Rhythm and Roots

Que Pasa Colombia is snapshot of the flourishing modern Colombia music scene. The home of Salsa, Cumbia and Champeta, Colombia has played a very special role in the story of Latin American music. A melting pot of African, European and Indigenous culture gave birth to an incredibly rich and diverse musical heritage. This incredible history is today being rejuvenated by a new generation of musicians and producers, taking the rhythms and traditions from the mountains to the pacific and revisiting them for the 21st century.

This 30 minute documentary is a great look into the scene led by Colombian bands like Puerto CandelariaMojarra ElectricaZalama CrewPernett and Cero39.

The film was inspired and influenced by Canalh’s brilliant Au revoir Colombie Mix, so here is the soundtrack to the film and a great place to start to get into Colombia’s vibrant music scene.

Find out more about Que Pasa Colombia here.

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Quien quiere Tuki?

Quien quiere Tuki?  is a documentary to be released this month delving into Tuki changa, Venezeula’s home-grown ghetto house rave style. Tuki first appeared in the 80s/early 90s played on mobile sound systems or Minitecas that held battles frequented by legions of dancing waperos (apparently taken from a mispronunciation of the lyrics to Technotronic’s Pump Up The Jam…) Since its appearance and subsequent popularisation through huge raves across Caracas, Tuki has divided Venezuelans with many associating the term (and music) with a sort of criminal underclass (something like the terms Naco in Mexico or Neds in Scotland…)

The music itself is to the floor 4×4 techno, sampling old hardcore-tech synths and pushing the beat up towards 140 BPM.  Perhaps one of the genre’s nearest cousins is Angola’s Kuduro but the two styles evolved separately, thousands of miles apart.  Much as Kuduro or Mexican 3Ball rhythms were picked up and shared around the world by the “global bass” community, Tuki  also reached international dancefloors mainly thanks to the work of two Venezuelan DJs, Pacheko and Pocz and the support of Portuguese label Enchufada.

Though it has still yet to have the effect that Kuduro did (perhaps lacking a Don Omar appropriation?), Tuki is another strange example of music’s movement from one culture and back, interacting and evolving as it goes. Venezulean rave-techno pushing the tempo over 130BPM. Hopefully the documentary, released this month for free, will shine some light on the scene’s beginnings, its subsequent evolution and its polemic nature within Venezuela. Should be a good watch.

For more background on the scene, Clustermag has a good piece and keep an eye on the Abstractor Radio community. Meanwhile, watch out for Enchufada’s forthcoming release from Pocz and Pacheko and featuring Buraka Som Sistema and Tuki lord DJ Yirvin.  Aand, for more Tuki changa/raptor house sounds, a couple of good mixtapes:

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Sunday Songs

Here in Amsterdam the sun is shining and summer is finally here (at least for a weekend). To celebrate here is a little playlist of some sunny, Sunday songs:

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Esperando el Tsunami Outtakes

Since Lulacruza and Vincent Moon returned from their ambitious Esperando el Tsunami project, which set out to capture the soul of Colombia’s musical landscape, we have been treated to a steady stream of material. The latest offerings from the project are these three ‘outtakes’ from Colombian musicians, recorded during the trip. Each outtake is accompanied by a bio, the video and even audio files (all available for free and for distribution). With Lulacruza & Moon as the facilitators, these snippets offer a wonderful little insight into three very different strands of Colombian music.

After the release of the film and these teasers, you get the feeling they are still sitting on a mountain of golden footage and recordings (we still haven’t heard much about the album itself). What I really love about this project is the way the whole thing is presented, the beautifully designed website, the quality of the videos and the way the material is released, bit by bit. It is done with a real finesse and sits as a thoughtful homage to Colombia and its music – a project worth heralding.

Aterciopelados – Mothership Andean Roots


Son Palenque – Legendary Roots of Champeta 


Jorge Henriquez – The lonely voice of the desert

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The Very Best – Yoshua Aikuti

New video from The Very Best in anticipation of their second album, released this July, is a cracker. The clip for “Yoshua Alikuti”, directed by Village Beat, takes on Lil Wayne’s  “A Milli”, transporting those famous red trousers to a Nairobi township, trading trailers for shacks, bling for beads and make-up artists for a Kinyozi hair salon. Oh and Lil Wayne’s clip didn’t have a goat on a leash…

Going on this little taster, The Very Best’s forthcoming album, which drops via Moshi Moshi/Cooperative Music this summer, looks set to be a good ‘un.

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La Tigresa del Oriente – A Brighter Day

“All around the world…La Tigresa del Oriente”.

In an attempt to corner a new, untapped market, Peruvian viral sensation, La Tigresa del Oriente has re-recorded her tropi-glam hit Nuevo Amanecer with the help of cumbia-rock group Terapeutas del Ritmo. Though the lyrics to A Brighter Day are a little difficult to make out (perhaps due to the fact that La Tigresa doesn’t appear to speak English – see the scribbled phonetic transcription) it rings true to the cheap and cheerful original.

It remains to be seen if she will conquer the English speaking world in the way she has conquered Latin America. Still, you can’t help but admire the singer in all her camp, leopard-print glory. It is certainly a break from the big-budget, polished-pop productions of Beyoncé et al! Incidentally, La Tigresa claimed Lady Gaga copied her unique style in the video for Telephone… If you somehow missed the now cult original, for your viewing pleasure:

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Floating Points in Brazil

This is a great little video interview with UK house/soul/funk/everything producer, DJ and Eglo Records boss, Floating Points, conducted in a São Paulo record store a month or so back. You can see, and indeed listen to some of the records FP purchased from via the Eglo website.

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Calle 13 – Latinoamérica

Video says it all really: A heartfelt cry of ¡Viva América Latina! which highlights, once again, why Calle 13  are one of the most important contemporary Latin American acts. The video features cameos from the first lady of Afro-Peruvian music, Susana Baca, Colombian Mompox native Totó La Momposina, Brazilian songstress Maria Rita and countless Latin American faces.

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BLNRB Videos – Ukoo Flani & Jahcoozi – Msoto Millions

The good people behind the BLNRB (Berlin-Nairobi) project this week announced the launch of a series of videos to accompany the music from ‘Welcome to the Madhouse’ album released earlier this year by OutHere Records (check out our interview with them here). The first video, produced by DYMK Films, is for one of my favourite tunes from the album, ‘Msoto Millions’, which brings together the brilliant Jahcoozi and the Kenyan hip-hop group Ukoo Flani. Watch out for more videos over the coming week via the BLNRB blog.

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Real Scenes: Berlin

After exploring the impact of the music scenes in Bristol and Detroit, Resident Advisor has made the logical next step and headed straight to Berlin. The mini-documentary traces the beginnings of Berlin’s alternative clubbing scene with the fall of the Berlin wall and, using interviews with some of the people behind Berlin’s legendary clubs (Tresor, Watergate…), charts the city’s rise to becoming the Mecca of electronic music that is is today.


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