Rhythm and Roots

The leaves are turning orange and the cold is setting in in Amsterdam so time for our first autumnal episode of Rhythm and Roots. There is so much great music coming out at the moment that this was a tough one to pull together. A refined selection of music old and new (or sometimes new meets old) from Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Indonesia, Portugal, Ecuador and beyond!

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[gigya src=”http://www.mixcloud.com/media/swf/player/mixcloudLoader.swf?feed=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2Frhythmandroots%2Frhythm-roots-volume-xv%2F&amp;embed_type=widget_standard&amp;embed_uuid=05bfc918-c3f6-4203-8d6d-1305677d4592&amp;replace=0&amp;hide_cover=1&amp;light=1″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”opaque” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”100%” height=”150″></object><div style=”clear: both; height: 3px; width: auto;”></div><p style=”display: block; font-size: 11px; font-family: ‘Open Sans’, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; margin: 0px; padding: 3px 4px; color: rgb(153, 153, 153); width: auto;”><a href=”http://www.mixcloud.com/rhythmandroots/rhythm-roots-volume-xv/?utm_source=widget&amp;amp;utm_medium=web&amp;amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;amp;utm_term=resource_link” target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”>Rhythm &amp; Roots Volume XV</a><span> by </span><a href=”http://www.mixcloud.com/rhythmandroots/?utm_source=widget&amp;amp;utm_medium=web&amp;amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;amp;utm_term=profile_link” target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”>Rhythm And Roots Blog</a><span> on </span><a href=”http://www.mixcloud.com/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=homepage_link” target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”> Mixcloud</a></p><div style=”clear: both; height: 3px; width: auto;”></div>]

As Autumn dawns in the Northern Hemisphere we return with another selection of global treats for your earbuds. This is global music in its essence, songs that push borders and traverse genres, mixing folk with electronica, modernity with tradition. It is also music that will make your feet shuffle and your head nod. The perfect antidote to a cold, frosty morning or the adequate accompaniment to a warm, sticky Friday evening. Put it on loud and enjoy! Full tracklist after the jump.

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As always, after a few months of musical digging I have been inspired to put together another Rhythm & Roots Mix. This time round it came out as a celebration of the links between Latin American and African music (and pieces that cross the bridge).

One of my biggest discoveries (though originally released in 2010) has been Donso, a collaboration between Parisien producer Krazy Baldhead and Malian singer Gedeon Papa Diarra. There are also a couple of African edits from Amsterdam’s tropical duo UMOJA and a few unreleased El Búho tracks. Lots of little discoveries making it an eclectic celebration of fresh, contemporary “global” music.

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Las Krudas Cubensi

This first appeared in The Guardian’s African Network at the end of January. Presented by US based media/social change platform Nomadic Wax, the World Hip-Hop Women Mixtape is a global journey taking in some of the most stellar and socially conscious female rappers from South Africa to Chile, from the US to Singapore. As well as highlighting Hip-Hop’s global appeal, the mixtape is also a testament to genre’s power as a mode of social expression.

 “You will hear nothing but strong, insightful verses. The sounds are native to locations on opposite ends of the globe, and yet the sonic journey will be familiar to anyone who has a heart for great music. Whether you understand the language or tonal origin of any song in the mix, the flow will guide the expansion of your mind and the movement of your body.”

Covering 18 countries, the mix features tracks by Soultana, a member of Morocco’s first all female hip-hop crew Tigresse Flow, Palestinian MC Shadia Mansour, the first lady of Arabic hip-hop and Cuban mestizo, feminist activist group Krudas Cubensi amongst others. A global mixtape that breaches borders, shows Hip-Hop’s as a global platform for expression and shines the spotlight on some of the world’s most interesting female MCs.

