Originally I wanted to devote this edition of SSC to the Dia de los Muertos. What else would be more appropriate for a cumbia post this time of the year..? But I realised that, unlike halloween, Day of the Dead celebrations last through 1 and 2 November. That gives me an extra opportunity to preserve such a post for next week. So, this week, it’s halloween’s turn.
A quick look at the history of both traditions tells that they are kinda different things. Where halloween displays death with morbid stuff like zombies and haunted houses, the Day of the Dead sees death as cheerful, nothing to be feared at all. But both have very ancient celtic and pre-columbian roots, have passed through a filter of catholicism and survived into modern times.
The relationship between the jack-o’-lantern and the calavera is a bit awkward, sometimes sensitive. Like in Europe, American-style halloween parties (trick-or-treating for kids, dressed-up clubbing for youngsters) has gained ground in Latin-American cities. Carved pumpkinheads have even found their way onto Mexican ofrendas and markets. The other way around, Day of the Dead imagery is used for halloween decorations and costumes.
Not everybody has approved of this kind of cultural mixing. Halloween has been rejected as ‘gringo imperialism’ and the use mexican skull style face paint for halloween is criticised by some as disrespectful. But there are also friendlier opinions of course. And as usual, a great deal of halloween nowadays is about commerce anyway..
For others, it’s just convenient excuse to get drunk. And we as Generation Bass add some cumbia to make it complete (and culturally palpable for the Latin-minded). Today’s selection is actually great! Many new tunes have been released this week.. Enjoy!
Let’s again kick off with a mixtape. This one is from the Argentinean producer Cancha Via Circuito, whose European tour is about to take off. It contains a nice selection of cumbia mixed with elements of hiphop, raggamuffin and sounds from the electronic underground.
Yelram Selectah has been productive over the past few weeks, with not one but four new tracks and three of them cumbia. First there’s a laidback, subtle refix of Lorde’s ‘Royals':
The second one is a cumbiaton remix of Sonido Satanas’ El Paso del Tamal:
..and finally there’s this cumbia edit of Crookers’ Ghetto Guetta! The cumbia shakers actually make it sound even more locoh ghettoh..!
Another producer with more than one new tune is Chico Sonido, who created his own tropical umbrella genre ‘nalga bass’. All three tracks have a unique and innovative sound, which combines cumbia with a dark, bouncy hiphop vibe and a hint of bass.
And another side of experimentalism: the Peruvian nu-cumbiambero Qechuaboi shows once more that 8-bit cumbia is just brilliant!
And who would have thought traditional cumbia, rollin dembow, movie-scene vocal samples and “it’s Britney bitch” in one and the same track..? Well, Snow Balderas Music just did it in this brilliant new release: La Que Esta Como Quiere !
Something more on the rock-side of nu-cumbia now: the Argentinean band + electronic producer formation El Chavez (who have experimented with this kind of subtly ‘wobbled-up’ cumbia-metal) released a funky cumbia-rock-bass song this week: El Subidon!
Staying in Argentina, Pablo Tesio is back too with a more ‘deep’ oriented cumbia-bass production.
Arturo Herrera released an even more psychedelic edit of a Colombian classic, which adds some appropriate ‘imaginative effect’ to the title: Lluvia de Estrellas (Star Rain)!
But nothing this week gets more spacey than this great andean-cumbia-dub track from the German nu-cumbia producer Bombombum. I actually just saw it in my soundcloud update right before I wanted to publish this post.. just on time to put it in. Funny fact, I immediately recognised the pan flute sample from an album by the legendary Chilean andes-music band Illapu I’ve known for a long time.. this is where it comes from (the vocal sample is from a Colombian cumbia classic though..)! It’s also doubtful whether it still counts as cumbia but I don’t care, it’s dope!
For now, I finish with an uptempo cumbia(swing)-house banger from Erick Jaimez to get you into the party-mood for tonight!
…more than time to get into your costume now, grab your pumpkin and freak the shyt out of the club !