Tropa Magica arrived on the music scene amidst a flurry of surf-guitar riffs, accordion solos, and fuzzy electric jams.
The group has developed a fascinating storyline that seems something out of a Colombian folklore version of a Dr. Seuss picture book. The resulting sound is a production of vibrant synths and spooky organs. It’s an aesthetic that makes you question what’s real, tempting a guess at how far down the rabbit hole you can go.
Before the pandemic swept us all inside, we invited Tropa Magica to the station and let them fill up our studio with their whimsical sound. The group was started by brothers David and Rene Pacheco, both who have rejected to follow the path of label signing, instead joining the ever-growing movement of independent artists.
The band’s been dubbed “psychedelic cumbia punk”, and they have immersed themselves in a world that thrives off of genre-bending ingenuity, surreal lyrics, and beautiful homages to their cultural roots. In doing so, they’ve managed to pave a unique way for themselves through the overflowing soup that is psychedelic rock.
Their very recent single, “Feels Like Tijuana”, gives proof of their idiosyncrasy, mixing synthesizers and electric reverb with a chorus-leading accordion. Their vocals pay homage to Brooks Nielsen of The Growlers, and I couldn’t help but think of Beach Goth as I sunk into their performance.
If this all sounds beautifully bizarre, feel free to check out the show below.
Ethan Hundertmark is a Cal Poly Psychology junior and KCPR’s Editor-In-Chief. He wrote the article. Jo Edmison is a Cal Poly Art and Design junior and KCPR’s In-Studio Director. She created the videos. Image credit to Paloma Sanchez.