This week, the EDM network decided it was about time for moombahton to give way to a new craze: “MidTempo“.. A flashier buzzword for American rave crowds who maybe love to twerk and pop a molly but don’t care shyt about the transcultural element of moombahton? Moomba+ speculated that it’s just an easier grab bag for Zouk Bass, Twerk, Jungle Bounce and all that kinda stuff that was already featured moombahton.NET anyway but for which you’re not going to create an individual .NET channel. At least, not if your main audience are kids who just want to hear a sick drop.
But it was just some more fuel for the discussion about what moombahton actually is. Or rather, when something is ‘enough like moombahton’ to be deserve the name moombahton. Is it a BPM range? A vibe? Dembow? Does it need Spanish vocal samples? Or rather.. should it sound like Big Room house? Electrostep? Dancehall? Deep house? And if MidTempo is a term for anything falling in the BPM range of, say, 80-115.. shouldn’t cumbia then also be MidTempo? Who knows..
I think all scenes will have a core of purists who patrol the borders their precious genre. For the most passionate of them, the Colombian sound that emerged in the 1950s is probably the heart of what cumbia is all about: accordion, traditional Afro-Caribbean percussion, a ‘call-and-response‘ song structure and lyrics that breathe subtle Colombian humour. Aniceto Molina, author of many classics, is one of the best known examples:
..this is cumbia by any possible standard! But, sadly enough, much purism becomes a form of snobism. And it makes people frown upon newer forms of cumbia like sonidera, chicha, villera or today’s urban cumbia as ‘low-class’ or ‘bad-taste’, just like the original cumbia was by the Colombian elite before it became one of the country’s main national symbols.. This podcast explains it all. Didn’t manage to get the streaming directly on this page but I’d recommend you all to listen to it.. excellent piece of cumbia education!
Also a good opportunity to bring chicha back under your attention, the psychedelic Andean sound from Peru with its characteristic visual style that has captured me ever since I was looking for inspiration for the new SSC logo. It has been featured quite often in the earlier years of Generation Bass and it’s still very popular. This classic record appeared two days ago on the channel Sonido Chichadelico..
Here is a short documentary in Spanish about how both the music and the design aesthetics have come about in the 1980s.. Even without understanding the language it’s pretty amazing to watch!
..a unique culture and quite different from the original Colombian style, but still very much cumbia!
It’s awfully late, so continue to the mixtapes. There were, again, a lot of them this week, in many different flavours so I couldn’t resist posting them all.
Regional Label has been on top over the last weeks, releasing great mixtapes from the most active artists in the nu-cumbia scene. This week, two new ones appeared. The first is from Sonido Mamalón, who did this fresh mix of mainly hiphop infused cumbia. Many of these tunes have been featured on SSC over the last year and we’re still a big time supporter of both the artist and this great underground style!
The other mixtape from the label is delivered by the Argentinean nu-cumbiambero Cumbia Dub Setter. This is the work of a rhythm-artist, who is a live drummer and a percussionist next to a dj/’redubber’, who knows how to combine reggae vibes with cumbia percussion, dreamy dub and electronic sounds..
The new mixtape from Cumbia Dub Club is an even better example of how great different styles can flow together. This one moves from cumbia to zouk bass and passionate salsa-drum ‘n bass!
The great surprise of this week was not a track this time but this mixtape that was released yesterday by the label KONN recordings. It is tagged as ‘electro indigena’, an amazing Andean-inspired genre which they created 2 months ago with an EP from Mr. Toé. I don’t know if it has been posted here at Generation Bass but it should have, so if you like the style this mix you should definitely check it out!
The description of the mixtape is a wonderful poem in Spanish and English which had to share because without it, it’s less complete.
“Mother Earth, Mother Star
which they call a thousand names,
remember that we are all cells in your body
and let us dance together.
You are the grain and the loaf that sustains us each day.
And you’re patient with our efforts to learn.
We will also be patient with ourselves and with each other.
