Aguas Frías (Discos Peligrosa)
Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., April 28, 2017
Taking its name from the Andean foothills outside of Medellín, Colombia, where Austin's Kiko Villamizar grew up, Aguas Frías offers an urgent and modern take on Latin folklórico. Despite a label affiliation with the boundary-pushing Peligrosa DJ crew, Villamizar's sophomore disc remains a traditional affair with occasional psychedelic flourishes. The Miami-born multi-instrumentalist explores myriad styles from South America and beyond, but you won't need to differentiate a bambuco from a bullerengue to enjoy these cool waters. "La Quebrada" soars flute, rumbles percussion, and shuffles a cumbia rhythm, while the call-and-response title track – accompanied by a stunning, drone-shot video in the Colombian countryside – shows off the singer's pipes, which shift from a deep and rich tone to a soaring, high-pitched grito. Pipelines and petrol companies land in the crosshairs of anti-colonization cumbia "La Muerte," and aching ballad "Yaku Kawsai – A Song for Standing Rock" honors the Lakota resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline its author joined last year. With Aguas Frías spinning a second stellar offering in three years, Kiko Villamizar establishes himself as one of the most exciting emerging artists in Austin.