Imagine that ’60s acid rockers Strawberry Alarm Clock were actually a South American cumbia band based in the epicenter of weird, Austin, Texas, and you either just imbibed a mind-expanding drug or you’re listening to the psicodélico sound of Money Chicha. The fuzzed-out percussion-heavy ensemble specializes in an irresistibly danceable variation of South American “chicha” music, a funky somewhat afrobeat sound out of Colombia and Peru blending Latin beats with surf guitar and psychedelic jams often based around the folk songs of indigenous people in the Andes mountains. Players include Adrian Quesada (formerly of Grupo Fantasma, currently with Brownout), along with Beto Martinez, Greg Gonzales, John Speice, and Matthew Holmes, all vets of the same two bands.
Last year’s Money Chicha full-length, Echo en Mexico, earned the band almost universal acclaim, solidifying their place among top-shelf touring acts such as Ozomatli, Maná, Los Amigos Invisibles, Caifanes, and Chicano Batman, the latter being the closest and best RIYL/Recommended If You Like that I can think of for Money Chicha. Their March 1 appearance at Soda Bar will probably be your last chance to catch such fast-rising stars at the beginning of what’s sure to be a sharply upward career trajectory, for a bill that includes a funky cumbia band out of L.A. named La Chamba and a psychedelic Latin group from Chicago called Dos Santos whose newest EP, Fonografic, was produced by Money Chicha’s Beto Martinez.