When someone pays homage to their homeland, I always have the utmost respect for that. When someone pays homage to their homeland and put a modern flare to it, I really take notice; to me it's a way to show respect while possibly exposing a cultural norm to someone who might not normally come across it.

Rell The Soundbender is an artist I have loved and respected for awhile, but when I found out he was from Panama my respect grew ten fold, since I myself am half-Panamanian and lived there for five years. He's been spending quite some time at home in the tropical Panamanian paradise and it's definitely reflecting in his music. Perfect example is his latest tune "Chicheme," which is named after a sweet corn Panamanian drink. The tune has elements of típico music, a style of Panamanian cumbia music that's very folkoric in nature and is usually driven by accordions, guiros, and congas. More specifically he sampled Samy y Sandra Sandoval, a brother/sister duo that I grew up listening to, so immediately waves of nostalgia hits right in the feels, and he brought it to the now by creating Panamanian cumbia trap. And while I love cumbia, "massive" is not an adjective I'd use to describe its sound, but Rell the Soundbender's "Chicheme" is indeed massive and goes hard as fuck, hitting with massive bass and crazy sounds when it drops while still respectfully including the típico vibes, and he blends the two very distinct sounds together so seamlessly.

It's definitely an incredible tune that I'll be adding to my crates, and it's up for free download as well so you can listen, download, play out. I'm super curious to see if Rell the Soundbender will continue to be inspired by Panamanian music, time will tell, but if he continues to release beasts like this one, I'll be more than thrilled.