Rhythm and Roots

For the second artist/bird from ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America‘ we take a trip to the plains of Argentina. Below you can find information about the bird species – El Cardenal Amarillo or the Yellow Cardinal, a bird which is undergoing a rapid decline, and Tremor, an Argentine band that will create a track inspired by the Cardenal’s song. The album will be released in September by Rhythm and Roots.

The Bird – El Cardenal Amarillo

El Cardenal Amarillo


The Artist – Tremor

www.tremormusic.com

“Tremor is a trio from Buenos Aires, Argentina that combines rhythms and sound across genres, presenting South American folklore in a digital context to a new, global audience. Their sound fuses electronic music with traditional South American rhythms and owes as much to anthropology as it does to popular music. Layers of rhythm are fortified with modern synth loops and paired with flautas andinas, strings and drum samples.” – Tremor Read More

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We are very excited to announce the first birds and musicians to star on Rhythm and Roots’ forthcoming album A Guide to the Birdsong of South America. We will be revealing the artists and their endangered birds one at a time from now until the end of the Kickstarter project so watch this space. For each of the posts we will give some background information on the bird itself followed by a brief introduction to the artist that will make a track inspired by this species and its special song.

The Bird – Cucarachero de Niceforo

Cucarachero de Niceforo


The Artist – Lulacruza

www.lulacruza.com
Lulacruza

“Lulacruza weaves female vocals, South American instruments, found sound objects and field recordings through electronic manipulation. Primal songs which combine improvising, channeling and exploring acoustics and vibration. Their music unfolds as hypnotic prayers and electronic folk with nymph-like vocals; aquatic textures and up-tempo, handcrafted South American rhythms.”  Read More

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[kickstarter url=https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rhythmandroots/a-guide-to-the-birdsong-of-south-america/ width=200 ]

It has been a long time coming but I am really excited to announce the launch of a new project from Rhythm and Roots. A Guide to the Birdsong of South America, to be launched in September, is a compilation highlighting brilliant new music from across South America with a twist: each track is inspired by the song of an endangered bird.

Music meets Birdsong

As a producer, lover of South American music and environmentalist, I have been toying with this idea for a long time, in fact, ever since the release of my first EP as El Búho two years ago. I have also been watching with great interest the ever-growing scene of new South American artists creating new sounds inspired by the traditions of their continent and putting them in an international, 21st century context. My dream was to unite the birdsong idea with the opportunity to highlight this movement of artists for a very unique project.

Activism meets art

With this album we want to not only highlight talented musicians from across the continent but also to raise awareness about the plight of endangered birds through music. Many of these species are living on the edge, their numbers decimated by the impact of mining, deforestation, habitat destruction or even capture for the caged bird market. The album will feature the songs of 12 endangered bird species from across South America.

All of the money we eventually make from the release of this album will got to support Aves y Conservación, an organisation working to protect birds in Ecuador.

Your help…

I already have 11 stellar, and for now secret, artists working on their tracks, some amazing artwork for each bird but now I just need a bit of help to produce the album and the posters or post-cards. The album will be launched in September digitally and on vinyl. Today I launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the costs of  making and distributing the album (around 2,500 Euros to cover vinyl pressing, post-cards, posters, distribution etc.)

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 13.54.47

You can find all the details on the project here.

A Guide to the Birds of South America gives these musicians a chance to explore new ways of creative expression, blurring the boundaries between nature and man, between technology and the organic. It also allows people to hear the songs of these birds –  a reminder that we need to do our utmost to protect them for the generations to come.

Hooded Grebe

Its is my hope this album will not just be a memory by which we can preserve the songs of these birds but a call to help us increase their protection.

I will be announcing more details on the birds and the artists featured as the project continues so watch this space!

Thanks for your support!

Twit-twoo!

