Chilean percussionist Greco Acuña was at Hot Milk Studio recording cajón a couple of weeks ago for an upcoming project with authentic Afro-Peruvian cajon loops. Some of the rhythms here include Festejo, Zamacueca, Marinera, Landó and more.
Clip 1 with Greco Acuña:
Clip 2 with Greco Acuña:
Clip 3 with Greco Acuña:
Clip 4 with Greco Acuña:
I love 6/8 and 12/8 rhythms because they allow so many multiple listening perspectives. And since 12 allows for division by 6,4, 3 and 2, there can be so much polyrhythmic action going on. To my (European) ears, these cajon patterns reveal a strong African influence and vibe. But there asre also many ideas from Spanish, Moorish, Andean, and Gypsy music and it’s all intertwined with native Chilean, Peruvian, Bolivian, Columbian, Brazilian, Argentinian ideas, so it’s very unique to South America.
The tumbao often emphasizes beats “2” and “3” of the three-beat count, so they sound almost backwards when you hear them for the first time.Basically, the bass notes often avoid accenting “1” and really “rock the boat”. Of course, this is similar to other rhythms from the African diaspora like Cuban 4-beat tumbao, Brazilian samba and even reggae. Gotta leave out the “1” if you want to have fun. But never mind the theory, just listen to how hypnotic and danceable these grooves are!
Of course, it gets much more complex than this, so please excuse my superficial descriptions … I’m definitely not an expert on this stuff.