DON CHICHARRÓN: “Valle” b/w “En la Gruta Del Rey de la Montaña”: 7”

A benefit for Casa De Paz & Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition, this single from Don Chicharrón supports a great cause and is a great introduction to the group. Formed by Peruvian-American, Aldo Pantoja, Don Chicharrón play what they describe as a modern version of Chicha, a movement of Peruvian artists in the ’60s mixing various contemporary stylings of their day, including’60s psychedelia, Andean traditional folk melodies, and Afro-Cuban cumbia rhythms. Inspired by this movement, Don Chicharrón have developed their own amalgam, taking their Chicha influences and adding punk, surf, prog, jazz, reggaetón, and salsa into the mix. The result to my ears is one of the catchiest things I’ve heard in a long time. The first track “Valle,” sounds like the kind of track I’d expect to hear gracing a Tarantino movie. It’s catchy, exciting, and sets an upbeat but expectant tone. The back side of the single, “En La Gruta Del Rey De La Montaña,” is Don Chicharrón’s unique take on Edvard Grieg’s classical piece of that name. Instantly familiar, and yet refreshingly different, Don Chicharrón’s interpretation of Grieg alone is required listening. –Paul J. Comeau (Snappy Little Numbers, snappylittlenumbers.blogspot.com)