We are radiant light and sacred darkness, balance …
You are the embrace that strengthens
and freedom beyond all fear.
In your womb are born, grow, live and die …
We take you around the circle to rebirth
dances within us,
- Starhawk -
There are two more mixtapes which I, for a change, decided to put at the end with the club bangers, and for a reason..
When it comes to new tunes, we’ve got a mouth-watering list this week!
Dany F reveals the first secrets of what we can expect from his new album ‘Traviesa’ with this track ‘Gobi’. This is one of those examples that show in a wonderful way what we’ve always loved about nu-cumbia.. Generation Bass is already looking forward to this album!
Qechuaboi has rapidly become one of my favourite cumbia artists. He is not only Amazingly productive, all of his music is so enormously creative and innovative that it keeps me not just interested but fascinated. Here are the two new tracks he did this week.
We’ve got more visionary sounds for you. Who else can take you on a more transcendental ‘Siesta’ than Tu Guaina, who always adorns sounds with self-made amazing pieces of art..
No better way to continue than with this amazing tune from Sonido Mamalón. Dark, industrialistic and infused with an heavy dose of underground techno.. the musical equivalent of a delicious strong, black cup of coffee in the morning!
We’re staying on the dark side with 4:20 Music Flavor. As I said last time, he is so crazily productive that it would be impossible to post everything, but don’t forget to check out his other tunes. They’re all free-download and a must for any cumbia set.. Anyway, this was my favourite track that came from his hand this week!
Los Reyes de la Milanga bring a more energetic vibe that is a combination of cumbia, lento, deep, soul and even a subtle hint to trap.
El Buho is a genous. Last year he did a similar thing to El Cafetero as he now did to Andrés Landero’s Cumbia del Amor: turning a Colombian classic into a meditative, mesmerising dream. This is a tune you should completely ‘dissolve into’, with your eyes closed..
And if this listof amazing artists wasn’t enough yet, we’ve got El Remolon as well, also with a relaxing and purifying piece of music. But in a different way. This subtle cumbia edit of ‘Por Favor‘, a song from the Argentinean singer Leo Garcia is almost on an ‘unplugged’ level of purity and thoughtfulness, staying close to the wonderful original.
Next to the electro-indigena mixtape, this new release, complete with music vid from the cumbia band Olguita Marina was the other great surprise! They spice-up cumbia with influenced from Ska, Latin Rock and Ragamuffin. This is the soundcloud-version that you can download for free. Don’t forget to check out the rest of their great music! I definitely hope to be able to see more from them in the future..!
Initially I wanted to share this music video at the beginning of the post as an example of cumbia-pop but with the documentary and all that the intro would just get too long so I moved it here: the new music vid of Rocio Quiroz‘ ‘Cicatrices’, part of the album ‘De Mi Barrio con Passion‘. Get the album here!
Before we move to the club-banger section, first this mashup that appeared on Mashup Mexico a couple of days ago. It seemlessly fuses the almost unimaginable combination of the melancholic, jazzy vocals from Portishead’s ‘Glory Box‘ and the Colombian sound of Sonora Dinamita.
Now it’s more than time for some more energetic music!
The Buenos Aires based nu-cumbia vocalist Hanna Shinohara teamed up with Brujjas Deejay for this awesome, spooky cumbia-to-3ball transition ‘The Southern Tribal’!
I hope these beats have built up enough energy for this crazy banger from The Ghost, where cumbia meets hardstyle & moombahton! ready to jump..?
We’ve seen many cumbiaton edits from Dj TAO but so far no mixtapes yet. This time you can enjoy 35 minutes of perreo-inducing, club-certified cumbiaton!
The Peruvian dj Elegante & La Imperial did this even more powerful mixtape which is very much bass with some dancehall and trap influences. I overlooked it last week but I don’t think anybody will mind if I size the opportunity to share this excellent club-preparation!
That was it for this week.. See you next Sexxy Saturday Cumbia!