Jazz Plaza - Cuba Pavilion - Jorge Luis Toledo
Jazz Plaza - Cuba Pavilion - Jorge Luis Toledo

From Cimafunk, reparterismo and surrounding themes

4 minutos / Víctor Fowler

26.01.2019 / Articles

A couple of weeks ago, in the office where a friend works, we talk about the latest cultural events: awards, television series, fashion sounds. No event reaches the popularity of Cimafunk, artistic name of the composer, singer and band leader Erick Iglesias, the most recent mass phenomenon within the Cuban music scene; Suddenly, someone makes a comment full of racism, classism and elitism: "That is just a messenger with culture."

The classification diminishes any value for those to whom the label of "repartero" is assigned and implies the existence of a sharp division (class and territorial) that must be maintained to preserve the health of the social body; this translates into an organization of the urban space according to which there would be a controlling center that produces positive charge, neutral zones (susceptible to being "improved") and that enormous outside of the unknown, the monstrous, the negative savage that corresponds to "the distributions." From this outside come both non-musics (of which, today, the privileged figure is that of "reggaeton") and its double invasive: the use of maximum volume.

The interesting thing about this music at full volume is that it is an appropriation of technology that can not be executed but with an amplification device coupled to one or more speakers and that allows to apply echo, reverb, to know about decibels, which connects to the bluetooth of the phone, which carries a knowing. If the combination of cultural production and consumption practices remained or could be contained or immobilized within "the distributions" the beat or life of these territories would belong to the mystery; however, it is the appropriation of technology that allows the creation of that aggressive music, another, as its presence in the protected perimeter of the city. Thanks to technology, "the dealer", the forgotten, becomes visible and demands attention.

The confrontations that take place within this panorama gather aspects corresponding to the production of culture, distribution and consumption; questions of the formation of aesthetic taste and the different senses of this category in different social groups; manifestations of that socio-class category to which Pierre Bourdieu called "the distinction", among many other possibilities of debate and conceptual frictions, any of them overflowing with politico-ideological edges.

A simple song is never simple, so the analysis must understand the sound structures that make, as such, the song; as well as the particularities of its interpretation and the impact it deserves between critics and the public. If the Cimafunk phenomenon, until now, has its foundation (especially) in a song, the very sticky I'm goingTo confine the artist to this may well have the overtones of racism, classism and elitism that we mentioned earlier. You have to listen to the entire disc Terapia, where the song of yore is, to understand that Erick Iglesias is a great musician with potential, either as a composer or as an interpreter, to get where he wants.

He is not a funny little black man or a dealer with culture.

I repeat, to have a clear idea, you have to listen to the entire disc; return to the spectacular interpretation that (a cappella), made Cimafunk of the piece I come to offer my heart, nothing less than with its author Fito Páez in front; or review the recent interview he gave to the TV show Piso 6, where he revealed that he learned to edit for himself to make the video of the song I'm going,  which has made it the revelation of last year in our country.

In the magazine Somos Jóvenes y Pionero there are two very good texts-interviews dedicated to Cimafunk. We're Young is titled Cimafunk, the fever that invades the island, is authored by Rafael Grillo and appears in number 384 (September / October 2018); the other, titled Erik Iglesias: Cimafunk is me., is authored by Isabel M. Echemendía Pérez and appears in number 228 (September / October 2018) of the Pionero magazine.

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Víctor Fowler

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