Thursday, December 17th, 2015

AMNESTY 2015: Gepe ft. Wendy Sulca – Hambre

Hungry! Ahhh… ahhh… yum! Very good!


Thomas Inskeep: Lightly skanking Chilean pop with a reggaeton beat and joyous horns, YMMV.

Edward Okulicz: Oh god, I feel for all you suckers in the Northern Hemisphere trying to listen to this for the first time in winter, I really do.

Alfred Soto: The reggeton beat finds its match in the opening guitar crunch, making for a terrific dance floor churner.

Crystal Leww: Gepe’s parts come and go without leaving very much of an impression at all — he’s pleasant and the backing track grooves. But then Wendy Sulca enters with a high-pitched battle cry, and she sounds furious, like Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife if someone murdered Olof. Her part lasts exactly 22 seconds, and how I wish that her part were an entire song.

Patrick St. Michel: It’s a pretty straightforward folk-pop number, skippy and pleasant, but then Wendy Sulca appears and adds some real intensity to “Hambre.” It doesn’t last long, but it’s a song-stealing appearance.

Brad Shoup: There’s a carnival feel to this: Gepe acknowledging the fervid desires and urging us into the tent. The string plucks and bass and whatever else conspire on the refrain to sound like that Mustard crew. When Sulca shows up, it’s like the exit sign went supernova. But Gepe shows up to slam that flap shut.

Jonathan Bogart: With Andean harp and pipes doing the work of connecting this socioeconomic rave-up to the specifically Chilean tradition of nueva canción, Gepe the magpie pop mixologist is free to pour in marching bands, massed shoutalongs, and a cumbia rhythm. Extra point for the video, which is one of the best Latin-American short films I’ve seen this decade.

Will Adams: Songs that use hunger as a metaphor often gloss over its visceral, carnal implications. On “Hambre,” Gepe and especially Wendy Sulca bring those undertones to the fore with their lyrics, providing tension against the slightly carbonated music.

Juana Giaimo: One of the best decisions Gepe made in the latest years was to leave the acoustic ballads behind to try loud brass. You can still listen to the Andean music in the beat and the quiet but omnipresent charango. The result is a festive and fun atmosphere… but what kind of party are we witnessing? From the first lines (“Cannibals in costumes/refined and elegant/arrive to the party”), I can perceive there is something wrong with it. There is a grotesque aesthetic in the music that reflects the desperation for eating (“Your saliva drops/what is the exit for so much hunger?”). And in this endless cemerony of veracity, we are all waiting for the queen: Wendy Sulca. Her voice is seducing and scary at the same time, but above all abrasive, just like her words: “I want your mouth to stick to mine like new gum.” Is it possible to escape from her claws (and do we want to)? “You are also prettier than ever” finishes Gepe in the bridge, his last chance to calm her down and find a escape, but we all know that there is no way out from this hunger that possesses us all. We’re both the murderer and the victim, because in a party of cannibals, there is no one to trust. 

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2 Responses to “AMNESTY 2015: Gepe ft. Wendy Sulca – Hambre”

  1. I wonder if all the people here really know who queen Wendy Sulca is, or if she’s more like, a local thing to people in Latin America (most likely to be latter).

  2. I have to say that I didn’t know who Wendy was until I listened to this song (but I told the other writers who she was in a short description of my Amnesty pick!)