipe Orjuela – local musicians with a global scope and vision who push the raspafiesta universe to new sonic frontiers.
Los Cotopla Boyz have taken their sweaty, schizophrenic cumbia experience to Bogotá venues such as Matik-Matik, Boogaloop, El Chamán, Tejo Turmequé, Videoclub and the Estereo Picnic festival – serving up nights of wild abandon to the beat of an outrageous big cumbia sound which sets fire to the dancefloor.
If there’s a “cotoplera” in your town, don’t wait to hear about it from someone else.
Los Cotopla Boyz are:
Ana Romero aka Anamor (Voice, Maracón and alien sounds)
Sebastián Portilla aka El Raspafiestas del Amor (Drums)
David Sánchez aka Davinson (Electric guitar and güiro)
Paulo Simón aka Pol Saimon (Keyboards and Synths)
Jorge Cabezas aka Yors (Bass)