Rhythm and Roots

It has been a long while since our last update on ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’, the first album to be released on Rhythm and Roots, and a lot has happened since we surpassed our Kickstarter target by 150% back in July.

For those of you reading about the album for the first time, this crowdfunded project brought together a group of the most exciting South American producers and musicians and challenged them to create a piece of music inspired by the song of an endangered bird from their country. It unites art and activism: using music to raise awareness about some of the most critically threatened species in South America, with any profits from the compilation going to support organisations working to protect them.

In the first piece of news, we were privileged and excited to announce the last artist to join the project, the wonderfully talented Brazilian singer Alessandra Leão (pictured below).


Leão chose to worked with the song of the Critically Endangered Cherry Throated Tanager or Saíra Apunhalada, found in only one small area in Brazil. A Pernambuco native, Leão recently released the first in series of EPs on Garganta Records, ‘Pedra de Sal‘, exploring and interpreting the musical traditions of her north-eastern roots.

With all the artists revealed, the final tracklist for the album then looks like this:

  1. Lulacruza – Cucarachero de Niceforo (Colombia / Argentina)
  2. Chancha Via Circuito – El Macá Tobiano (Argentina)
  3. Alessandra Leão – Saíra Apunhalada (Brazil)
  4. Barrio Lindo – Capuchino Pecho Blanco (Argentina)
  5. Nicola Cruz – Jocotoco Antpitta (Ecuador)
  6. Algodón Egipcio – Cotorra del Sol (Venezuela)
  7. Dengue Dengue Dengue – La Remolinera Real (Peru)
  8. Tremor – Cardenal Amarillo (Argentina)
  9. Psilosamples – Soldadinho d Araripe / Periquito Cara-Suja (Brazil)
  10. Matanza – Gallineta Chica (Chile)

In the second piece of news, we have been in contact with an organisation called the Fundación Jocotoco. The Fundación is an Ecuadorian non-government organisation established in 1998 to protect land of critical importance to the conservation of Ecuador’s endangered birds and biodiversity.

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The Fundación manages the Tapichalaca reserve, the only remaining home of the Endangered Jocotoco Antpitta, interpreted by Nicola Cruz on the album and we plan to use any profits to support their work alongside our original collaborator Aves y Conservación. The Fundación has offered to use the money donated from the project to sponsor the wages of the reserve’s chief ranger Franco Mendoza. Franco, a native of the Yangana village, has been working with the foundation since 2001 and is dedicated to protecting the rare Jocotoco. It is really inspiring to know that the money we raise from this project can have a direct benefit to those working to safeguard the future of endangered species.

The music is now all completed and mastered, the merchandise all made and the vinyls about to arrive so we are on the verge of releasing the album to the world with a release date set for early March!

We have lots of other exciting news up our sleeves and if you missed the Kickstarter or want to add to your order you can now pre-order the digital album, vinyl, A3 prints, postcard sets, or one of our fair-trade, organic t-shirts through Bandcamp.

A reminder that by supporting this project you will be helping efforts to ensure these beautiful birds and their unique songs can survive for our future generations with all profits being donated to our partner organisations in South America.

More news coming soon!

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Rhythm and Roots has just turned 20! Don’t worry if you forgot to send a card or write on our Facebook wall, there is always next time 😉 So, we are not actually 20 years old but 20 shows old! To celebrate we have a smorgasbord of great new music for you to share this special moment with us. This one is like a musical cake made of different slices of tasty melodic sponge and harmonic jam, the perfect soundtrack to a game of pass the parcel or a big bag of birthday surprises from all over the world!

On behalf of Rhythm and Roots – thanks for listening and raise a glass with us for good health and another 20 Rhythm and Roots!

Creamsicle BD

You can find the full tracklist after the break and download here. If you really want to send us a birthday message we wouldn’t mind or even ideas for your next present (Ok, this metaphor is getting a bit long…) We’d love to hear from you so, email us your favourite tracks, Tweet us your ideas, get in touch if you’d love to collaborate and keep on listening!

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Incredibly, we reached over 3,000 Euros today on the Kickstarter. Now just 24 hours to go so still time  to support the ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’ project!

On to artist number 9 and one we are very excited to announce! All the way from the Andino plains of Chile we give you the mysteriously wonderful and entrancing Matanza! The shamanic Chilean trio will be making a track inspired by a special Patagonian species, the Gallineta Chica or Austral Rail.

The Bird – La Gallineta Chica

The Artist – Matanza


Hailing from Chile, Matanza are a trio of electronic musical shamans. The band been integral in the folk/electronica movement in Chile n Chile and beyond, breaking new ground with their fresh approach to both Andino folkloric music and electronica. Matanza fuse together the music of their roots, collecting, playing and recording a range of native Latin American instruments like Bombos and Gaitas, with the music they grew up to – the sound of the dancefloor sighting Ricardo Villablobos, Matias Aguayo and the label Dirty Bird as influences. Their productions blur the lines between house, techno and folklore, reinventing, remixing and developing new musical directions and meeting points. In their words: post-modern folk music. In our words: brilliant. Listen below:

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We are happy to introduce our first Venezuelan bird and artist from ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America‘. As our 9th artist we give you Algodón Egipcio who will be creating one track inspired by the stunningly coloured and aptly named Cotorra del Sol or Sun Parakeet. Find out more about the bird and the artist below. Still three days left to support our Kickstarter to make this album happen. Check it out here!

