Listen: The Space-Cumbia Of G-Flux And Afrodita

By Ally Schweitzer

D.C. producer G-Flux makes space-cumbia with Mexico duo Afrodita.
D.C. producer G-Flux makes space-cumbia with Mexico duo Afrodita.

D.C. producer G-Flux stumbled upon Mexican duo Afrodita in the most typical way: over Facebook.

But the dance music they’d go on to make together isn’t exactly typical for D.C.—and certainly not the concrete landscape of NoMa, where G-Flux lives with his wife, photographer E. Brady Robinson.

“I heard their stuff and [wanted] to work with them right away,” writes G-Flux, aka Gustavo Naranjo, in an email. “I’ve never heard anything like it, modern and edgy but at the same time sounded Mexican.” Naranjo and the inventive, outlandish Afrodita (Karin Burnett and Immanuel Miralda) went on to work together over several years, producing a string of electronics-driven space-cumbia tracks.

Cumbiatrónica was a slight change for Naranjo: The Mexico City-born producer had focused on loungey, downtempo tunes with D.C. projects Antifaz and Pascha. In press materials for G-Flux’s 2013 7-inch (which also featured Bandwidth stars Los Master Plus), he says his turn to cumbia represented a political statement, of sorts, “because of the place that cumbia has in Latin America as the music of the working classes.”

Naranjo’s time collaborating with Burnett and Miralda has now produced Aniversario, an EP released in mid-May. It’s a retrospective on five years of work with Afrodita.

Their teamwork wasn’t limited to just recordings: Naranjo pops up in Afrodita’s 2012 video, “El Ciclón del Caribe.” While Afrodita dons costumes and parties in the streets, he’s the one looking cool in the collared shirt and sunglasses.