Posted on February 26, 2014
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.
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.
Posted on October 2, 2013
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.
Posted on November 17, 2012
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.
Posted on August 3, 2012
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. Read More
Posted on June 10, 2012
It took a while to get round to it but this is a release that really deserved some space on the blog. On Quilombo do Futuro, Maga Bo takes the rhythms and roots of Afro-Brazilian music and moulds them to his own global electronic sound. You can check out my more in depth review of the original via Sounds & Colours.
The accompanying remix album collects some of my favourite producers of Maga Bo’s ilk from around the world such as Chancha via Circuito, Stereotyp, Frikstailers, Poirier, Batida and a couple of new names like Buginha Adubada. They twist from Uproot Andy’s driving gambeoy take on Xororo to Sabo’s killer dancefloor remix of E da Nossa Cor or Batida’s kuduro refix of Kizomba ft. Sacerdote. Brilliantly eclectic and simply quality, original music:
If you are interested in traditional Brazilian music transported to the 21st century, I would highly recommend both the original and the remix album. Taking local music in new global directions.
Posted on June 5, 2012
New Makina is always welcome and this little collection is no different. Gringas is a mini EP of “Hipster Chicha, Tribal, Cumbia-Step and Beach Cumbia”, tropifiying Lana del Rey, Dillon, Gotye and Jenny Wilson. Four refreshing and really quality cuts of tropitastic pop AND you can download them for free below.
Posted on May 17, 2012
Here are a few little tasters to wet your appetite for the release of the Ondatrópica album, that we covered a few months back. Led by Quantic’s Will Holland and Frente Cumbiero’s Mario Galeano, over a few months in Bogotá, Ondatrópica brought together some of Colombia’s legendary musicians under one roof and recorded the outcome. This is classic 21st century Colombian music, bringing the musicians that shaped the country’s incredible sonic history back into the limelight.
You can listen to a couple of tracks above, check out the excellent artwork by Lewis Heriz then wait impatiently for the 16st of July when Soundway will release the album before dancing along to the whole thing live in London on the 20th and 21st of July.
Posted on May 5, 2012
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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
Posted on April 12, 2012
Spring is here and, as ever, the internet is awash with inspiring and foot waggling tunes from each corner of the globe. Our 12th (time flies!) Rhythm & Roots mix is a good ‘un and is chock full of tunes we are really into, all mixed together in different ways, like a big rhythmic trifle(!) In a good way, of course. Full tracklist with links to find all these musical gems follows the break.
Posted on April 10, 2012
I first came across this project via D/J Rupture’s Mudd Up! blog. Back in November, Nrmal, a Mexican platform for the creative arts/music festival, invited six producers (Algodón Egipcio, Chancha via Circuito, D/J Rupture, Helado Negro, Mumdance & White Rainbow) to Monterrey to indulge in the music of the region. They each worked with Mexican don Toy Selectah and a host of legendary musicians from the area to create one track inspired by northern Mexico’s rich musical heritage; rebajada, cumbia, huapango norteño or polka.
The results are a fantastically diverse bag of productions around the same theme. Take Helado Negro‘s dreamy, reverb filled reflection ‘Dime’ next to Mumdance‘s “UK” (squiggling synths, hip-hop swag, big claps) version of cumbia accordeons or White Rainbow‘s epic ‘Swaggadrozo’ compared to Chancha‘s deep, dubbed out rebajada take on ‘Malandrazo’. You can hear a little bit more on the styles and from the producers on the project over at the Nrmal website, download from the whole thing from Bandcamp (FOR FREE) and if you fancy your hand at remixing them yourself, you can get a hold of the unmixed sound banks by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.