El Gran Mono (Colombia / Australia)

White Bay Power Station

El Gran Mono is the first picó sound system built outside of Colombia. Picó are huge, hand-painted fluorescent speaker stacks, decorated with animals, aeroplanes, dragons, revolutionary figures or other psychedelic scenes. El Gran Mono (‘The Great Ape’) is a collaboration between Melbourne record collectors Tom Noonan and Johnny El Pájaro in consultation with members of the picó community in Colombia, featuring artwork by Colombian sound system artist William ‘El Maestro’ Gutierrez.  

The DJs or ‘picótero’ performing on El Gran Mono play the music of Capo Verde and West Africa, The Congo, Trinidad, Haiti, and the Caribbean coast of Colombia, with styles including champeta, cumbia, zouk, soukous, rhumba, benga, and afrobeat.

Presentation at the 24th Biennale of Sydney was made possible with generous assistance from Standish and Co by Look Print.