Xaman X were born as a support band for the Midnight Ritual club night playing alongside national and international DJs and bands coming to Bristol for truly tropical parties. Thus their agenda was clear from the get go: they needed to warm up the crowd, limb by limb. Since then they’ve gone on to play many of the UK’s biggest festivals including Shambala, Tropical Pressure & Secret Garden Party.
Combining live electronics with traditional Latin American instrumentation and outstanding percussion, they ride the thin line between old and new, grounded and psychedelic, spiritual and kitsch. Their improvised sets are ritualistic music for a post-modern era where bamboo marimbas and charangos glide effortlessly over synthetic sounds and otherworldly UFO howls, where the Colombian flute calling dances with bells, tamboras, congas and 808 kicks, supporting the beautiful voice and powerful bars of their other-worldly front-woman.
The group’s four members were brought together by a shared love for tropical psychedelia and cumbia, and it’s these sounds that come to the fore on their forthcoming, self-titled debut EP.
Xaman X’s distinctive approach stems from the group’s myriad backgrounds: synths and bass are courtesy of Pablo Villierezz, aka Panther Panther!, a visual artist and musician from Mexico; Spanish-Peruvian paleobiologist Susana Gutarra is responsible for guitar, charango and flute; local Bristolian percussionist Jackson Lapes, known for his work with Worm Disco Club and maracatu collective Afon Sistema; and Spanish singer and artist Marta Zubieta completing the line-up on vocals.