Loteria de la Cumbia Lounge

Charanga Cakewalk.Triloka

Accordionist and keyboardist Michael Ramos mixes ingredients like a four-star chef. His mesmerizing Loteria de la Cumbia Lounge begins with a Latin base, but folds in all manner of tasty tangents: “Mexicanos” pairs a Santana beat and pumping organ in the Booker T. style; the playful “Carmela” could be a confection of the goofy lounge-pop master Esquivel. If “Romanticos Desperádos” has the oversweet aftertaste of ’50s pop, Ramos serves up more challenging fare elsewhere. The bouncy “Belleza” marinates a dance groove in the textures of dub reggae. Sneaky and surreal, Charanga Cakewalk serves up comfort food that never lets you get too comfortable.


  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.

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