Argentinian artist Chancha Via Circuito (aka Pedro Canale) makes his return to Wonderwheel Recordings with his fifth full length: ‘La Estrella’.
Cutting his teeth early at Buenos Aires’s legendary ZZK digital cumbia parties, the Chancha moniker became known worldwide as the originator of the cumbia-inspired electronic music that takes cues from environmental sounds and South American folkloric traditions. Pedro’s musical progeny include names such as Nicola Cruz, El Búho, Dengue Dengue Dengue, King Coya, and many more.
EG caught up with Chancha Via Circuito to learn more about the drop of ‘La Estrella’, his creative process, his take on art, and more.
EG: Hi Pedro! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. Where are you based right now?
Chancha Via Circuito: The pleasure is mine, thank you. I´m currently based in the Jujuy province, in the north of Argentina.
EG: So, it’s almost summer for you guys, right? Got any plans in particular?
Chancha Via Circuito: Yes, it’s very hot right now here. The plan is to spend the holidays here, welcoming family and friends.
EG: By the way, congratulations on the release of your latest album ‘La Estrella’! What has the reception been like?
Chancha Via Circuito: Thank you 🙂 The reception of this new álbum has been awesome so far. Many people wrote to me to tell me how much they like it.
EG: What can your fans expect to find on ‘La Estrella’? Is there a concept inspiring running through this one?
Chancha Via Circuito: They can expect a really caring work in every song, a renewed palette of sounds that I’ve never used before, but some familiar ingredients, like cumbia or folklore inspiration. The concept behind this álbum is the tarot card ‘The Star’, a beautiful feminine archetype from Marsella’s Tarot.
“La Estrella is an evolution of four years of searching for new sounds, new timbres. And I really cared to pick up the best to make the beats and melodies”
EG: In which ways would you say ‘La Estrella’ is different from your previous LPs? In which ways have you matured since?
Chancha Via Circuito: ‘La Estrella’ is an evolution of four years of searching for new sounds, new timbres. And I really cared to pick up the best to make the beats and melodies. This album has less folklore from the Andes influence than the others. I don’t know in which ways I’ve matured, but I’m glad it sounds fresh to me at least.
EG: ‘La Estrella’ also features a handful of collaborations, including songs with Meridian Brothers, Lido Pimienta, Manu Ranks, Fémina, Las Añez, María José Montijo, and Moninja. How do you go about selecting who is right for each track? Was there any experience that really broaden your horizons?
Chancha Via Circuito: Every case is different. On some occasions, I compose the instrumental and I start to think about who can add some magic to it later, as I did with Las Añez or María José Montijo. But in the case of Lido Pimienta, for example, I composed the music thinking of her, inspired by her voice. Another one is the case of the Meridian Brothers collaboration, where we started playing with my friend Federico Estévez in a rehearsal, and then we invited Eblis Alvarez to continue the composition, and he added cello, his voice, lyrics, and some synths. This last one was one of the highlights for me because normally I don’t go this way.
EG: How do you keep entertained when not in the studio? Are there any good books, series, or music you’d recommend?
Chancha Via Circuito: When I’m not in the studio, I like to go hiking with friends, or with my dogs, taking advantage of that now that I live in the mountains. When I want to read, I normally choose any book by Jiddu Krishnamurti. I love his teachings. And now I’m listening to a lot of Simon Diaz, a singer from Venezuela that has already passed away.
EG: What are your thoughts on the current state of the scene? What would you like to see more and less of?
Chancha Via Circuito: I like to see that this scene keeps being little but growing slowly, dropping very good music year by year. I would like to listen to more cumbia and salsa influences, and less shamanic house vibes.
“The truth is that we are very little in touch with the beauty and real love in our daily life”
EG: What is art and why do we need it?
Chancha Via Circuito: I don’t know how to define art, but I think maybe it’s what comes closer to beauty. And I feel that we depend so much on art because we are not in real communion with nature, animals, and between us, human beings. The truth is that we are very little in touch with the beauty and real love in our daily life.
EG: What’s next for Chancha Via Circuito? What particular milestones are you looking forward to now? Where can your fans catch you next?
Chancha Via Circuito: I’ve some tours ahead in 2023, performing as a DJ. México first, in April, and Europe from the middle of May to mid-June.
EG: Thank you so much for your time, Pedro! We wish you all the best for the future.
Chancha Via Circuito: Thanks to you!!
Chancha Via Circuito’s ‘La Estrella’ is out now via Wonderwheel Recordings. Purchase your copy here.