South America to the world


Over the past ten years the international music media has sporadically raved about the latest bubbling scene from the ‘hip’ city of the moment, be it Montevideo, Bogota or Buenos Aires. These days when we talk about modern, underground Latin American music it’s not about disparate pockets or unconnected scenes but a thriving, diverse, border crossing movement of cross-pollination and global interaction. How we view traditional Latin American music has been turned on its head and these developments are having reverberations across the world.

In the mid 2000s now household names in the scene like Frikstailers, Chancha via Circuito and Matanza, helped by platforms like ZZK Records, began to make noises for their fresh take on the continent’s traditional rhythms and music. However, they demonstrated there was something beyond the nucumbia or ethno-techno tags they had been assigned, laying the foundations for a new generation of beatmakers constructing and deconstructing a ‘New Latin American Sound’.

You could call Chancha Via Circuito one of this movement’s godfathers. In fact the quietly spoken Argentine shaman directly bequeathed his own sound and productions techniques to the new generation through his now famous production tallers (classes) in his home city of Buenos Aires. Three years on from his last album Rio Arriba, Chancha this week released his latest work Amansara and in doing so demonstrated how the sound of him and his contemporaries has revolutionised modern Latin American folk music.

Simultaneously organic and electronic, local and global Amansara is his most accomplished album yet. An album that carves out and refines his beautiful interpretation of folk music in a modern, international context. On the heels of fellow Argentine folk-tronic trio Tremor, Amansara is released on Wonderwheel, the New York based imprint run by Nickodemus.

This very Latin American sound, deeply grounded in the continent’s sounds, landscapes, mythology and cultures has made waves across the world and in turn impacted a new generation of producers in South America and beyond. A nod to the scene and testament to the family that has grown up around it, Amansara includes a beautiful ‘apprentice and teacher’ moment on the track Sabiamantis which features Barrio Lindo and Sidirum, two young producers who both attended one of Chancha’s classes.

The legacy of this ‘ZZK’ generation is clear to see in the sound of producers like Sidirum, taking inspiration from the scene’s instigators whilst adding their own influences and driving in new directions. Yesterday the Chilean based net imprint Sello Regional released their 20th EP, a collection of global remixes of Sidirum’s fantastic Le Soleil EP showcasing this next generation of like-minded producers from Latin American, Europe, the US and beyond. With guests like Haarlem’s (the Dutch one…) Umoja, Ecuador’s Nicola Cruz and Hamburg’s bombombum this is an international affair and another hint at how the scene has expanded to influence young bedroom producers across the world. The description to Le Soleil remixes sums things up nicely:

‘Generar unión por medio de la música y mostrar la visión que pueden entregar diferentes artistas de un mismo objeto. Así es como queda una obra colectiva, libre y con mucho amor por la música.’

‘Generating union through the medium of music and showing the different interpretations that artists can create from the same object. In this sense this is a work that is free collective and filled with a love for music.’

Rhythm and Roots Radio – Volume 20

Rhythm and Roots Volume 20 by Rhythm And Roots Blog on Mixcloud

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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Frente Cumbiero // El Paujil

As we reach the last few hours on Kickstarter, I’m happy to reveal our last artist (for now ;) )…Frente Cumbiero! The Colombian group will be creating a song by the wonderfully bizarre El Paujil or Blue Billed Curasow! This unique species found in the North of Colombia is recognised as Critically Endangered by the IUCN.

The Bird – El Paujil


The Artist – Frente Cumbiero

www.soundcloud.com/frentecumbiero

Frente Cumbiero‘s music is a journey through the darkest depths of cumbia, their mision – to take this entrancing Colombian genre and dance to the world! The band simultaneously celebrate the roots of the genre alongside pushing and embracing the new, no less than on their groundbreaking album with legendary Dub producer Mad Professor. Lead man Mario Galeano was also heavily involved in the globe trotting Cumbia all-stars group Ondatropica. Their own sound has a raw talent to it, succeeding where many fail in walking the line between the old and the new!

The Inspiration

“El canto del Paujil es poco melódico, pareciera más un rugido bajo y rasposo… no tiene una melodía musical… entonces hay dos opciones, o tomar mejor el contexto musical de la región de donde viene o intentar replicar ese rugido desde unos bajos sintetizados… veremos a qué camino nos lleva su inspiración. “
“The song of the Curassow is not very melodious, it is more like a roaring bass…it doesn’t have a musical melody. So, we have two options either we take inspiration from the music of the region that this bird comes from or we try to replicate this booming sound with some synthesied basses. We will see down which path the inspiration takes us! “
Frente Cumbiero

Kickstarter

Dengue Dengue Dengue // La Remolinera Real

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

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 19.18.45

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

www.soundcloud.com/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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Rhythm and Roots Radio – Volume 18

Rhythm and Roots Volume 18 by Rhythm And Roots Blog on Mixcloud

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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FILM: Que Pasa Colombia

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.

Rhythm & Roots Volume XV

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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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

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. Read More

Maga Bo – Quilombo do Futuro Remixed

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.

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