Southern Arizona-based band Xixa performs a mix of pop and rock inspired by chicha and even Tuareg desert blues. Most of their Bloodline album features pop-rock songs with retro 1960s surf guitars and early psychedelic music along with cumbia beats (Peruvian chicha is a psychedelic offshoot of Colombian cumbia). A perfect soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino’s movies.
The guitars and drums get more modern and interesting on “Down From the Sky,” featuring a heavy rock beat, Arabic guitar lines and hard rock riffs. Meanwhile, on “Pressures of Mankind” the group plays a zany type of Gypsy ska punk rock.
“All the Latin beats and rhythms are in your brain your whole life, so they make a lot of sense when you start playing them,” says Brian Lopez. “Latin music is part of Tucson’s sonic landscape.”
Xixa’s musicians include Brian Lopez, Gabriel Sullivan, Winston Watson, Geoff Hidalgo, Jason Urman and Efrén Cruz Chavez.