Since the release of their debut EP, the extraterrestrial synthpop duo Lucifer’s Dream have worked hard to put themselves on the map, both IRL and URL. Following the success of ‘Remember‘, they are now back with a video for another track from the EP.
Where ‘Remember’ was reflexive and melancholic, ‘Elixir of Isis’ has a hint of passionate energy and desire, breathing especially in the beginning of the track, that, I think consciously, almost sounds like the buildup for towards a catchy radiopop hook. But instead of delivering predictable pleasure, the track dissolves into a wavier, more melancholic and indeterminate vibe. Reality, or meeting your crush, is always different from expectation, full of confusion and conflicting emotions. At the end, the insecure atmosphere melts down into something more cute and playful, accentuated by the video and the almost dembow-like drum pattern. It may be because I can relate to it so well right now but I can’t help but putting the song on repeat.
Does anyone remember boombahchero, the short-lived microgenre from 2010 that sounds like a Frankensteinian hybrid ‘inverted’ 3ball, moombahton, club and juke? If you haven’t been involved before 2012, don’t feel ashamed if you don’t. When I entered the music scene back in 2013 it had already lost its momentum, with the last release stemming from a year before, delivered by Generation Bass favourite Banginclude.
Now after five long years, in which so much has happened to the music scene, it is almost nostalgically refreshing to hear a sound that reminds so much of the old days, when genres and the surrounding subcultures from all over the world were still excitements in the blogosphere and experimental hybrids could hoover easily between blogosphere inside jokes and overnight virality. Boombahchero, even more than moombahton, is a product of this fun period in the history of the internet.
Enter Dead Stare, the trailblazing Mexican-Hungarian URL duo whose experimentalism was inspired by this period. But they have left the irony behind. Dead Stare’s predilection to blend afro-Latin rhythms with breakcore, techno and energetic bass is far from a joke, it is an expression of the daily struggle against injustice in two different places in the world: DJ Broken Record as a Mexican in the US where the genie of racism and anti-immigrant hatred is summoned out of the bottle by the very man who might be elected into office and Gergö as a cancer and epilepsia patient in a reactionary Hungary where you cannot get proper healthcare if you’re not rich. Even though the technique is the same – editing mid-tempo dembow tunes into a 140 BPM syncopated 3/3 via a secret algorhythm in Ableton – the track selection and the way the mix is built up truly sounds as if, after pupating in a cocoon for five years, boombahchero is no longer a joke. The genre is still recognisable, but has woken up an adult.
After such a long silence, I’ve got to cover more than two months of an ever forward moving music landscape. Therefore a double edition with the most essential and guiding releases, 22 in total. I tried to balance between saving text and doing justice to the music.
If there is anyone I could call my all-time favourite artist, it would be the experimental sound collage artist and inspirational Latinx trans revolutionary Elysia Crampton. She describes her newest album as an epic poem. I had the opportunity seeing it live a couple of months ago at Progress Bar Amsterdam, where Elysia opened the night with a powerful performance, combining music with live recited poetry and engaging visuals of videogame dungeons, technofuturist sci-fi impressions and historical and present recordings of indigenous Bolivian people and their struggle for justice. The poetry, part of the theatre production ‘Dissolution of the Sovereign: A Time Slide into the Future’ paints a post-colonial sci-fi setting in which the citizens of NON have destroyed the oppressive structures of today’s world and have built their own high-technological future, linked back and forth with the queer-indigenous history of Bartolina Sisa, leader of an indigenous uprise in 18th century Bolivia which was brutally knocked down by the colonisers, and her body cut into pieces.
The performance was one of the few times where I had a truly transformative emotional experience on the dance floor (the other times being Kamixlo and Total Freedom). I have no other words for it than crying tears of fire, bringing to the surface resevoirs of emotions and aspects of existence that’d otherwise remain buried under solid rock layers of colonial oppression. The Demon City is the metaphor for the excavation of the voice of dispossessed and queer trans indigenous people and, as Crampton explained in her talks session before the club night, breaking the imposed binaries of identity, to which queer trans people of colour are condemned worldwide. The collaborative project is a defining elaboration of the conceptual ‘severo’ style: “an ongoing process of becoming-with, made possible by the family-networks and communities that have inspired and sustained our survival and collective search for transformative justice.” Contributions are by Why Be, Rabit, Chino Amobi and Lexxi and released on the Break World Records label, which also signed James Ferraro, Goth Money, Sagan Youth, Hot Sugar and Teengirl Fantasy.
The Stockholm based label and collective STAYCORE 117 is a unique initiative, supporting young, innovative minded producers with an intimate, family-like community that is gradually extending, online but especially IRL. ERELITHA is the follow-up of last year’s Summer Jams 2K15 compilation with which the label put itself on the map. As Dinamarca explained to The Fader, instead of the geographically excluding concept of ‘summer’, ERELITHA is thematically built around the concept of capturing lightest possible light. This reflects both in the music, which strongly draws from saccharine bright retro-rave sounds, and in the equally impressive artwork by Jonna Mayer, which transforms a sulfuric surface lake of Titan or Io into a mysterious cotton-candy wonderland.
The compilation involves contributions from Staycore’s core members like Dinamarca, Toxe, Mechatok and Mobilegirl, but also from close affiliates like Zutzut (NAAFI), MM (Her Records), Pininga, RESLA and Oklou (TGAF) – who’s crystalline futuristic dancehall/afrohouse track is my absolute favourite track of the whole compilation! – as well as the (relative) new names jackie and the promising talent Don Sinini.
Over the last year, much has been written already in the major music mags about the mysterious formation made up of LIT INTERNET (Kamchatka, Russia), LIT DAW (Ukraine) and LIT EYNE (Siberia, Russia). They combine net-art flavoured 90s angelic tribal tattoo, stock photo and black metal aesthetics with intense cybernetic-ambient-club music, communicate via the encrypted messenger service Telegram and have never met in person. Very cyberpunk and very post-internet avant-garde. Musically, they occupy the middle ground between the abstract, industrial side of avant-garde club and the more dark melodicness found in the heirs of ambient-trap and witch house. After their debut EP ‘Angelysium’ last year and their follow-ups ‘3000‘ and ‘META‘ (Infinite Machine), they are back now with aNEP on the New York based avant-garde label Purple Tape Pedigree.
