Making Movies taps into rock mixed with old beats to get people moving on the dance floor – BG Independent News
By David Dupont
BG Independent News
The pandemic has given Enrique Chi and his fellow Making Movies a chance to reflect on what it means to be a band.
The band couldn’t play. “There was a time when we couldn’t even rehearse,” Chi said. “We were just talking about music and sending each other music that we had fun with.”
The good part was that they got to discuss why they are a band. From there came a new alignment with the music
“Now is the fun part,” Chi said. He was talking on the phone while on the road to a concert. He loves touring, he says. “It’s not easy, but it’s great.”
Making Movies’ travels this summer will take them to the Black Swamp Arts Festival, where they will close out the main stage with a show on Sunday (September 11) at 3:30 p.m. The festival opens Friday, September 9 at 5 p.m. and runs until Sunday, September 11 at 5 p.m.
Chi urged listeners to bring their dancing shoes. Making Movies intends to move the crowds with its mixture of psychedelic rock and the incantations of ancient African rhythms.
Making Movies, which includes Enrique Chi, vocals, guitars and songwriter, his brother Diego Chi, bassist and experimental singer, percussionist Juan-Carlos Chaurand, and Duncan Burnett, drums, is dedicated to integrating African, Latin and and Americans in a dynamic whole.
These “old rhythms” are rooted in the band’s rock sound.
This West African rhythmic language arrived in the Americas 500 years ago through the slave trade. Their influence is felt throughout the music of the Western Hemisphere, Chi said. It’s in the rich traditions of the Caribbean, the music of South America and the various incarnations of rock. It’s in jazz and blues.
Every decade, he says, people become fascinated with “some new invention built out of soup.”
The influence of these African rhythms varied from place to place. “When they came here they were already old,” he said. “These rhythms were already part of the people, their language and their communication.
Cuba, he said, was such a big slave-trading center with so many African captives passing through that one had to adapt to the drums of the continent. In Mexico, there were fewer enslaved Africans, so it was easier to ban drums. But the beats persisted in the tap dancing and strumming patterns.
“We started to unpack that,” Chi said, “and we became students of those traditions. … We do our best to achieve that … and we observe it, study it, internalize it and realize that is inside of us.
“It was a dark part of human history, but an incredible lesson in the resilience of humanity. People had to fight very hard to keep it alive so that we could inherit those rhythms.
And Making Movies makes the most of this rich heritage.
“There are musical ideas that we do that haven’t been done,” Chi said. While some musicians may layer various Afro-Latin rhythms into rock, he said, “we weave them in and thread them into the whole arrangement.”
It was the quality that caught the attention of Los Lobos, he said, and led Steve Berlin to produce “XOPA,” which was released earlier this summer. This is the best representation to date of the band’s vision.
Making movies has its roots in the Chi family home, first in Panama and then in Kansas City. Missouri. The Chi brothers’ father loved rock ‘n’ roll and was a particular fan of the band Dire Straits.
Even before Chi could speak English, the British band’s music spoke to him. He remembers dancing on the band’s “Walk of Life” when he was a kid.
An album disconcerted him a little. The group name and title were in the same font and size. Was it an album called “Dire Straits” by the band Making Movies, or the other way around? Sure, it was Dire Straits’ “Making Movies,” but long before the band took shape, it had a name.
Chi also learned guitar by listening to Mark Knopfler on these albums.
The family moved to Kansas City when Chi was 6 so her father, who was an amateur rock musician, could go to school. Moreover, Panama was in turmoil over the US overthrow of its leader Manuel Noriega.
“They liked it, so they found ways to stay,” Chi said of her parents.
The Chi brothers had developed the concept of Making Movies before meeting Mexican percussionist Juan-Carlos Chaurand and the band took shape.
Like the Chi brothers, her father was a rock musician, part of the legendary Mexican psychedelic band Los Spiders.
“We knew we wanted to make music that represented all parts of our identities,” Chi said.
Rock ‘n’ roll, cumbia, meringue and other Latin styles were all cousins. All tapped into the stream of African rhythm that flowed to the Americas and still has the power to make people dance.
All the sounds of the Sunday September 11 Festival
Mike Williams on Sax will perform the National Anthem on the main stage at 10:50 a.m.
[RELATED: Saxophonist Mike Williams is all business when it comes to inspiring & entertaining listeners with his music]
Sunday September 11; 11:00
Sunday September 11; 12:30 p.m.
Fog horn cord
Sunday September 11; 2:00 p.m.
Sunday September 11; 3:30 p.m.
11 a.m.: Toraigh
12:15 p.m.: Greg Rich and the 4 Ps of Marketing
1:30 p.m.: Falcon Samba battery
2:45 p.m.: The Brain Weasels
4:00 p.m.: Fog horn banner
11 a.m.: Falcon Samba Bateria
12:30 p.m.: Kazenodaichi Taiko
2 p.m.: Tito Villarreal
3:45 p.m.: Tuvergen