Robin, Rhythm and Roots

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autonomousafricaIII_061314

Autonomous Africa return for the third edition of the afro-grooving, beat crunching, border crossing music project curated by Glasgow’s legendary DJ and producer, JD Twitch. This series of small run, independently released 12″s and the accompanying fundraising nights are raising money for the Mtandika Mission, a charity working to offer education and improve conditions in the village of Mtandika, Tanzania.

Musically, the EPs are distinctly dancefloor orientated, the producers taking the kick vs snare 4/4 structure and splicing it with grooving African infused samples and rhythms. Volume III features tracks from Midland (who grew up in Tanzania), Glasgow stalwarts Auntie Flo and General Ludd, alongside a tack by rather special track from JD Twitch himself.

The project also has a sharp political edge and a message to get across, best explained by Twitch himself

“An autonomous Africa run by the people for the people, where African land is predominantly used to feed African people and Africa’s vast wealth of resources is used to benefit the people of Africa seems the only logical way forward. Autonomous Africa’s goal is to highlight this message and here presents to you 4 tracks of African inspired grooves….Individually we have little power but collectively, the power is ours”

Volume III will be released in July / August. There are also plans afoot to release a full Autonomous Africa compilation featuring music made in Africa itself.

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Things are hotting up here in sunshine filled Amsterdam and Rhythm and Roots is back with a Brazil fever tinted episode featuring new music from Chancha Via Circuito, World’s End Girlfriend, Cashmere Cat and Logos. This month’s episode brings together cumbia, old school hip-hop, new school digital tropical sounds and some great tracks that just defy genres. Replacing the featured producer this month we showcase the brilliant new 43 track Mais Um Discos compilation, Rolê.

You can find the full tracklist after the break. We would also love to here from you! So, send us your tips and suggestions either by email, Twitter or send us your tracks / demos via Soundcloud’s messaging here.

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Despite his limited output, Uproot Andy has made it on to my very exclusive list of reliable producers. Nearly everything (if not everything) the US based producer has released has a real quality about it. His productions have that rare combination of being melodically catchy, well produced, unique and absolutely killer on the dancefloor. This selection, the first release on Que Bajo Records maintains his reputation – 5 sure fire refixes of 5 different musical styles from 5 different countries. And they’re free.

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Denver Nights Volume 1

Denver Nights Volume 1

From the team responsible for Amsterdam’s rijsttafel of a club night Denver NightsDenver Nights Volume 1 is a glance into Amsterdam’s continously exciting and diverse electronic music scene and the producers behind it. Celebrating the club night’s two year anniversary, this compilation (available for free download) unites some of the artists that have graced the decks at Denver’s now regular Amsterdam haunt, Canvas. The result, much like the club night itself, is a mix of fresh styles, sounds and tempos – each with an eye for the Denver dancefloor.

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DJ iZem – EP2

DJ IZem - EP2 COver

Lisbon based French producer DJ iZem has been quietly bubbling away over the past couple of years as a producer on the rise. The few tracks and remixes that he has released have demonstrated a talented artist with a unique style blending tropical rhythms with funk influences, smooth synths with live instrumentation and deep basses with smooth vocals, epitomised by 2011’s brilliant Quiver / Debaixo D’Agua EP. He returns with his 2nd EP… EP2, offering another slice of quality, warm, soulful, topically infused electronica. What’s more, it is available for free download (!)

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Los Diablos Del Ritmo (Analog Africa)

I have been sitting on this wonderful album released by Analog Africa for a while but have only just got round to fully immersing myself in it. On paper this is another compilation celebrating the seemlessly endless resource of brilliant Colombian music. In reality, it is a collection of tracks meticulously chosen over a six year period representing a moment in history when the cross-roads between Colombian and African culture were at their height.

Back in 2007 label head Ben Redjeb travelled to Colombia’s Caribbean coast with a suitcase filled with two hundred 7-inch singles and around 100 LPs of African music. His aim: to meet local record collectors and exchange his collection with their own, collating an album that would  document the heyday of Afro-Colombian roots revivalism on the Caribbean coast in the 1970s.

