If one is to rise from one’s ashes, one must be willing to burn. Tucson’s favorite phenom psychedelic cumbia band, Chicha Dust is en fuego, burning up dance floors all over Arizona. And just when you think you could not love their eclectic brand of cumbia more, they are ascending. Renamed XIXA (pronounced “SEEK-suh) the band’s dynamic ascent includes a blazing newly recorded EP, Shift and Shadow to be released in early November, followed by a scorching full-length album Bloodlines , to be released in February 2016. Both will be released by Barbés Records (home of the “Roots of Chicha”) and will be available on vinyl.
XIXA is spreading the intoxicating heat with a fine lineup of musical and songwriting talent: Musical alchemist, Gabriel Sullivan, who has a winning solo album Jvpiter, singing and guitar virtuoso, Brian Lopez with 2 solo albums under his considerately talented belt, bassist Geoffrey Hidalgo of Mostly Bears, Jason Urman who lends his keyboard skills to Mother Higgins Children’s Band, plus Efren Cruz Chavez and Winston Watson igniting percussion and drums. The band has dedicated themselves to the hard edged guitar-driven cumbia popular in Peru, known as “chicha” and is wildly popular all over Arizona, playing to standing-room-only crowds.
On Friday, September 4 on the stage of Hotel Congress’ HoCo Fest, Chicha Dust will be resurrected as XIXA. The party begins when XIXA hits the stage. I defy anyone NOT to dance or at the very least sway to their fierce, infectious, latin tinged, psychedelic jams. The origin of chicha music is South American, namely Peruvian and named for a native intoxicating beverage. XIXA’s music is indeed intoxicating, making the name quite apropos.
XIXA’s desert rock roots meld beautifully with the guitar-heavy genres from, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. XIXA’s material is all original, reflecting the varied backgrounds of the band and their deep immersion into the world of cumbia. This blend of genres is played loudly and boldly suffusing any venue they play with the crackling electricity and energy of a summer monsoon.