The Bird – Cotorra del Sol

The Artist – Algodón Egipcio


Algodón Egipcio is a Venezuelan artist and one half of the lovely, melody soaked pop duo Jóvenes y Sexys. Under his production moniker, Algodón AKA Cheky makes wonderfully spacey, atmospheric lo-fi electronica but with melody at its heart and his warm vocals drifting over the top. He recently took part in the wonderful Norte Sonoro project in Mexico and has made a name for himself on the Latin American underground scene. Listen below:

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NEWSFLASH: First things first…we made it! 100% funded on Kickstarter!

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Just a few days ago’A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’ passed the 100% mark on Kickstater thanks to some fantastic support from all over the world. We still have four days left to go so please back us if you can – the more money we can make the more we can give to Aves y Conservación!

We still have a flock of exciting new artists to reveal and are going to announce them one a day, until the end, starting today. So, drumroll please to welcome our first Peruvian group for the album – Dengue Dengue Dengue! The masked new-cumbia duo have chosen the unassumingly beautiful and critically endangered Remolinera Real or Royal Cinclodes (Cinclodes aricomae), found only in Peru and numbering between 50 and 250. Below the bird that will inspire them to make the track and some background on los Dengues!

The Bird – La Remolinera Real

The Artist – Dengue Dengue Dengue


Dengue Dengue Dengue are a duo hailing from Lima, Peru who have made a splash on the world of tropical bass for their bombastic live shows, bass crunching productions and refreshing reinterpretations of classic cumbia, chicha and Latin American sounds.

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As we reach 100 backers and 90% of the backing on Kickstarter it is time to introduce you to our next ornithological musical duo  – Argentina’s Barrio Lindo and El Capuchino Pecho Blanco or the Marsh Seedeater! This beautiful little bird is in steep decline due to trapping for the caged bird market and it is estimated there are only 600 – 1700 left in the wild.

The Bird – El Capuchino Pecho Blanco

The Artist – Barrio Lindo


Barrio Lindo AKA Agustín Rivaldo is an Argentine producer who also happens to make his own guitars and charangos. The young producer spent three years in Colombia immersed in the country’s rich rhythms and sounds before returning to Buenos Aires where he honed his production skills under the tutelage of fellow porteño Chancha Via Circuito.

Barrio Lindo crafts electronic-folk spacescapes, dream like sequences seeped in atmosphere but grounded in the rhythmic undercurrents of South American traditional music. He has released music on Bad Panda and most recently on the forward thinking German label Project Mooncircle. Listen below:

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Joining the host of talent featuring on ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’ our fifth artist is an Ecuadorian producer who has collaborated with Nicolas Jaar and is behind the mysterious QTZLCTL collective. Introducing Nicola Crúz and the Jocotoco Antpitta, a bird only discovered in 1997 and found in only 5 locations. Find out more and become part of the album by backing us on Kickstarter.

The Bird – El Jocotoco Antpitta

The Artist – Nicola Cruz


Nicola Cruz is a DJ, producer and musician born in France but having gone back to his origins and currently living in the heart of the Andes – Quito, Ecuador. His music is founded in electronica, drawing from house, techno and electronica explorations, mixing this with the sounds of his surroundings – the culture, traditions, landscapes and rhythms of the Andes.

Cruz is an Ecuadorian producer who has released music on Nicolas Jaar’s imprint and is behind the QTZLT collective. He has played stages from LA to Buenos Aires and has crafted a sound echoes that of Jaar’s – a live, organic electronica that, in his words, makes ‘electronic music sound as if a band were playing it.’

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We are honoured to announce Argentina’s Chancha Via Circuito as artist number four, a producer whose sound it seems was made for this very project. He has taken on a very special bird, the Hooded Grebe, a species whose population has reduced by 40% over the past 30 years. Find out more about the ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’ project and help Kickstart us here.

The Bird – El Macá Tobiano

The Artist – Chancha Via Circuito


Chancha Via Circutio, otherwise known as Argentine producer Pedro Canale has become one of the country’s most heralded young producers celebrating and reviving his country’s folkloric traditions.

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We are now over 50% of the way to our Kickstarter goal for the ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America‘ album! Already two artists (Lulacruza and Tremor) have been revealed alongside the birds and their inspiring songs (the Critically Endangered Cucarachero de Nicéforo and the Endangered Cardenal Amarillo respectively).

So, now we move from Spanish speaking South America to the country of the moment, Brazil, to present artist number three. This is also a bumper edition with two birds for the price of one 😉

The Bird(s)

Soldadinho do Araripe

Periquito Cara-Suja

The Artist – Psilosamples


Psilosamples, otherwise known as Zé Rolê, is an artist born and raised in the small town of Pouso Alegre from the state of Minas Gerais. His childhood growing up surrounded by nature, vegeatation and a sense of calm permeates into his music. His sound is innovative and fresh, splicing Brazil’s rich musical heritage, from cantigas and forró to Tropicalia with worldy influences like IDM, techno or electronica. Each song is a journey, traverssing rhythms, sounds and speeds with ease. A young producer that has found his niche and is making 21st century Brazilian music like no-one else. Expect big things from this young man.


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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


“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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