Colectro (Colombia)

Bogotá-based Colectro is all about the sound of Colombia’s Caribbean coast.  The five-member band’s unique style of folkloric-tinged rock, which it has coined coletera, incorporates elements of deeply rooted Colombian folk forms like bullerengue, son de negro, jalao and chalupa into a potent mix of electrónica and soukous.  Alex Herrera, Moisés Vargas, Alberto Palacio, Donaldo Barrios and Gonzalo Prieto all hail from the northern seaport of Barranquilla and moved to Bogotá to become musicians.  In the capital, each of them initially pursued separate projects, mostly rock oriented.  However, living in such a cold climate (compared to their city of origin) made them yearn for something nostalgic in music that could express the warmth of their hometown.

“It’s anything but cumbia,” says lead singer Prieto. “We wanted to give prominence to the many other genres of music that come from Colombia…We place indigenous rhythms in a contemporary context (for instance, they use two bass guitars), making them our own and reinterpreting what for us constitutes folkloric music.  The result is a brand-new rhythm within an established sound.”

Bogotá-based Colectro is all about the sound of Colombia’s Caribbean coast.  The five-member band’s unique style of folkloric-tinged rock, which it has coined coletera, incorporates elements of deeply rooted Colombian folk forms like bullerengue, son de negro, jalao and chalupa into a potent mix of electrónica and soukous.  Alex Herrera, Moisés Vargas, Alberto Palacio, Donaldo Barrios and Gonzalo Prieto all hail from the northern seaport of Barranquilla and moved to Bogotá to become musicians.  In the capital, each of them initially pursued separate projects, mostly rock oriented.  However, living in such a cold climate (compared to their city of origin) made them yearn for something nostalgic in music that could express the warmth of their hometown.

“It’s anything but cumbia,” says lead singer Prieto. “We wanted to give prominence to the many other genres of music that come from Colombia…We place indigenous rhythms in a contemporary context (for instance, they use two bass guitars), making them our own and reinterpreting what for us constitutes folkloric music.  The result is a brand-new rhythm within an established sound.”