“Munchie Sexual”: New Music from Musaraña

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Among those doing great things out there is Musaraña, a project by María Laboy and Andres Rigau that handles music boldly, freely experimenting with avant-garde ideas through visual art and music. Their work is powerful, extravagant, and fascinating. It emphasizes their interpretation of what they refer to as the despojo genre, and all it may encompass—merengue, palo, samba, salsa, reggaetón and more—combined with electronic elements. Despojo can also be interpreted as a release of energy, or letting things go. 

Some tracks are delirious, at merengue-trippin’ tempos, while others dig into eccentric fusions of more traditional Latine music styles. It is the nucleus of musical imagination that makes Musaraña an intoxicating force.

There is so much to reflect upon when listening to their music. Whether it’s the way particular styles of music, in their traditional form, merge so ingeniously with others, or the #wtf moment(s) one might experience when erratic tempos appear unexpectedly—it is all exciting and sometimes a little surreal, in the best way possible. 

Each track is its own experiment so there is not a specific sound to Musaraña’s music, art, visuals, or anything. It’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Personally, the song that most calls out to me is “Despojo” because, well, it’s disco, c’mon! This track is so disco and so Musaraña. Once you listen to the full album you’ll know exactly what I mean and have a better understanding of this cool project.

“When I first launched my project,” Laboy shared, “someone close to me sent me a very concerned message about what I was doing, about what I was putting out there—the music, the imagery. I knew then I was on the right track, questioning all the stories many of us have grown up with, especially within patriarchal and colonized contexts, around shame and sexuality and owning your power, around liberation. 

“Because at the end of the day, this is what this video and album are about: about achieving the ultimate release, the ultimate liberation from the many layers of struggles that bind us.”

Having recently debuted their self-titled album, Musaraña also dropped a new video that introduces what they refer to as the #AzucanelaDance in the song, “Munchie Sexual.” They explain that it speaks from a “feminine perspective to a genderless audience.” 

The video is described as “a surreal Latinx visual trip that finds singer Maria Laboy getting inside a bathtub full of greasy ‘tostones’ (fried plantains) that fly, dancing under pink skies with a futuristic tribe, and engaging in a full ‘despojo’ (energy release) dominatrix-style encounter.”

I’m sayin’.

Featured image: Screenshot from the music video for “Munchie Sexual” by Musaraña

Sandra Treviño is a music journalist, DJ and radio host living in Chicago. Listen to her on the radio Friday afternoons on 91.1FM Vocalo and every second and fourth Monday at 6 PM CST on 105.5FM Lumpen Radio. she is also one half of the female selecta duo The Ponderers. #futurerootz #theponderers #djangelfuk

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