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Afro-House Explorations

[gigya src=”http://www.mixcloud.com/media/swf/player/mixcloudLoader.swf?feed=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2Frhythmandroots%2Fafro-house-owlmix%2F&amp;embed_type=widget_standard&amp;embed_uuid=0f8601da-5098-4186-9b8c-e906f71d291b&amp;replace=0&amp;hide_cover=1″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”opaque” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”100%” height=”200″></object><div style=”clear: both; height: 3px; width: auto;”></div><p style=”display: block; font-size: 11px; font-family: ‘Open Sans’, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; margin: 0px; padding: 3px 4px; color: rgb(153, 153, 153); width: auto;”><a href=”http://www.mixcloud.com/rhythmandroots/afro-house-owlmix/?utm_source=widget&amp;amp;utm_medium=web&amp;amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;amp;utm_term=resource_link” target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”>Afro House OwlMix</a><span> by </span><a href=”http://www.mixcloud.com/rhythmandroots/?utm_source=widget&amp;amp;utm_medium=web&amp;amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;amp;utm_term=profile_link” target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”>Rhythm And Roots Blog</a><span> on </span><a href=”http://www.mixcloud.com/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=homepage_link” target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”> Mixcloud</a></p><div style=”clear: both; height: 3px; width: auto;”></div>]

After a welcome winter hibernation, Rhythm & Roots is back and what better way to start 2013 than with the soulful, fresh, warm sound of Afro-House. Over the past month or so my playlists have been dominated by mixtapes, bootlegs and soundcloud sessions pouring over the offshoots of house music that are flourishing in Angola and South Africa. After a lot of digital crate digging I have put together a mix that celebrates some of my favourite Afro-House tunes, whilst also incorporating some influences from further afield akin to the sound and rhythm. So, a bit of context…

South African House

Unlike other parts of the world, in South Africa, house music is not confined to the dancefloor but has become one of the country’s dominant sounds, leading sales and making stars of its biggest names. Resident Advisor recently celebrated the SA House (centring on Johannesburg) as part of the “Real Scenes” mini-documentary series – a great introduction to the scene.

South Africa has not only become a global mecca of house music but has also managed to formulate its own diverse scene with its own diversity of sound. There is the upbeat, snare driven house sound epitomised by DJ Mujava‘s international breakthrough Township Funk, the deeper, soulful style from producers like Black Coffee, Black Motion and Culoe de Song and then the smash hit, lyrical, Kwaito-hereditary sounds of big name producers Professor, Oskido & DJ Clock.

Angolan House

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Meanwhile, the past few years have also seen a house music explosion in Angola, drawing inspiration from the South African scene and offering stiff competition to the Kuduro sound that has, historically, dominated the country’s electronic music scene. As Benjamin Lebrave, who offers a fascinating insight into the rise of Angolan house via This Is Africa, noted in July after a visit to Angola:

“A genre that was practically absent just three years ago during my last visit can now be heard virtually anytime, anywhere.”

Many Angolan producers such as DJeff and DJ Silyvi lean towards the deeper side whilst also emphasising rhythmic richness and incorporating traditional vocals samples. New producers are constantly appearing on Soundcloud with fresh sounds in a genre that continues to spread and diversify. It will be interesting to see two how these scenes now evolve and how they will feed back into electronic music globally.

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Batida – Tirei o Chapéu Mix (Paris DJs)

Batida – Tirei O Chapéu Mix (Paris DJs)

I have been a long time fan of Batida, the creation of Angolan / Portuguese DJ Mpula aka Pedro Coquenão, for their mix of traditional Angolan music with modern electronic styles. This mix, released through Paris DJs, is another fine example of this fusion with old school artists like Elias Dia Kimuezo, Paulo Neto and Matadidi Carlos (any more info anyone?) paired next to Batida and fellow producers making waves in modern, electronic Angolan music such as DJ Znobia and Bruno MThe link that has built up between Angolan and Portuguese producers is also evident on the mix, most notably on the unreleased remixes from Lisbon based Beat Laden (great reworking of Puxa) and Octapush, who takes on my favourite Batida track, Alegria.

The mix ends on the wonderful Angolé by Teta Lando as remixed by Brazilian Maurício Pacheco, taken from the Comfusões 1: From Angola To Brasil album. The mix is one to dance too, led along by that familiar Batida bounce and scratching, up-beat percussion, a fantastic showcase for the diversity of Angolan music, past and present. Batida’s self-titled debut album, is out now on Soundway Records and, if you haven’t already, I would highly recommend it!