Central to this scene were the Picó soundsystems and their DJs who would play rare African tracks brought by traders and sailors to eager crowds. The DJs’ reputation relied upon the exclusivity of the records they were playing – sleeves were thrown away and label stickers scribbled over to maintain the secreccy of these killer tracks. So, when Redjeb arrived with his suitcase of these exact same records  he was met with unexpected fervour from the collectors who instantly recognised the tracks but had no idea of the names or artists.

“African music was not ours and we didn’t understand the lyrics but we could feel our roots and the connection with our ancestors – that was beautiful for me.” Fabian Althona

Much as the African music that was being played in the 1970s was incorporated into the local scene, in a strange, 21st century, globalised way Redjeb was carrying on this cross-continental cultural tradition. A 21st century fusion of African rhtyhms with Colombian DJs via a German record enthusiast.

As he came offering such valuable goods, he was able, in turn, to collect thousands of rare records from the local enthusiasts and picóteros.  These were carefully whittled down to the 32 tracks on the album, offering not only a collection of rare musical gems but also a snapshot into the thriving and electric music scene on the Colombian Carribean in the 1970s.

“Diablos Del Ritmo” celebrates this fusion of rhtyhms and styles, the meeting of Afrobeat, Terapia and Lumbalú with Colombia’s own Gaita, Puya, Porro, Cumbiamba, Mapelé and Chandé. This is epitomised on tracks such as Alfredo Gutiérrez y sus Estrellas’ Pajaro Madrugado or Myrian Makenwa’s brilliant Amampondo.

The tracks not only mix the rhythms but also the language, incorporating words of African origins with Spanish and English. The 32 songs move between classic cumbias to reverb filled, Colombian Afro-beat and off into territory that you would never have associated with Colombian music. It is impossible to sum up the intricacies of this music and its historical context but the album comes with a rich 60 page booklet detailing the artists, the music and the story. A unique and highly recommended release.

BUYAnalog Africa

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Dengue Dengue Dengue! – La Alianza Profana

I am back from the land of the incredibly busy and catching up on the mountains of great music that has been awaiting my ear for the past month. Near the top of the list was the debut album from Peru’s masked cumbia viajeros Dengue Dengue DengueThe duo have been causing waves, not just in Peru, but internationally for their fresh take on digital cumbia and performances at Lima’s TOMA! fiestas. Their two mixtapes (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2) set a precedent for their fresh digital cumbia explorations, showcasing the producers’ talent for a good remix alongside their burgeoning production/dancefloor-science skills.

The culmination of these explorations is La Alianza Profana, one of only a few independent albums to emerge from the mass of tropical / digital /cumbia productions floating around Soundcloud these days. As much as I’d like to throw away the “digital cumbia” association, DDD’s album is threaded together with that rhythm in digital form making it hard to judge it as anything else. The album however shows why DDD stand out as two of the most interesting producers of their ilk, skilfully mixing influences from electronica, dubstep, dub, cumbia (of course) and god knows what else.

While El Remolón crafts multi-coloured ice cream nu-cumbia and Chancha via Circuito sounds like he’s drifting down a foggy rainforest tributary, DDD twist nu-cumbia into a much darker place. The basses are crunching, heavy and tight while the melodies are haunted and black. Simiolo and Chacalom (two peas in a pod) are stand out dancefloor killers while Chichon (personal favourite) is a hands in the air, heavy hitting slice of digital villera. Como Bailar la Cumbia manages to weave Funky House rhythms into cumbia, layering it with a floating melody that makes it sound truly fresh.

The album is clearly leans more towards the digital side than to rootsy cumbia but this is not to its detriment – it is DDD’s sound. It is clear that La Alianza Profunda is an album conceived, tested and made for the TOMA! dancefloor. It is also bluddy good ammunition for any budding digital cumbia DJ from Buenos Aires to Stockholm.

Listen – BuyMore info

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