Quinto Sol, Pachamama @ Cal State L.A. 5/4/07

Written by Matthew M

Quinto Sol, Pachamama, Olmeca, Cihualtl Tonali @ Cal State L.A. 5/4/07
Featured Artists: Cihualtl Tonali; Olmeca; Pachamama (Estela); Quinto Sol;
Genre: Hip Hop; Reggae

Brought together by Cal State L.A.'s Cross Cultural Center, the night's performance was dedicated towards celebrating Cinco de Mayo one day early. My girlfriend and I arrived close to 8 o’ clock and walked into the Golden Eagle ballroom where the event was taking place. We walked in right as a group of Mexican mariachi style performers began playing. I’m not sure if they had a group name but they consisted of two violins, a bass guitar, and two acoustic guitars. The violins had an awesome sound and the guitar solos were very catchy as well. An appreciation for musical instruments allowed me to really enjoy their music despite the fact that I had somewhat taken their genre of music for granted in the past. After their performance, Pachamama took the stage.

Pachamama had an excellent stage presence and during their set, reminded the audience to keep in mind the violence that had occurred on “May Day” in Downtown Los Angeles. Pachamama has a ska/reggae/funk style that is easy to get into. Vocalist, Guillermo has a strong voice that beautifully accents the instrumental sounds. The bass guitar, drums, and vocals are awesome and the saxophone completes the ska/reggae feel. Pachamama conveys a bold East Los style that I definitely recommend checking out. Overall, Pachamama had an awesome set despite minor problems with the sound board. Afterwards, Cihualtl Tonali took the stage.
Cihualtl Tonali is composed of two young females with an underground hip-hop style. Their lyrics were rhythmic, fun, and thought-provoking. They are talented young females. They were joined with Guillermo from Pachamama on backup conga drums. After their set, Olmeca took the stage.
Olmeca has a free-style underground rap style. Olmeca is an alumnus from Cal State L.A. and had one or two songs about student frustration that I’m sure most young individuals in the room could find relation. Not all of Olmeca’s beats were necessarily original; in fact one beat was called out by an audience member to be borrowed from 3-6 Mafia. However, Olmeca added his own flavor of lyrics, style, and poetry to the previously known beats. Olmeca’s sound system was his iPod connected to the rooms speakers. At one point during his set, Olmeca brought up some freestylers from the audience to help him brainstorm and play around with a new beat. The freestylers were somewhat talented for being called out on the spot. Quinto Sol took the stage afterwards.
I had never seen Quinto Sol perform before but I was excited to see them since I had previously heard of their popularity. Quinto Sol had a cool laid-back reggae sound. They started their set off with a narration backed by instrumentals. They played for possibly a good half-hour to an hour. There were three saxophones on stage which I thought was awesome since it allowed for some great saxophone solos. The guitar maneuvered in and out of a funk sounding distortion similar to Pachamama’s style. Quinto Sol had a really really awesome sound that absolutely entranced me in their music. I plan to see them again as soon as I get the opportunity. Each performance of the night was amazing.

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