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Rhythm & Roots Volume XIII

Rhythm & Roots Voume XIII It has been a while and in that while lots of new music has been buzzing around my ears. This is the 12th edition of Rhythm & Roots mix series. This mix criss crosses from deep Brazilian Dub from Digitaldubs, South African spiced electronics from LV, swaggering digital cumbia (new El Buho preview), Angolan house, Soulection hip-hop take on baile funk by Sango and everything in between! Stream the whole thing via Mixcloud below. Tracklist after the jump. [gigya src=”http://www.mixcloud.com/media/swf/player/mixcloudLoader.swf” flashvars=”feed=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2FEl_Buho%2Frhythm-roots-volume-xiii%2F&embed_uuid=d852db55-720c-4d96-bdc5-3a0e9e0e5ff9&stylecolor=&embed_type=widget_standard” wmode=”opaque” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”480″ height=”480″ ] Read More

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New Cumbia Calling!

Somehow cumbia is one of those genres that just keeps reinventing itself geographically and historically. Though “digital cumbia”, “nu-cumbia” or whatever you want to call it exploded a few years back and was a little swamped with generic cumbia “versions”, fresh sounds keep emerging. Producers mixing their own influences into the rhythm, nodding to folkloric roots or digitalising completely. These three musical gems released over the past week are testament to exactly that:

Dengue Dengue Dengue Mixtape Volume II

All the way from Peru, Dengue Dengue Dengue‘s second mixtape is a psychadelic journey through their digitalised cumbia world. It mixes classic cumbieros with original material and hard-hitting 21st century Cumbia/Cumbiahton. Looking forward to their future releases.

Future Sounds of Buenos Aires

Almost like a Best Of ZZK with a few added bonuses thrown in. This album is the perfect introduction to the vibrant scene which revolves around the Buenos Aires based club/label. It is a diverse mix of electronic folklore mutations, cumbia futurism and sounds you just wont hear anywhere else. Fresh as ever. Get it here.

Sonido del Principe – Nueva Cumbia Ronda 2

It has been a while since we last heard from Dutch based producer Sonido del Principe but these four heavy Cumbia cuts released this week are well worth the wait. What’s more, you can download them for FREE via Mediafire.

Kumbia Queers – Daniela

Last but certainly not least, the new video from our favourite all-girl cumbia punks Kumbia Queers. This time it is all about tennis and, as pointed out by Canalh, a tongue-in-cheek nod to Martin Solveig & Dragonette’s massive hit Hello?

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Copia Doble Systema – Primavera Cumbias Mixtape

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At long last Spring is here (for us northern hemispherians at least)! To celebrate, Denmark’s foremost cumbieros, Copia Doble Systema have put together a mixtape filled with fresh, full-of-life cumbias to let the sunshine back into your life. (Lovely psychadelic artwork to boot.)

 Copia Doble Systema – Primavera Cumbias Mixtape

The mixtape is 100% Copia Doble Systema tunes, collaborations and remixes, taking cumbia rhythms and laying them onto Dancehall riddims, speed-dem-bow, digitalised cumbias and all sorts of globally resonating sounds. Original and quality sounds. If that wasn’t enough, they are offering the opening track Fisketorvet Riddim (Soom T Dub) for FREE download. Spring win.

Copia Doble Systema – Fisketorvet Riddim (Soom T Dub)

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Punk in Africa: A selection (DJ Zhao)

Punk in Africa is a documentary currently touring cinemas and film festivals which looks at the history of punk rock music in South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Kenya from the 1970s to the present. The film examines the fascinating social and political context behind the music’s emergence in the different countries and it subsequent evolution to today’s scene.

To coincide with the film’s promotion, worldy-wise DJ Zhao has put together a really great and rather lengthy (75 minutes) mix journeying across the different interpretations of punk music “demonstrating the connectedness between Rock and Roll and its African roots, between power chords and dance beats, between decades past and today, between defiant youth in London and defiant youth in Zimbabwe.” The mix is nicely put together and features some cheeky edits and mash-ups along the way and even includes a few contemporary global bass sounds for good measure. The film offer a great insight into a previously under exposed piece of African musical history and DJ Zhao’s selection is the perfect accompanying soundtrack.

DJ Zhao – Punk in Africa Selection

 Tracklist after the jump:

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