Artwork: ‘Cumbia!Colombian’ by HiyoKinomono
Easter weekends are family weekends, with always less-than-expected time to do work, like properly finishing a Generation Bass post. But the Netherlands is one of the countries where there is an official Easter-Monday, which is pretty much meant to be an extra Saturday, for doing stuff you didn’t find enough time for on the actual Saturday. For an unknown reason, for most Dutch, this traditionally means shopping furniture…
Like with Christmas and other religious feasts on the calendar, Easter is always an interesting mix of christian elements, pre-christian roots and modern things. In catholic parts of the world, this involves public processions displaying Christ’s last events before his death. Many Latin American cities are famous for their traditional processions. Interestingly, in the Netherlands, one of the most secular countries in the world, a contemporary reinterpretation of something similar has grown into a central national event in the week before Easter, attended by thousands, watched on TV by millions.
At the same time, Easter is just as much rooted in pre-christian customs, featuring symbols of the arrival of spring season, new life arising from a winter-long dead soil. A poorly understood celebration of a deep connection of humanity with nature. Lost for many in today’s to-the-bone industrialised and digitalised world.
But for many, it’s primarily a vacation period, in which kids are free from school, most people are free from work and families gather to spend time together. In coastal regions of Colombia and Venezuela, Semana Santa is all about visiting the beach and having a good time together. This famously includes beach parties with dancing and very probably cumbia as well! In the Netherlands too, people make up an excuse every weekend to celebrate something with a good night out. Some weekends just a little more than others. These recurring theme-parties too belong the same cultural palette, which is constantly being reinvented..
But now, music!!
Like I said in my last post, the Chilean netlabel Regional Label is on top of its game. This week it’s SidiRum, the cumbia-dub-tronica project of the Argentinian songwriter Nicolás Bruschi, who delivers the mixtape. This mix, featuring quite a lot of zouk-bass next to cumbia, is so good that I can’t describe it properly in words without becoming more bombastic and superlative dependent than my normal style already is.. I wanted to move through it quickly to get a good impression of the style but I just couldn’t stop listening and so I sat through it from beginning to end: 45 minutes of sheer passion and joy. You know what, I an’t gonna tell anything further, just try it for yourself and get hooked on this!!
I didn’t realise is before this post (blame my own stupidity) but Yo Me Llamo Cumbia, aired on the radio both in Chile and in Spain, is project of the same person, the Santiago based Dj Murúa, who is behind the radio programme which broadcasts the Regional Label mixtapes and is also a co-founder of that label! This week was already the 33d session of this fantastic project which ususally explores the side of cumbia and latin-folk bass which stays very close to its roots. This mixtape again features many tracks from SSC fasvourites, including TribilínSound, El Remolón and Real Cumbia Activa! Be surprised by some unexpectedly deep and heavy electronic bass sounds in this one..
Noisy Botas is a mixtape project from the forward-looking Latin label KONN Recordings, focused on bringing together the most daring, alternative and spacey vibes from the broad spectrum of nu-cumbia and transnational bass. This second edition is again delivered by the Cologne (Germany) based Mexican Dj Sonidero Sin Dinero Sound System and moves from cumbia to 3ball to latin-trap, but always with a grimey, galactic atmosphere to it. Time to put on your pointy boots, fasten the seat-belts and enjoy your trip!
If you’re living in Mexico City, you must have been to or at least heard of the Day Off events: indie-flavoured Sunday Evening parties which always bring the hottest grooves which vary between cumbia, tropical bass, alterative-urban, reggae, techhouse and funky vintage. Names such as Frikstailers, Schlachtofbronx and Uproot Andy have prominently featured in their lineups. They also organise yearly DJ contests to scout new talent. This year is the second edition. Next time I will spend a separate post on it, posting more entries but for now, Sonora Rumbatron, who uploaded this great mixtape to his Soundcloud, has the support of Generation Bass!!
Pedrolito Radioglobal releases a new cumbia/tropical mixtape every month. Every time I get his new promotion in my mailbox, I realise that another month has passed already. But deciding taking time to breath, sit back and listen to it at least provided some relief. This month’s edition is a combination of styles that I definitely hope to see explored more. It involves hot, urban and pop flavoured cumbia villera alongside more alternative forms of cumbiaton and oldskool hiphop fusions.. Perfect vibes to show cumbia to a more urban, less electronic dance oriented crowd!!
Last week I talked a bit on the place of cumbia in the more mainstream Latin scene. Even though this is not always that visible, like in the Netherlands, for many people cumbia deserves an equal place between salsa, merengue, bachata, mambo or reggaeton. LaCoQuillita is one of the best, if not THE single best channel/digital magazine for all things Latin-urban, delivering the best reggaeton, salsa, bachata and hiphop latino, on an almost daily basis. Once in a while they support cumbia as well. This mixtape from yesterday is the most recent example, a nice selection of all-time-classics, mixed by the New York based latin alrounder DJ Rabid!
The only EP release I could find this week is actually not cumbia, but ‘camanchaca‘: a blend of uptempo tropical latin grooves with a wide range of experimental styles including IDM, 8-bit, acid-house, deep house and breakbeat which originated in Buenos Aires. Cabeza Netlabel only posted the second track of the EP as a teaser..
Dj RAYO also uploaded a promo, in the form of a snippetmix, for an EP that’s still on the way. As soon as it’s out, we’ll update you!
I no longer need to tell you that Qechuaboi is a talented musician who is equally in his own element when doing cumbia as when doing experimental music beyond cumbia. Because of the massive amount of tunes to be reviewed this week and me being short of time all in between family stuff and even some study related works.. I post only his cumbia tune this week, but don’t forget to check out all his other stuff, which is equally mindblowing! The concept of ‘Tantay’ in the Qechua language is what most Easter vacations are about for most families or sometimes groups of friends to: to come together for a reunion.. What could be a better track to start with than this wildly spacey trip of a tune which would make you curious what kind of reunion the producer had in mind..
Señor Chancho, one of the founders of Regional Label, is a versatile cumbiambero and tropicalist. This happy, dembowtronic remix of a traditional cumbia classic is a free teaser for his upcoming EP which will appear soon!
DASH Slktr is a Colombian tropicalist whose Crank EP we supported with a special post last week. This week he subtly cumbiafied a smooth rap hit from Schoolboy Q ft. Kendrick Lamar which will without any doubt evoke a spark of summer for the contemporary-hiphop-minded reader!
Alto Perú is a band from Buenos Aires which we have supported a regularly in earlier days. The’ve been away for about a year and their comeback with a live recorded performance of a pop-flavoured reggae-cumbia song last month unfortunately escaped my attention..
And this week they are back again, with this delicious cumbia-rock song ‘Soy un Marramacho’ which means, as far as I know, something like ‘I’m a weirdo’..
Dj Pase is this one of the two most important new discovery made this week, I saw this tune in one of the cumbia groups on Facebook and was hooked right away.. If you, like myself, a’re a fan of the dreamy, trippy vibe of dub as well as dark-rough experimental sounds, ‘la Congona del dUb’ is gunna be your thing! Grab it here!
My other new favourite is Sonido Erre! This experimental cumbia-philosopher who consciously named himself after the ‘R’ sound (as pronounced in Spanish), a relatively unique and very powerful sound in human language, keeps his beats basic but focuses on carefully chosen synths and hypnotic melodic harmonies..
In this newest release he explores mellow but dark, gothic-flavoured synths in a melodic production that goes in the direction synthpop!
And last week, he teamed up with spectral-dub producer Ánimal Terrénal for this delicious tune.. Dub sound effects making it equally dark and dreamy but the addition of a happy, more traditional cumbia-bassline, a deep bass synth and accordion give it passionate dance-drive at the same time!
Awilix is an electrorocker from Tultepec, Mexico, who who decided about a year ago to become a digital-cumbiambero and dedicate himself to 100% danceable music! This week, he makes his debut on SSC with this nice experimental-acid-techno flavoured cumbia tune! Don’t forget to check out his other tunes, which are great too!
There is a growing number of 3ball djs who go multigenre, producing 3ball next to reggaeton, cumbiaton and even moombahton, trap or EDM. Dj Saiber from Mexico City has built up quite an extensive list of danceable tunes and demo-snippets over the last half year and I’ve been waiting for a good occasion to blog him here. This new tune, produced together with Dj Luibser is typical ‘Mexico-City-style’, a sequence of short snippets with different grooves and sounds, interspersed by signature tags and other vocal samples. Every snippet is kindof little track in itself and experiments with a variety of delicious percussion sounds, and synths and effects!
The final newcomer is Conocutah, a former jungle kid and recent cumbia convert based in Madrid, and with a unique, experimental-tropical style. I selected two of his first series of tunes, which he uploaded only two weeks ago. Enjoy!
And yess, finally.. the banger section:
Dj Gabriel 8A, based in Jacksonville Texas, is another producer of 3ball in combination with cumbia and even trap whom I haven’t been able to blog yet. This fresh new release from yesterday, featuring vocals of DJ & MC Extremo Poder, has so much of a perfect energetic drive to gather crowds on the dancefloor like a magnet that I decided to move this newcomer to the banger-section!
As always, I preserve the pop-cumbifications for the very end, to close my posts with a happy vibe!
Exta Machine, a.k.a. Los Machines, delivers a fusion of Nicole Scherzinger & T.I.’s 2007 hit ‘Whatever You Like’, an accordionised version of the lead melody of Tiësto’s ‘Lethal Industry’ and tasty cumbia grooves!!
Dr. Dré ft. Snoop Dogg’s ‘Still D.R.E.’..
And Justin Timberlake’s ‘Señorita’!!
That was it for now.. See you next (or actually this) week!