WWINGS have found their unique place on the music spectrum. They keep moving forward, but always make sure the combinations are balanced. Between rhythmical and abstract, percussive and melodic, ethereal and dark, experimental and danceable. Chimera is no exception. Perhaps, the word Chimera, which means hybrid, is even symbolic for this persistent, unique duality they incorporate. We’ll never know. They notoriously deny that their music has any rational or even abstractly sensible concept or narrative behind it apart from their inspirations drawn from life in different parts of the post-Soviet part of the world and from life on the internet. Also check out their even fresher release ‘PHOENIXXX‘ (Planet Mu).
It is already a year ago since OnlyNow, an experimental side project of bass alrounder Kush Arora, debuted with one of last year’s most underrated works: a breathtakingly forward looking self-titled EP combining subtly dark, cinematic cyberpunk ambient with organic percussive rhythms derived from African and Afro-diasporic styles like kuduro, tarraxo and gqom. Now, a summer later, he pushes his sound even further with an again self-released EP including a special feature on the music magazine XL8R. On top of the elaborated ethereal and dramatic soundscapes, polyrhythmic percussion patterns and industrial noise, this EP adds a strong melodic element. This makes ‘Hollow’ not just a vivid conceptual submersion into an Octavia Butlerian technofuture that could resemble Elysia Crampton’s, but also incredibly engaging on the emotional level.
There are collaborations that are a very logical result of how scenes and movements develop. Like-minded producers that release on the same labels or have a similar approach to sound. And then there are collaborations that seem to come more or less out of the blue. This joint EP by Mexican experimental and ruidosón OG Siete Catorce and the Hungarian tropicalist Stas is one of the latter category. Even though Siete Catorce seems to be extending his focus towards Europe with an EP via te Porgtuguese global bass imperium Enchufada and Stas has toured Mexico earlier this year together with the Kumbale crew, this collab was not at all obvious. And the not-so-obvious is precisely where the good things happen, because Fata Morgana EP – what’s in a name – is as unexpected as it can possibly get. ‘Fantasma’ is best described as psychedelic DnB, whereas ‘Espejismo’ navigates the middle ground between future bass, avant-garde club and dark trap. And then there is Stas with a recognisably percussive flip of ‘Fantasma’ and Siete Catorce with an even more mystical rework of ‘Espejismo’ that draws in elements of afrohouse, techno, club, cumbia and ambient.
On a side note, it is also interesting to watch the aesthetic development of the Babylon label, which started off pioneering with minimalist lino print style monochrome designs and is exploring a more post-internet leaning style since a year now but in a refreshingly unique way.
Exactly a year ago, the enigmatic but impressively active kuduro channel and label celebrated its first year of existence with a compilation that we also included in our 8th essential roundup. There are many reasons why This Is Kuduro is an incredibly exciting label and an example for what is lacking so often in music in this age of post-bandwagon cyber-deconstructionist grinding mill culture. ‘This is Kuduro’ is extraordinary in its commitment to supporting both continuity in a genre as a consistent genre and at the same time diversifying the sound within the genre instead of recycling one template as well as building a persistent community around a genre from all over the world, smoothly integrating global bass producers with people from the original kurudo scene. On this compilation you hear Nazar’s dark-industrial sound alongside housy grooves from 2Pekes (Portugal) and Neki (Serbia), festival-EDM bangerism from Round2 (USA) and the unmistakably Lisbon batida flavoured beats from Dj KappaJota (Portugal), Dj Mika (Portugal) and EdiCerelac (Portugal).
Where ‘This is Kuduro’ is a beacon of consistence continuity against the relentless grinding mills of internet, KABLAM’s music is cyber-deconstructionism in its most magnificent form. Categorisable, if possible at all, not as club music but rather as experimental electronica or even as avant-garde ‘classical’ music, her soundscapes draw in drums from genres like hardcore, club, baile funk and reggaeton blended with sampled pop and classical references and eery everyday sounds, which together create a throat-gripping cinematic ambient sound collage that is a powerful, confrontational mirror for our times. In this sense, the Swiss, Berlin based sound artist KABLAM can be called the Western counterpart of what WWWINGS do for the post-soviet world, yet employing an even broader range of elements combinations and vibes. And where Elysia Crampton’s collages are outspokenly explicit narratives about the struggle for justice and WWWINGS’ are outspokenly random, KABLAMs approach is somewhat in the middle. While feminist, anti-fascist and anti-capitalist anger about the world’s state of being is always a driving force, in her music it remains implicit and observing, making the listener feel along but on a deep, subconscious level. The title ‘Furiosa’ is illustrative for this: an allusion to the inspiring fearlessness and decisiveness of the protagonist and anti-patriarchy freedom fighter from the ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ film.
The album mix takes you on a Mad Max-like trip through our own world. Furiosa knows the direction and the mission, you as listener don’t, but you trust her and that takes the fear away.
Pirata 3 is the third in a series that intend to bridge the bleeding edge avant-garde with the known and familiar, in home country Mexico, in Latin America and also worldwide. This translates into the most unreal mashups of reggaeton, pop and baile funk with hard hitting industrial drums, weird sounds and futuristic synths. Next to established NAAFI members like Lao, Paul Marmota and ZutZut, Imaabs and HiedraH Club de Baile’s Tayhana, but also the forward looking duo Santa Muerte, Mexico City cumbiaton OG Dj Bekman, enigmatic avant-club project Traxmatik and the Brazilian trainblazer Pininga, all of whom have worked with NAAFI before and now firmly embedded in Latin America’s most exciting, ever extending club music family.
Metaljackets is the new duo project of urban-eclectic & bass producer INDISA, whom we’ve supported several times during the heydays of moombahton, together with EDM bangerista SVNCHZ. With this debut on Munchi’s Selegna Records label, a label which is selective with its releases, they have aqcuired a solid place in the spotlights. ‘Bulletproof’ marks an important turning point in the relationship between the Dutch urban-eclectic scene, American EDM and the passionate under-stream remnants of the early ’10s global bass scene. Where the loud festival sound pushed by Mad Decent used to be the almost irresistable magnet force for producers in the global bass family of genres, producers are now returning more towards to the sound of the undergrounds beneath the hypes of the bygone years. And the Dutch scene is doing this together with movements from other parts of the world, more integrated than ever before.
In a time where what Metaljackets describe as “pop-bow”, varying from Justin Bieber to Major Lazer to Drake, reigns supreme, and cyber-deconstructions reign the avant-garde, a growing number of producers is gradually moving back to the original genres that have fed into today’s sonic landscape. Don’t mistake this movement for nostalgia or a lack of innovation. On the contrary, by broadening the sound scope while doing justice to the coherence of genres and avoiding homogenisation, much of this sounds refreshingly new. Much of it is still sitting quite close to festival EDM, with the combined explosiveness of DnB and hardstyle accompanying the persistent punching Dutch-kick tresillos, but it is the notable realness breathing through every vibration on this album that makes all difference.
Loyalty XIX, whom I believe is also the owner of the Total Trax label, is a relatively new name and certainly one of the most recognisable pioneers of the avant-garde club movement in Spain. In my experience, one of the characteristic features of the avant-garde club movement, especially when compared to a movement like future-bass/futurebeats, was the tendency towards crude productions, using old vsts that create a subtle retro cyberfuture feeling and DIY/bedroompunk flavoured minimalistic mastering and demo-esque track structures. I must add that this does not at all apply to every artist affiliated to this broad and diverse movement, but on the whole it was characteristic enough to wonder what the industrialistic, cyborgian sound would sound like when combined with the crispy, widely reverbed epicness found in much of the more mainstream corners electronic music. Loyalty XIX’ debut on the Spanish avant-garde label Total Trax is a hint direction. It takes the essence of the cybernetic club formula that has been gradually developing over a long time, but in a way that seems to polish and crystallise it into a blockbusterised version of itself. ‘CELICA’, a reference to the 2006 Toyota sports car as a car to choose in a racing game, is an incredibly powerful experience that, no matter how danceable still, feels like a immersive, haptic gaming experience from beginning to end.
Welcome to this month´s journey into the hot, misty world of intergalactic cumbias. This selection reflects the sweet, sweaty sound of the tropical summer, and the relaxing, poetic ambience of the oceans. There is a never ending stream of tasty musical treats around at the moment – here are some of the choiciest cuts below:
V/A – Entre Tiempo Y Espacio (Tropical Twista Records – 2016)
WAOW ! I wouldn’t know where to start with this one. There are loads of amazing compilations coming out these days, but this one hits the spot on the variety of artists and diversity of sounds & rhythms it offers: “As a whole, the album offers an exquisite journey into the mysteries of time and space and reflects a Latin America that is united through a new musical scene that is strong, independent, transcending geographical barriers, and creating new connections.”
Make sure you listen to the while thing, it’s full of gems, as mentioned by the Silly Tang further below.
YEAHMAN! – Minca
Confluencias I: Selva (Shika Shika)
This track is just bangin’. It has it all: a sick beat, a wicked groove, and most of all, a set of beautiful and pure sounding instruments. I’m not sure how they were recorded or sampled or whatever, but they sound great. YEAHMAN is on my hotlist these days; he’s releasing some great tunes. Keep an eye out for the man !
This tune deserves its place in this great compilation, brought to us by Shika Shika. I love that they always find new artists from around the globe; this compilation has indeed brought to my attention many new ones who I had never heard of and who produce some serious tunes !!
GUAZÚ – El Club del Condor
Confluencias II: Montaña (Shika Shika)
And if one wasn’t enough, here’s another set of tracks for our delight from Shika Shika, with the second part of ‘Confluencias’. Another great selection for us to enjoy, with tunes from Nicola Cruz, Spaniol, Quixosis, amongst others; but there’s one that stuck out for me every time I listen to it. He was a stranger for me: Guazu. His tune is so deep, powerful, with a hint of darkness, slowly progressing towards the top of that mountain ! I love it !
Urban Cosmonaut Tales (Urban Cosmonaut Radio)
It’s like Christmas has come early, and it’s snowing tunes and compilations in August ! It’s amazing ! They are all so diverse, and bring to us so many new artists who deserve to be heard around the planet; as seen in Coconutah’s selection further below.
Here, Urban Cosmonaut Tales travels through the tropical diversity of this globe, stopping in different electronic environments. I strongly recommend you take the time to enjoy all of the tunes. They are all very different and come together very nicely in this compilation. The tune ‘Uwi’ by Geju, Betelgeize & J.O. seems perfect to close the whole thing!
ElPeche – Calorzito (Tropikalia Vol.1) (University of Tropical Sound)
Who said compilation ? Here’s another one fresh on the block, straight from the University of Tropical Sound, who we had the pleasure to see play and meet @Tropical Camp. Here’s another great variety of artists, including our beloved Silly Tang and 2G1B and many other ones who we often mention on this blog, as well as this banger by ElPeche. I’d heard this accordion before and really love how he’s used it here, with that groovy guitar and a fat bassline! Wicked !
And if you’re in for a more Shamanic type of experience, check out El Camo’s Ritual.
And here’s another compilation that’s well worth a listen. It has a totally different approach to the sounds than the ones mentioned above and definitely has some heavy dancefloor bangers in there!
Vruno – Oxytocin (AKUMANDRA)
Bim ! Vruno’s in the place ! I adore his productions, and particularly enjoy the slow and progressive touch he has! A deep techno beet & bassline to get you going and allow all the rest to slowly build around you. You can really feel how this story needs these 8 minutes to be fully enjoyed & completed ! Big ups !
Make sure you check out the label AKUMANDRA ! Proper deep world business to make you travel through their amazing releases.
This beauty also came out at the end of last month. A wonderful musical journey signed by Intiche. Another slow & progressive approach which always works on me, leaving time to appreciate the whole atmosphere and thickness of the tune, catching every little sound & detail right into the jungle.
With so much music for our ears, here are a few good videos to check out:
The Nu LatAm Sound – Ecuador Episode 1 – The Amazon Voices (ZZK Films)
I was really looking forward to this coming out and really enjoyed the watch. It gives us a great insight into the Ecuatorian artists, influence, roots, environments present in todays scene, and how they are reviving and merging with ancestral sounds. This will be a great set of episodes to watch.
Animal Chuki – Luna (Radio Gladys Palmera)
During their stay in Madrid for Guacamayo Tropical’s event, Animal Chuki recorded this live version of one of their new tunes @ Radio Gladys Palmera. Really nice chilled vibe on this one !
Sesiones Bajo Tierra – QUIXOSIS – “Cordillera” (Episodio2)
Episode 2 of ‘Sesiones Bajo Tierra’ brings to us Quixosis performing ‘Cordillera’ live. I think we just went one floor deeper; I love it !
Lulacruza – Gente Mariposa @ Szimpla Kert
While we’re on the live performance, you can enjoy Lulacruza’s performance of ‘Gente Mariposa’ @ Szimpla Kert in Budapest. Her voice is beautiful; I really hope to see her live soon.
Nomad Frequencies – Teaser Medley 2016
Here’s a wicked project we had the pleasure of seeing live a few months ago in France, a French live duo between machines & instruments, who go from Cumbia to world techno/trance with a hint of Balkan d&b. Great live show !!
Mataga – Mixtape · Viveylate Radio 1×012
Another interesting journey but this time in a flight straight to Brazil with Mataga, presented to us by Viveylate Radio.
And like every month, on top of all these tunes, compilations, videos, projects, which I mentioned above, there are always some delightful mixtapes to be enjoyed, here are some of them:
San Ignacio \IST 045 (Casa Caos)
YEAHMAN! InterCities # 5 (Summer Moments MixTape)
Sonikgroove World Electronica Mixtape
Griffin Crafts – Flavour of The Month -Julio (Shika Shika)
Kumbiamberos Internacionales – El Siguiente Nivel Vol. 12
This month of August is hot, festive and full of vibes as always! To start my selection this month I wanted to forward this compilation full of great artists. Some of my favourites of course; Turbo Sonidero, Dj Classic y mas! A very good selection out of the true cumbia family from, Mexico, Argentina and USA. All in all, very classic and unmissable with a twist of craziness!
On this original killer track was the all mighty Bacallao. And then, I came across this remix with the all-around Cumbia Rastafari lol Señor Chancho ! The production of Señor Chancho, one half of the Regional label, is always getting much tighter and solid by the months. This unreal and futuristic beat must hit all the chill outs this summer to get people vaping and getting some cocktails down! So fresh it reminds me of a blend between a strawberry mojito and a lime ice cream 😉
Bigote – Tabaco (Tropical Twista Records)
The grime village king is back for more as always ! On this tip he hits a very deep note with these succulent vocals and this low deep bass. In some notes of this tracks it reminds me of a Mala (DMZ) production because of its atmos and all around production deepness. Bigote is part of the might label Caballito but this has been released on another label called Twista Records. Get the towel out and go run to the beach to stick this on your mp3 players 😉
Unqa – Panoja De Quinua
Now this is what I called a discovery ! The first kick and low bass reminds you of a funky disco tune . Then, Unqa follows with some lovely dubby effects and tribal percussions. On a very minimal tip, this tune is actually full of suprises. Love the flute with a slight effect added on and the real groovy bassline. Great song once again to listen once your sat in your hammock enjoying a nice beer.
VA – Y Desde Monterrey (Rebajado Mx)
Now now now J Another compilation in one month – what a month ey ! This time around it is the Mexican collective Rebajado Mix which are bringing this delight full of Cumbias Rebajadas. The history of this genre is funny and interesting you should check it out if you don’t know it. Rebajado mix have managed to combine such a list of wicked producers under one roof. Producers such as Hydro Selekter – Hnry – Freebot. Really great work from all producers and a superb compilation from it !
El Buga – Mini Conga (Señor Chancho Remix)
Now it seems like Señor Chancho is in full form at the moment. Inspiration and remixes and its best, two great artists from the tropical scene in one superb track. Really groovy bassline with some hits of marimba and flutes works a treat on this one. As I said before it seems like Señor Chancho is full of love for the dub these days and that shows in his production. Really recommended track and also free to grab so go run tell your friends, and keep an eye out for more remixes of ‘Mini Conga’ to follow on Regional
Chakruna is a producer I had never heard of if i´m honest but I came across this video the other week and it totally gripped me. I love the combination first of all of old and new technologies. Transmitted here is an old cumbia song remixed via Maschine MPC type and added effects on top of that. All manual control, and lovely composition of breaks. I´m sure we will see more from this guy.
To end this month’s selection I would like to add some info on where to grab your musical hits at festivals this summer. Here is a list of festivals where you will definitely have a good dance:
Sistema Beat Andino – Cumbia Explosiva remixes (Regional Label)
Regional label is an amazing outlet and an even better inspiration for many artists and music lovers. Here they do not disappoint; Sistema Beat Andino open the ball with Cumbia Explosiva, a brooding cumbia dub riddim that takes no prisoners. The torrent of remixes that follow are very diverse , going all the way from sonidero vibes with Sonido Mamalon´s version, to a more trappy version courtesy of Mister teen, to a full steppa dub experience thanks to Loko Bono. Small Fall & Owem G, Barda, El Buga, and Lascivio Bohemia round off the compilation. Big up to all involved for this great EP!
Dr. Dre’s Cumbias (Sumohair Remixes) (Kumbale)
Sumohair returns on German label Kumbale with some two chronic tunes that will take you back, back, back…. Featuring legendary Dr Dre, these are dynamic cumbialistic riddims that are full of chops, changes, and funny little edits.
Nato – Babiley (Urban Cosmonaut Tales)
“Bed time stories you tell to a younger generation”, Urban cosmonaut radio presents a compilation of down tempo, melodic tunes. Here, we focus on Babiley by Nato. Charango´s combine with spacy synths, crazy oriental vocals and groovy percussion to great effect. Very relaxing!
G-Sound – Ritmo Universal Feat. Los Master Plus (Rebajada)
Cumbia dub vibes on show from G-sound with Ritmo Universal, featuring los Master plus with awesome rebajado vocals. G-sound´s signature sound is present with layers of catchy synths and a ton of trippy FX. The rhythm is slow and langorous while the bassline has a deep, gravely touch. Great summer tune.
Tribilin Sound X E.Vax – Hijas (Terror Negro Records)
Tribilin sound is ever-present on our monthly cumbia blogs, and for good reason; new tracks are frequent and always bring heavy, heavy vibes! This is no different, as this collaboration with E. Vax takes us to the very core of spacy electro-cumbia. Check it out!
Motin – Salida Del Sol
Here are some techno-cumbia vibes to begin rounding off this month´s selection; Motin presents Temazcal EP. This is a journey through electro Andean sounds. Harmonious flute and string lines capture the listener´s attention, while a heavy techno beat is accompanied by some cumbialistic Guiros and percussions. Both tunes are a must-hear!
And an added bonus to finish this summer edition of Sexxy Saturday Cumbia: worldwide, heavy-hitting money maker Selector Guitar presents ‘Business, share trades, easy money’. A very futuristic, capitalism driven sound, this is not traditional electro-cumbia but is an interesting blend between juke, trap, and guiro-madness. Funny vocals add a Guita touch to uplifting stabs and accordion melodies.
We hope you enjoyed this month´s tropical summer selection! See you next month for more stomping, psychedelic cumbia.
Since Hernan Ambrogi, a.k.a.Makina, left Amsterdam to move back to his home country Argentina, he hasn’t sit still. After four years of silence as a producer, spent to focus more on live projects, he is back with a breathtaking, sophisticated EP that fuses moving soundscapes and hypnotising drums with acoustic bandoneons, traditional percussion and mesmerising folkloric guitars.
The album is described as a journey into the inner world, a place where intimacy reaches its most intense form, a reflection on who we are from the perspective of an inhabitant of Buenos Aires. The music truly resonates with the cover design, showing the overwhelming vastness of the ocean. The inner world is much like the Atlantic on the shores of Buenos Aires, always just around the corner, yet truly realising it’s depths and howling magnificence can be frightening. And like the waves in port into the South American continent, our whirling inner world carries the testimonies of the histories that shaped us, including the suppressed ones, the restless waves that keep beating against at our convulsively fortified quays when we are alone. How else could I but immediately bring to mind Moro‘s San Benito EP, which uses the exact same metaphor, not for personal introspection but to confront Argentina as a whole with a gruesome chapter in its history: the systematic erasure of the African part of its national identity. Makina, in his own way, reconnects the indigenous with the African heritage, by means of cumbia and dembow influenced techno breaks, undeniably sharing in African origin.
Beyond that, the emotion breathing throughout the album is one of passionate connection. The inner world manifests itself as a resevoir of glowing sparks, wandering like lonely fireflies in a barren void, longing to be drawn into a tender tango with sparks from other inner worlds. This intimate sharing is the essence of poetry, expressed so touchingly by the Argentinian folk singer Atahualpa Yupangui in the track ‘La Universalidad del Ser’: the art of communicating existence itself, on all levels: intellectual, emotional and bodily. In that way, the introspective meditation evolves into a tantric dance of love-making.
The acoustic instruments were recorded by Makina himself, together with an international group of collaborating artists in Buenos Aires and in Amsterdam.
Cumbia De Las Estrellitas (Real Cumbia Activa X Plastic Toy Sounds) – Contoneo Tropical (Taciano Records)
To start this very varied and quality month of July I wanted to include one of my favourite producers out there at the moment ¡ The all mighty Real Cumbia Activa. He has brought some ill remixes to the dancefloor and this one is not an exception. A bit trippier than his normal releases, he has gone properly in on the cow bell and vocal effects. A real hit ¡
Sonido Mamalón – Bachabé Kó(Antes Que Nada)
This 2nd selection has come to my attention because it really flirts with the cumbia dub elements I love. The folklore added to it just adds to its roots effect on the ear. Real summer chilling track.
Kraut – Marimba (Shika Shika)
This Dutch producer has brought out a Brand new fresh ep called Especials EP. It is very varied and the production sounds very German. It has a techno style of lineal sounding Groove. I recommend you go discover this producer ¡
Alvaro Llerena Martinez – Mis Amores (Bigote Remix)
Here he is again, the grime King of cumbia making us feel the weight of his mighty kicks ¡ This song originally from the master Alvaro Llerena Martinez has had a slick refix by my good friend Mr Bigote ¡
Malphino – Lalango (Names You Can Trust)
I selected this track to off course to introduce you to Malphino which production is so nice, acoustic sounding and psychedelic to its roots. I also wanted to present this fabulous label called “ Names you can’t trust. “ It has brought out a few vinyl so far and the whole of it has this trippy finish and musical excellence. Please check it out as bringing out a vinyl is a lot of effort, and this label needs all our back up J
Nixtamal – Chinga de Mixtape
Yes I like finding out new producers from France ¡ I have come accross this producer on the new “Cumbia Libertad” vynil compilation and was stunned by his track on it. Here we have a selection of tunes mixed by this cumbia veteran J
LOVE THIS ¡ Proper summer business right here. Don’t look any further for your ice tea and hammock musical treats ¡ Very folkloric release and real energetic vibes on this tune. Please go check out more of Sonsonete Todomono love the work especially for these very hot summer evenings ¡
GRUPO JU-JUY – LAS GUITARRAS LOKAS CON WEPA
Now this group I have been fan for years ¡ Grupo Ju-Juy ¡ Real proper cumbia band they always deliver a semi psychedelic sound and original cumbia grooves. On this track especially we can hear that guitarist going straight to the jungle ¡
I’m new to Mashup-Mexico but I really do think they have great potential. This versión brings us back a old track by Sonora Dinamita and it is also free to grab J Run Run Run ¡
2 games 1 boy – Acid Cumlib (OPL3 via Adlib Tracker II)
This has come out just in time for this month selection ¡ Our good mate and all around nuttah 2 games 1 boy has brought us this track on his analog toes ¡ Very trippy but deep production this tune goes in ¡ Free DL also so run grab it quick ¡
So i don’t know where to start with this compilation?! I’m listening to it again as I’m writing this and still can’t believe how incredible all of these tunes are!! The track list itself, including artists like El Buho, Matanza, Rodrigo Gallardo, Spaniol, Peter Power who are amongst the ones i know, was looking tasty! Every track is a beauty; a perfect blend (and I insist on perfect) between the artists’ organic origins and newer electronic surroundings, creating one immense trip around the world, “going from South American mid tempo, to Shamanic downtempo, to Middle Eastern deep house, to Latin tribal house, to Playa tech, to Ambient cumbia dub.”
ÍCAROS(Cantos espirituales del Amazonas) (KONN®)
Here’s another trip, and this one goes deep into the Peruvian amazon, with powerful shamanic chants, recorded by Mr Toé during one of his journeys. He joined efforts here with 3 other great producers (Inti Che, Rodrigo Gallardo, King Coya.) for a project which first came to life in the Nomade Festival in Chile, and then came to us through this EP! I admire how they all manage to keep the original shamanic vibe of the recordings and bring it to the dancefloor in such a smooth way. Big EP!
Wenceslada – Niebla Versiones (Regional Label)
So many great EPs this month! So good to see, and hear! Now this one comes straight from the great Chilean Regional Label, with 6 amazing versions of Wenceslada’s ‘Niebla’ EP, which was also released on Regional about 6 months ago. Barda, Guazú (who i had the pleasure of discovering in this EP), RumboTumba, Doma Tornados, Montoya & Rafael Aragon bring to us 6 completely different approaches to the original tunes, ranging in rhythms & bpms for us to enjoy as a whole; with a special mention to the badman tropical trooper they call Rafael Aragon, who hit the spot with these drums. I always enjoy Rafa’s chilled tunes.
Kike Pinto – Pachamama Pachakamaq (El Búho Edit)
Now simply sit back, press play and enjoy!! It had been a while since we had had the pleasure of hearing one of El Búho’s edits, and this one is just as flavorous as expected. The edit is actually incredible; check out the original tune and see how he has superbly brought his sounds to it, with great space and quality in the production, enhancing the effect of each individual sound, taking you with them on the way.
Johnny Thrash – Acordeón Galáctico (Tribilin Sound Remix)
You recognise that guiro?These shakers? That progression? Tribilin Sound en la casa! This guy never stops; he’s probably already released a few other tunes since this one came out. It’s always so smooth, so progressive, with the whole tune slowly but surely shaping up, in a repetitive yet catchy and groovy way. Big ups!
Panther Panther! – Midnight Ritual (Tropical Twista Records – 2016)
Aie aie aie ! This is banging ! Shout out to Tropical Twista Records for this release. I didn’t know Panther Panther before, but had the pleasure of discovering their work in this new EP. They describe it as a “high-energy, bass-heavy soundtrack to further space exploration in times of darkness”, and I think if you add a few potent shakers and bells to that you get it! Really cool approach to the whole thing.
Here are 6 wicked versions of true classics, released independently by Lascivio Bohemia. His sounds are incredible. He always surprises me and gets me grooving to different rhythms and new sounds. In this case, I personally find his remix of Carlos Vibes’ ‘Rosa’ simply fantastic!
Negro Dub – 10 Years of Electrocumbia (ZZK Records)
And to keep on with the whole version/remix thing, please say hello to ZZK Records latest free release with Negro Dub, here to celebrate the occasion with a whole lot of remixes! The track list is actually very surprising, with Negro Dub remixing tunes from Lito Barrientos to David Guetta, stopping by Stromae and then onto Andres Landero. The final result is actually pretty cool and will surely be enjoyed all along the summer.
Perro Agradecido Cumbia – Detektiv
So let’s switch frequencies and go for some live band business, with Perro Agradecido Cumbia who have been uploading all the tracks of “Ánima en pena” over the past month, and brought to us the 7th instalment a few days ago. Proper psychadelic synths and heavy shakers & cowbells rinsing the place; straight from Mexico.
Another great piece of live music shaping up is el Orkesta Mendoza’s new album, to be released in October; and here’s a little extract! Absolute banger ! The tripped out vocals & sirens, these heavy winds, the synths, with that groovy guitar riff….the whole lot. I love it.
Music is usually orientated to our ears, but can also be appreciated with and through different supports & projects. Here are two projects that currently represent this and I think have their place here:
Brand new release from Lascivio Bohemia, this takes into deep tribal cumbia territory with some fast guiros and some tasty tribal percussion, warped vocals and an asian sounding guitar. Sprinklings of trippy pads finish of the journey as the listener is drawn into a dubbed out, strange sounding world that stays with you after the music stops.
Arrebalero – Valle de chalco
Arrebalero delights up with some hard hitting, stomping, synth heavy electrocumbia with this new track, Valle de Chalco. Layers of synths come together seamlessly to take you into a Robo-cumbia world, whilst the pulsing beat ensures your legs keep moving. Check it out!
Pablo Pachacutik – Cumbia Birlocha (Kumbale)
Pablo Pachacutik hits up with a new EP on prolific Berlin based tropical bass label, Kumbale. These are some original remixes as old school folclore tunes are mashed up into their future sounding versions – there are defnitely some nice trap / IDM flavours shining through on this EP.
Syztema – Madre Tierra (Prehispanic Mix) (La Restistencia Recs)
Not strictly cumbia by the book as this has a strong tribal feel to it, the heavy guiros in this track definetily make it worthy of a mention in this month´s edition. This is a great dancefloor track – check how its relentless beat will get everybody shaking. Psychedelic flute licks top the tune off and give it some added crazyness. Big in the game!
Insane Ambient – Cumbia insana
Insane ambient is a “chill-psy” project from Brazil. Here, they have gracefully left us with some deep, deep cumbia chill vibes. This is a very ambient, melodic track, and really hits the right spot with a very progressive atmosphere.
TURBOMEX – Aroma De Pecado (Orihuela MSS Remix) (Caballito Netlabel)
Caballito Netlabel always brings something different and this time does not disappoint, with a release by TURBOMEX; cumbia hip hop from mexico, this is quite varied within the cumbia genre, going from very traditional accordeons to more recent, more digital dub vibes. Special mention to the Orihuela MSS remix, adding some heavy sonidero beats.
We hope you enjoyed the selection as always! Have a great cumbialistic summer and let the guiros hit you hard! See you next month for some more cumbia bangers.
GreyscaleSound, a Los Angeles based ambient trap producer and member of the VD$KD collective paves the way for more forward-looking urban-Latin sounds with two futuristic experimental reggaeton beats.
Before finding out about avant-garde club producers like Endgame or Dinamarca, I envisioned a fusion between the futuristic, ethereal soundscapes emotional/cloud/vapor-trap and the rhythmical flavours of dembow, baile funk, tarraxo and the like. On the global bass side of things, this happened only in dribs and drabs, yet the post-internet trap side has been sticking almost exclusively to half-tempo 808 beats all along. Until now.
‘L a t i n T o u c h’ and ‘Un $aludo’ are delicate, crystalline beats that unintendely come very close to the use of dembow in avant-garde club. Now the global bass scene is becoming ever more interested in these futuristic ambient sounds, getting the post-internet underground on board is now hopefully closing the circle!
If you dig these futuristic ambient sounds blended with dembow in the broadest sense, check out the new mixtape from the CU)LO collective from Valencia!
Following the relaunch last month, we continue full force with a highly energetic mix from Generation Bass crew member Neutrom X, based in the western region of Spain. When he joined the team a year ago, he already built a massive following base with his tastemaking Soundcloud repost channel. Neutrom X is involved in the Spanish juke & footwork scene, hosts radio shows on the independent underground broadcasters LIE RADIO and BELOW and is also a member of the Classical Trax community. His signature style is contagious: raw, uptempo beats drawn from different undergrounds like club, global bass, future bass, post-internet and vogue, blended effortlessly with the more breakbeat and techno vibes.
No genre is absolute any more. Was 2015 the year where genres definitively died, 2016 is the year in which even overarching categories of music such as ‘club’, ‘dance’, ‘bass’, ‘avant-garde’ or ‘band music’ are gradually becoming meaningless. Even the rusty bastion of classical music is no longer able to isolate itself from the creative promiscuity of the forward-looking underground. We’ve seen this in the avant-garde club movement but there is more out there. Likeßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş, who not just uses or ‘seasons’ classical music, but actually IS classical music in its own right.
The remarkably unique music project is the new creation of the Paris-based musical misfit prodigy whom we supported before under his previous moniker Shinji. Where Shinji was energetic experimental dance and bass music for gothic minded clubbers, ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş is most accurately described as lullabies for young adults with wounded souls. This sounds as dark as it is tender, emotional and strangely comforting.
The heartbreaking emotional soundscapes, built up from cinematic orchestral strings, introspective French romantic piano music, occasional drums, ethereal sound effects and noise, are, above everything else, impressively honest. Confrontational instead of escapist, but confrontational in a deeply compassionate way. ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş doesn’t present the world as any better than it is, but beholds it in silence, standing powerless on the shore of an ocean of horrific magnificence. This intense, desolate intimacy pierces through into our deepest fear of cosmic insignificance, and that makes this music so cathartic and universal.
But just as unique as the sound is the way sound art is combined with vocals from the producer himself, singing in quasi-classical style, often using falsetto. His voice sounds ethereal and eerily angelic, like the wandering ghost of a dead church choir boy singing mournful, lyricless laments.
‘Āłmįģħŧŷ Đęįŧįęŝ Kįŝŝįŋģ’ was released a month ago as a single track, accompanied by poem about the inevitable perishableness of sparks of joy.
Quand les anges s’évanouissent Que les enfers se réjouissent Les dieux dans l’amour s’épanouissent Et de leurs baisers des lumières jaillissent Et soudain en un instant s’évanouissent Les fastes d’un bonheur, d’un délice Lorsque s’enfuit l’infini
When angels vanish
And the hells rejoice
Gods, in love, bloom
And from their kisses lights do spring
And suddenly vanish, in an instant
The splendors of a joyful flare, of a delight
When infinity flees
After a couple of reviews and blogposts, ‘Āłmįģħŧŷ Đęįŧįęŝ Kįŝŝįŋģ’ became ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş‘ best listened track so far. This spontaneously resulted in a remix EP, with six remixes from various producers, especially from the witch house scene, where the producer is most involved. Where the original leans very much to the classical side, economical with drums and synths, the remixers bring in heavier and more rhythmic sounds. Most standing out are the subtle cinematic noise remix by witch-horror-noise experimentalist W H I † E, SEMICOLOŊ‘s two deliciously percussive psychedelic chill remixes and the avant-garde club flavoured “witch-grime” vibes from M-UGGR333.
This is a nice release by Cholazo Sound system (we covered their debut a couple of editions ago), duo from the north of Chile. These are some sexy cumbias, with a mix of proper stompers and more relaxed, more ambiental beats. Check out Pachakuti for that deep Andean, Natural, hypnotic feeling, while Inti Taita is a real hip shaker with nice sampling and a heaaaavy bassline 🙂
CUMBIATON REMIX ! TOTY STYLEE – LA EVOLUCION DEL DJ!
DJ Toty Stylee is back with a tastefully put together electro cumbia that is sure to get the dancefloor vibing. Great use is made of sampling, starting with accordeon and progressing to some crazy vocal chops, while layers of trappy cumbia beats complete the tune.
Territorio Comanche ft Puloy- Cumbia Resistencia Remixes
A couple of editions ago, we covered the original by Territorio Comanche featuring Puloy; here are the remixes, out now on KONN recordings. The EP boasts versions by El Buga & Zambo (groovy tropical bass with an nice, soft cumbiaton touch), Andrés Digital (his usual high octane cumbiaton, this is a tune!), Pigmalião (sick psychedelic cumbia here, this will drive you crazy!), and, last but not least, Mr Toé (with a awesome electro-cumbia remix that induces deep trance!). Check it out!
TropiKhongo – Mueve Ese Culo (Tribilin Sound Refix)
This remix by Tribilin Sound will get most batties literally moving. The main vocal sample is nicely mangled and chopped, and accompanied by a very groovy cumbiaton rhythm. One for the dancefloor!
Tekila Mariachis – No tengo Dinero (Killmanjarto remix)
Out on the 31st of May as another of the Amazing Cassete blog exclusives, Killmanjarto´s version of this great Balkanic cumbia has a very original feel, converting it into a more bass heavy, more electronic and more dubbed-out tune, all while retaining the ambience and guiros of the original. Be sure to check out the other, awesome non-cumbia versions by DJ Caution and Tangy bear 808.
Agrupación Illegal los Imparciales – Ni Chicha ni Limonada
This is a two hit wonder release by an amazing band from Buenos Aires, Argentina, featuring original chicha inspired, awe inspiring psychodelia on the first tune, ni chicha ni limonada. The second track, Cumbia con sabor, is a defty cumbia dub number with sprinkling of a trippy instruments including an awesome organ!
This month is very special to me as it is the proper start of summer, good parties and amazing festivals. This time of the year often for us musicians, djs and music lovers is a real bubble but sometimes we come across some big hangovers! Well here is the cure J Big up to Sonidos Enraizados from Colombia and the master Emilsen Pacheco. Superb work of art on the music and the video clip.
ATODAMADRE – Monday Cumbia
What to say the man is an idol in his barrio! A mad man in the parties and a wicked producer when it comes to cumbia beats! Once again he comes through with a heavy twisted roller! I really love the drum work on ATodaMadre´s tunes you can really feel the Junglist still at it 😉
Dengue Dengue Dengue – The Enemy (Enchufada)
It is summer and it seems like Dengue Dengue Dengue have been very busy this winter. Very obscure but splendid track from the duo! This is like another taster for their album which is coming out in no time on the all mighty Enchufada label. Some like it, some don’t, I LOVE IT! Proper set bashing sounds!
Radio Rebajado Mayo 2016 / Invitado: La Selva (Madrid)
I think this is the third time I include a show from Radio Rebajado mix but, this time, surprise! We are so thankful to have been hosted on this cultural monthly show by the Monterrey Gang! Always such a vibe during these shows and personally I love the proper northern Mexican accent these guys have! Thanks again and here you have a few unreleased tunes from myself and the main man Coconutah without of course forgetting the zoom zoom zen Kaygee man dem.
AsagiSaundo – Una Marinera
What do we have here then! Here is a lovely summer time original cumbia called Una Marinera. I love this type of cumbia which is not trying too hard to be digital but keeps an original vintage sound to it. On this particular one I think the guitars sound really well put together. Big ups !
Carmelo Torres y Los Toscos – El Chacho
Now this! It has been ages since I really had to sit down and listen over and over to a tune before I could properly figure out what is going on and carry on loving it more and more. I call them growers! Carmelo Torres here delivers a traditional cumbia sounding a little like “Los Gaiteros” but the post recording production is sooooooo tight. You can hear lots of added effects and dubby elements to this which blends perfectly with the original Cumbia sound. Absolutely love this work and recommend everyone to grab one or ten copies.
Carmelo Torres y Los Toscos – La Negra Tulia (Galletas Bailables)
And talking off the master here he comes again with this title La Negra Tulia. On one of my favorite labels in the world “Galletas Calientes records” I also recommend you go run get yourself a copy of this original piece of history. Big up el señor Mathias and all the crew for their works.
Mina – Kabala (Enchufada)
To finish of this month´s selection from myself, I wanted to bring something original and out of this world. A very tropical orientated Ep out on Enchufada from an artist called Mina. Lovely production and a true underground Uk sound through both tunes. I personally really dig a lot the steel pan drums on Pineapples & Qumquat real Caribbean feeling for us to enjoy during this warm summer!
Nicola Cruz – Cocha Runa (Chancha Via Circuito Remix) (ZZK Records)
What a great surprise when I found a link for this wonderful Remix album of Nicola Cruz’s ‘Prender el Alma’ in my mailbox. Thanks ZZK Records !!! With so many great artists involved in the project (History of Colour, Montoya, Umoja, Chancha Via Circuito , Captain Planet, Siete Catorce, ….and the list goes on), this was looking tasty; so if you still haven’t listened to it, get on it because it’s wonderful. All the remixes bring a new vibe to each tune, but I have to say that Chancha’s remix of ‘Cocha Runa’ just hits the spot; enjoy !
New sounds from Eduardo Zambrano (also known as Lascivio Bohemia in his other project) to be released on the great Chilean ‘Regional Label’ next week. The texture of his sounds are amazing, and really original; I really enjoy the kind of broken beats he uses; and these crunchy basslines are just lovely !!! I really look forward to hear the whole thing.
Señor Chancho – Danzajala (Cassette Blog)
Talking about Regional Label above, here’s one of their master minds’ latest EPs: Señor Chancho ‘Ensalada de Fruta’, released on Cassette Blog a week or so ago. The opening track, ‘Danzajala’ is a banger ! That potent synth and beat just hit the dancefloor, with more organic sounds coming in and out to create a great fruity atmosphere. I’m lovin’ that salad ! Make sure you check out the 3 other tracks of the EP, with one of them featuring our good friend DJ Nirso.
Derrok – Tribal (AKUMANDRA)
So I hadn’t heard anything from Derrok in a few months, and recently had the pleasure of seeing new tunes & mixes pop up everywhere ! Here he is with a brand new EP: ‘Tribal’. It’s exactly what it says on the box: proper tribal business ! Slow building atmospheres, creating mystical environments in which the chants and the instruments he uses bring you to close your eyes and travel. I’m a big fan of these long tunes, which have time to develop slowly but surely, and catch you on the way. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the journey !
John Montoya – Cumbia De Piedra (Derrok Remix)
I told you Derrok was everywhere at the moment ! And it’s great to see. Here’s a wicked remix he did of John Montoya’s big big tune ‘Cumbia de Piedra’. He kept the whole vibe of the tune, and nicely added his own ‘housey’ touch and drums to it, enhacing the progression of the journey ! Sounds wicked !
SidiRum & Barda – Los Sueños (Frente Bolivarista)
I had read somewhere that Barda was preparing something sweeeet with SidiRum a few weeks back, and here it is, another wicked joint EP: ‘Los Sueños’, released on Frente Bolivarista. I personally love both of these producers, and really enjoy hearing their sounds meet into projects like this one. Here’s their description of the the album: “ ‘Los Sueños’ presents at first an experimental narrative and slowly you feel the residual spaces being heated by the rhythms until the climax where the listener is invited to a more primitive and tribal electronic.” You can enjoy both Pt 1 & Pt 2 which are beautiful, and 3 other added delights with remixes by Dandara, Barrio Lindo & Pigmalião.
And while we’re talking about these guys, make sure you check out this new compilation which includes great tunes, amongst others, by SidiRum and Barrio Lindo (with a Don Plok bonus track at the end)