To assist with the launch of NWLA (New Weird Latin America — read all about it), a new curatorial effort by some friends in the DF, I cooked up a video mashup I’ve long been wanting to assemble. The piece stitches together 13 performances of “España Cañi,” as collected on YouTube. It pegs them all to the tempo and (more or less) the key of the instrumental, or pista, from Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina.”
The harmonic movement of the track, shifting a semitone or half-step every other measure—especially with its galloping figures, adding 32nd note flourishes to propel the pista forward—may suggest to some, including listeners who first heard such clichés via the producers’ namesake (i.e., Looney Tunes cartoons), the classic contours of bullfight music or pasodoble, as typified by Pascual Marquina Narro’s well-worn sporting anthem, “España Cañí.”
I mean, could it really be a mere coincidence that Yankee raps, “En la pista nos llaman los matadores”?
At any rate, whether or not a suggestion simply planted in my own head (and now yours?), I wanted to explore the strange overlap between arguably the biggest Spanish song of the last decade and one of the biggest Spanish songs of all time. So I went to YouTube and rounded up a baker’s dozen “España Cañi” instantiations. I like how the search itself, and the video below, help to highlight the amazing array of contexts for which “España Cañi” provides a model and soundtrack: from classical guitar etude to lounge piano standard, bullfights to ballgames to ballroom dances, baroque visions of Gypsy Spain to trippy scenes of liberated bulls and beefcake matadors jamming at Charo’s club, Pascual Marquina Narro’s composition sure seems alive and well — and often weird.
Here’s the post at NWLA where you can read about it in Spanish and stumble upon new romantic mixes, DJ Orion’s latest genre-blending EP, and all manner of odd Latin Americana. (Here’s their twitter which, awesomely, described the piece as “un alucinante video mashup del mítico himno de la tauromaquia con ‘Gasolina’ de Daddy Yankee.”)
Or just watch it right here: