The first thing that hit me about REM was that anguished, pained, majestic, melancholic muezzin-like wail emanating from the voice of the enigma that is Stipe.
Next came his lyrics, what he said, and the way he sang the words, the words he used, some of the most haunting, intelligent & enigmatic. Half of the time I didn’t know what he was singing about but it just sounded right, it sounded complete & it moved me.
A few of my creative writing pieces were published many moons ago & in one poem (one I was probably most proud of) ran the line ..”As Michael Stipe says…..to improve their business acumen…” from “Exhuming McCarthy”. That’s how much he meant to me, he infiltrated my life in this way.
The first REM record that I heard was Document & it was a grower, took me some time to appreciate its real beauty, took a few listens to really get into it but once it gets into your skin, it never leaves.
This has some truly amazing and unique sounding tracks on it and most notable for me were tracks like the Indian-sitar inspired epic King of Birds, The One I Love and the brilliantly named Lightnin’ Hopkins who was an awesome blues guitarist but I don’t think the song has anything to do with him…the enigma that is Stipe!
The first REM record that I fell in love with & which is still my favourite is Green. The whole album is solid from start to finish including the last hidden track which is one of my faves on the whole release. From the same album, my all time fave REM song is “Hairshirt”. I had no clue what a Hairshirt was and I didn’t really care. I love being in love with something that I don’t fully understand. All I knew was that here was a man who was hurting real bad. The track just knocked me out, it didn’t feel of this world, it came from somewhere else, very deep, spiritual & transcendental. Indeed, upon writing the foreword to the mix, for the first time I looked up the definition of Hairshirt & it means exactly how that track made me feel:
“self-imposed punishment, suffering, sacrifice, or penance”.
Out of Time sound tracked a period of my life when I was living in London. When I first heard Country Feedback, it took me days to recover from the anguish of it. A song that pierces right thru you! This album was their most commercial offering to that date and spawned the incredible Losing My Religion which still sends shivers down my spine. Other faves include Belong, Half a world away, Endgame and the exceptionally awesome Texarkana which is the best track that my Birmingham homies Duran Duran never made.
The album also offered 2 of the most irritating tracks in the whole REM catalogue, Shiny Happy People and Near Wild Heaven!
Automatic for the People was the one & only album that my GF at the time & now wife has ever purchased for me, it was a birthday present & so that also holds a special place in my heart. Plus John Paul Jones from Zeppelin arranged the strings on it. It was probably the most cohesive & complete album after Green. Once again, this is a pure delight from start to finish albeit I wasn’t into the Sidewinder track and Everybody Hurts is a little cheesy.
Monster saw them taking a departure from the REM we knew & I really loved the harder, more experimental nature of this release. Plus it contained my second most beloved track “Let me in” which Stipe recorded in tribute to his friend Kurt Cobain. But I do not think of Cobain when I listen to this song, it transcends that context and becomes a song about “me”, about “us”. Stipe always makes you feel that he is singing about “us” & that is magical.
I felt that REM lost a bit of their gravitas after Monster but New Adventures & Up really had some special moments on them like E-Bow, Electrolite, Be Mine & At my most beautiful.
Not one to delve into people’s personal lives, especially of the famous, I only found out most recently that Stipe came out as a “queer artist” as he himself puts it. Not that this matters, it doesn’t matter. It matters as much as some dude saying he’s hetero but it sort of made sense of the pain that this man was communicating through his music and words. Being in a world where he was probably made to feel different, disenfranchised, unequal, scared, weird, of not belonging, being made to feel like an outsider!
For me Stipe is one of the greatest white male rock vocalists of all time. No-one else sounds like him; he is in a league of his own. Very few are able to express a heart-felt anguish & pain like he does. No-one else sounds quite as genuine & sincere as he does. Few others have the muezzin like wail that he has in his voice. That is his trademark!
This mix is full of the tracks from the REM catalogue that mean so much to me. There are a whole bunch of acoustic tracks on the mix making it sound like an unplugged session but this was for me REM at their most beautiful. Of course I love stuff like Man on the Moon, Frequency, So Central Rain, One I love & so many more but I wanted to keep this mix personal & cohesive to me. So lots of great stuff that the casual REM listener is likely to be more familiar with are missing.
This is my personal & beloved collection of Outsider Songs from REM at their most beautiful!
Unfortunately, Mixcloud keeps deleting my upload for copyright and I won’t risk uploading it on to Soundshite and so here’s a We Transfer link that expires in 7 days on 7th March:
Just about a month after i first wrote about Oligarkh from St.Petersburg HERE ON GB – they have released a brand new album! It`s better sounding than the 1st one, but with relatively same idea of fusing Russian religious and folk music with hip hop, trap, EDM (whatever that may be) and beyond. Same old formula, just enhanced. Check it out:
The album is for sale on iTunes, but we have exclusive free download of the 1st album track RIGHT HERE!!!
So far 2016 has continued the powerful, lively music spirit of the second half of 2015, delivering just as much if not more fantastic releases in a short time. The avant-garde club movement is still leading the transformation of the music landscape, which now seems to be slowly moving out of its chaotic singularity and slowly solidifying into a new configuration. Some shift can be witnessed already:
1.) the increasing rise to high fame of the avant-garde club movements and its most orominent artists, not in a ‘commercial dance’ way but rather as a form of high art and culture, joining, like the jazz movement, the canon of classical music (Sonic Acts Academy more or less takes this approach)
2.) an ever closer approach of the old global bass approach towards the avant-garde club sound (ATODAMADRE‘s remix pack testifies of this and there are many more examples)
3.) the club underground is not only fusing with global bass, but also increasingly with the (excuse my problematic term use) “post-internet” underground, particularly its recent wave of nightcore, kawaii retro-rave and fascination with non-ironic kitchy angelic aesthetics, thereby moving away from the more dark neo-cyberpunk flavoured flavours (these three directions are then yet joined all together most prominently by visionary duo Ideal Corpus who have pioneered this unique combination of styles ever since they started back in the days)
Does this essential selection reflect all of these shifts adequately? No. Yet they are so fundamental that I had to spread out a clearer picture of the developments of the beginning of this year over two episodes. Wait for the next one, it’s coming up soon!
The Argentinian conservatory musician Moro’s masterpiece San Benito is by far the most essential release to have come out in the first months of the year for many reasons, but foremostly because he is the first (as far as I know) Latin American artist to have released on the NON label. This is a milestone not that many people might realise. NON’s mission is to unearth the treasures of pan-African identity and heritage from centuries of colonial oppression and erasure. Nowhere is this erasure and mental colonalism more refinedly vicious and hidden than in Latin America. Argentina in particular. Some Latin American countries, Brazil in particular, have a clear longstanding and long celebrated African heritage, which even there is still ridden with anti-blackness shame and internalised white supremacy. Yet in Argentina however, the once considerable afro-descendant population it once had, along with its cultural heritage, has been systematically dilluted and obscured upon the 20th century waves of European immigration, a largely forgotten history even inside Argentina.
SAN BENITO is exemplary of the awakening of the African heritage and black identity in Latin America, which has never gotten the deserved recognition as an essential pillar of Latin culture as indigenous heritage has. The productions forcefully rub away the thick layers of Europeanisation that have rendered the African origins of Argentinian folk music, tango in particular, unrecognisable. The skeletal, industrial rhythms, powerful water sounds, screams and ambient pads create an atmosphere of cosmic tension. The legacy of generations of oppression and injustice, gathered into an oceanic reservoir of resistance, beating against the fortified coast of the dominant, colonial privileges in cultural consciousness, not only in Argentina but everywhere.
London underground OG Endgame is one of my most personally underrated favourites in terms of blog support. His style, holding the perfectly balanced middle between dembow or tarraxo rhythms and melodic grime as well as between dancable club or rave music with music and music to be consumed as a conceptual artistic experience. Savage EP is his newest EP, released last month by the influential avant-garde club label & platform Purple Tape Pedigree, which has also released work by other important club producers such as Joey la Beija, Eaves or MM.
Most tracks on the EP are ‘riddims’, whether that is a symbolic reference the shared Jamaican heritage of both reggaeton and grime or an invitation to bridge the culture of track-centred club culture with the MC-based culture of dancehall is left to guess. But music wise it certainly does both at the same time. Endgame captures the energy of both afro-Latin urban styles and London’s basement futurism with a delicate sound that is equally capable of standing on its own as it could would be perfect beats for dancehall, reggaeton or rap artists to complete with vocals.
I’ve known uv ac, short for unverified account, only since Ideal Corpus‘ online streaming event ‘c a r e‘ which I visited recently. It was a fascinating experience, especially because it was held not in a youtube-sharing platform like the URL FUTUREFEST, but in a Tinychat video chatroom, where the artists performed live on webcam, varying between DJ’ing, livesets, live MC’ing and live dance performances. uv ac is a perfect example of a whole new upcoming movement of artists – of which Kamixlo’s brother Uli-K is one of the most prominent – who not only combine and reinterpret a wide number of genres, but use these sounds to create whole new vocal songs. This pushing the disappearance of the divide between track based electronic/club music and vocal music beyond the realm of hiphop and grime, which is a very exciting development. Next to that, this movement differs from the main trend in the avant-garde club scene of using dystopian, ethereal cyber-futuristic imagery, going instead for a sound and aesthetics reflecting non-ironic ‘kitschy’ angelic cuteness and emo-romanticism, fused with the nostalgic smoothness of mid 00’s RnB and zouk. This style will definitely grow bigger this year and we at Generation Bass are already feeling it.
I must confess that I wasn’t able to watch the entire event all the time and I missed uv ac’s performance so to my shame I have no idea yet who is behind this account. I will get more information soon!
This compilation has been out for a while already but unfortunately, I haven’t had the occasion yet to blog it so far. GoldenHall Records is a relatively new label & collective focusing on juke, future bass and avant-garde club music in Europe. After releasing a number of individual singles over the last year, #INTERNETISFAMILY is their first compilation pack, with 11 diverse tracks in different flavours including juke, grime, baltimore club, jersey club, post-trap and anything in between. As Generation Bass we’ve always been enthousiastic about bringing different underground flavours and genres together and collectives like this are a good example of how scenes joining forces together like a family will likely reach ever wider audiences in the near future, URL as well as IRL.
#weirdkids is another cross-scene underground initiative but rather focusing on accessibility, they go for the most boundary crossing extravangance and creativity. Last week, they released their third compilation with 19 wildly experimental, futuristic club tracks that range between hardcore-juke, ambient trap, post-vaporwave, kawaii club, witch-grime, deconstructed dream-trance and more. It wouldn’t do justice to specifically spotligth specific artists or tracks because they’re all equally groundbreaking. Keep expecting more from #weirdkids.. we at Generation Bass are a fan!
HTS, acronym for Handle The Sound, is a Lille based label curated by Classical Trax family member Juliette Boos. The label has been active for over three years now, but after a short series of sporadic single releases, came to full force with the first volume of Mermaid Compilation. In continuation of the first edition, Vol.2 brings 10 diverse, expressive club tracks again, with influences from juke, ambient grime, baltimore club, dembow, future tarraxo and more. Less future-beats flavoured melodic maximalism this time and more stomping drums and conceptual ambient filling. What makes this compilation especially essential, next to the music in itself, is that it shows the extent to which all kinds of flavours and sounds have firmly become part of the repertoire of club music as a new umbrella.
Then now a major shoutout to two producers who are pioneering the middle ground between the sound of the avant-garde club movement and old ‘global bass’. D-DOTs from London, whom we featured frequently before, is the first I want to spotlight. His soundcloud and previous releases record shows his musical background in genres like moombahton, kuduro, zouk bass and jungle terror. With Faya EP, he takes a new direction, focusing less on EDM-esque buildups, drops and ‘crazy laser synths’, and more on the rhythms themselves. These are not as skeletal and mechanical as with most club producers yet but they definitely have a much more grungy club vibe about them than most of global bass’ persistent tendency to wrap the beats into fruity, pseudo-Caribbean always-summer-fantasy flavours. This is definitely an exciting development if any movement of bridging the two worlds might emerge, we’d be stoked to assist. As for ‘Faya’, I don’t know if there’s a relation with the Surinamese word ‘faya’, which can mean ‘fire’ as well as ‘fucked up’, in any possible interpretation for each, or if it means something else. I’d be curious to know…
The other, even clearer example is Kid Cala from Madrid. We first found out about his music via a Caballito project already three years ago, featuring a very early zouk-bass/lento track, which was even before my time as a blogger. Ever since, he has pushed a diverse, never conforming spectrum of sounds, some more or less following trends in global bass, while others staying closer to the roots in dominican dembow, reggaeton or the hiphop side of trap. Even more interestingly, he also never persistently conformed to popular formulaic aesthetics going around in the wider global bass world as, ‘cartoonesque exotisation & objectification of ass’, ‘colourful fruits & jungle animals’, ‘hipster babes’, ‘aztec astronauts’ and so on. Instead, by varying different things and developing a unique style he comes very close to the Dutch ‘urban-eclectic’ approach to sounds like moombahton. I realise only now that he never got the recognition for that here on the blog.
Already with his previous EP, ‘Damnbow‘ (which we slept on..), he decided to push his passion for doing something unique into new territory by drawing in flavours from grime, dark trap, chicago drill, King Doudou-esque future reggaeton and avant-garde club music. This line is continued in his freshest release, a bootleg pack of classic tunes from the early heydays of techno and trance, recontextualised with energetic rhythmical flavours of dominican dembow, bubbling, jersey club and trap.
I recently found out that I happen to have plenty of IRL common friends with Halp, an upcoming experimental ambient producer from Amsterdam whom I still haven’t had the occasion yet to meet in person. I found out about him both via the Classical Trax community and especially via his exciting ‘Untitled Piano Tune‘ contribution to Oracles’ Divination II compilation, supported in our 8th Essential EP’s edition. While his previous album ‘~~~‘ – released by the American label NOREMIXES under his other artist project Dow Jones Brotherhood – already incorporated lots of grime and club influences blended into a largely a-rhythmical ambient-noise environment, with Polar, he fully dedicated himself to the characteristic fusion of dystopian-futuristic grime melodies and stomping mechanical, decontructed club beats. Especially from a producer point of view, Halp is certainly one of the few lead representatives of the current wave of avant-garde club music and now this world is opening up in this country right now as we speak, we will certainly hear more from him this year.
For a long time, the common expectations were that futurebeats, the maximalistic, melodic & crispy next generation of bass music, would be the uncontested successor umbrella of EDM. But, as with many predictions, it didn’t happen that way. Yet, futurebeats nevertheless managed to become and stay a stong, interconnected semi-underground scene of artists with diverse approaches and sounds. It is therefore even the more interesting how futurebeats is developing now, as the avant-garde club scene is gaining influence and the notion of ‘club music’ is now taking on the designated role of the new umbrella for electronic music. One of the most prominent similarities is the influence of grime on both movements. Grime occupies a peculiar place in the family tree of ‘UK-bass’ music, not entirely hiphop, not ‘dance music’ such as the way in which dubstep evolved when becoming ‘incorporated’ into the umbrella of EDM. It might be grime’s background as an MC-centred genre which has created a certain minimalism, which is one of the main refreshing style-breaks in sound of today, compared to ‘bass music’s American interpretation focused on loud and crazy low-frequency textures. Maximalism vs. minimalism is still an important difference between the sound of future beats and avant-garde club, but the difference is becoming smaller.
The experimental futurebeats label Saturaterecords is always the best indicator of how things will develop in the near future. Grime is one of the main flavours on the enormous compilation and among its 31 tracks, there are already several who would fit equally well on more club-oriented fusion labels such as GoldenHall, #weirdkids or HTS. Also interesting is the compilation’s step towards the psychedelic side of bass music, especially in the visual design, paving the way for two new directions at the same time, while staying accessible for a broad audience.
DJ Pozor from Budapest has just released a remix EP on French VLAD Label. Go grab this:
Let’s see what happens when Arabic and Balkan melody or Hungarian hiphop meets contemporary bass music. Tropical rhythms, urban lowlines, east-european identity – this is Dj Pozor’s brand new remix EP.
Remixed artists come from different worlds. Canadian virtuoso violinist Briga turns to moombahton, Belgian Antwerp Gipsy-Ska Orkestra jump on a drum and bass traktor that rides with 174 bpm, and south-Hungarian heavy-drinker rappers from Szeged tell their stories on reggaeton-trap beats.
The theme? Conservative societies know the sweetest sins. That’s why in the Balkans so many people drink like hell and deal often with prostitutes. Maybe it’s not a coincidence that the only universally eastern-european word is “kurva”, despite the distant language families. Although these topics are still kinda taboo, somehow everybody is connected…”
We can never get enough of Manchester based Sufi Dub pioneer Celt Islam on this blog. Although over the course of over 10 years his sound and style has not changed that much, it has nevertheless constantly evolved in a cycle that continues to swirl and sound totally unique. Just like the whirling dervishes, Celt Islam is here to stay for a long while yet and Allahu Akbar.
FRICTION is a sublime EP of oriental electronic music and Celt Islam is one of the most gifted producers of his kind. We can trace his melodies and samples back in the most progressive part of Islam: Sufism. He is on a mission to unleash the Sufi spirits in the world of 2016 ; a philosophy which is essentially inclusive, tolerant to difference and other religious systems as well as borderless by default .
“Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.” (Mevlana Rumi)
أخبرني عندما يأتي إليك أنك تعرف لي من بلادي تضحية
Tell me that when we meet you will know me by my sacrifice
حيث يمكن أن تبقى السماء والأرض جنبا إلى جنب مع روحي
where heaven and earth can rest along with my soul
مع العلم الخاص بك الرحمة والشفقة
Knowing your mercy and compassion
وسوف تقع على وجهي ويبكي
I will fall to my face and cry
أنا لم يرفض لك ولكن قد اعتنقت جذوري
I have not rejected you but have embraced my roots
حتى أن كنت قد يكون من دواعي سرور
So that you may be pleased.
If you’re new to the blog then a Cumbia Rebajada is basically slowing down the beat of a Cumbia and here’s an awesome new mix by one of my new fave selectors from Mexico, Loris who pays her dues to this style of Cumbia.
Cumbia sobre el mar – El Búho (Edit)
Quimey Neuquen (Chancha Via Circuito remix) – Jose Larralde
Caracol (Chancha Via Circuito remix) – Tremor
Captain Planet – S.S Esfahan (Thornato remix)
Tecolotin – El Búho
Cumbia Malandra – Cholofonics
Cactus – COCOTAXI
Ch’uwa yaku kawsaypuni (Nicola Cruz Remix) – Luzmila Carpio
Yolanda (El Búho Remix) – Emir Buscon
La subienda (El Búho Remix) – Gabriel Ochoa
Luz de Cumbia (Loris Rebajado Edit) – Anibal Velasquez y Su Conjunto
Agradezco a Andrés Ramírez y David Echeverría por tanto conocimiento musical 🙂
Balkan Beat Box, my favourite Israeli band has a new video! It`s a first single from their forthcoming album (expect it in autumn this year). Check it out:
In unlikely case that you don`t know who are Balkan Beat Box, here are the words about them taken from their website:
If you ask the members of Balkan Beat Box to describe their sound you’ll get a different answer from each individual; you’ll also likely get a different answer from the individuals if you ask them the same question multiple times. This is partially because BBB’s contemporary cross-cultural musical polyglotism cavorts with many styles, but this is also because the band doesn’t want to be tied to any one answer. They revel in the fact that their influences are worldwide and given equal value, but this is no mere mash-up, this is music made by citizens of a world culture.
Hailing from New York and Tel Aviv, Balkan Beat Box (aka BBB) blend Balkan brass, earth shattering bass, hip-hop and dub electronics to exhilarating effect. Their live shows are explosive affairs, with singer Tomer Yosef delivering his sometimes politicised lyrics with passionate performances always sending audiences into a frenzy. The result is an intoxicating and intense sonic assault which takes no prisoners and makes no apologies for its outspokenness.
Ori Kaplan, Tamir Muskat, and Tomer Yosef burst out of New York City’s underground in the mid-2000s introducing the world to their distinctive brand of music and setting BBB’s reputation as a formidable live act. They became a favorite of audiences and critics alike the world over.
Over four albums the band have constantly explored new musical territory. They’ve visited the Balkan and Mediterranean diaspora of their namesake in 2005’s Balkan Beat Box, 2007’s Nu Med, the Far East with Blue Eyed Black Boy 2010, and produced an exhilarating hybrid of electronic raga on Give 2012. The Independent has called them “deftly programmed global fusion” adding “a band I can’t wait to see live.” Give was widely celebrated in the press, with Songlines saying: ‘BBB are as outspoken and uncompromising as ever. It’s hard to resist the album’s intensity’.
Recently, the band had an intense period of collaborating with other artists such as the Yemenite dance music group A-Wa who are currently hitting the festival circuit, the turnt up rock group Loco Hot, and writing with producers and songwriters around the world. And their horns have been making marks in samples in the pop music world. Balkan Beat Box has much new music in the works, 2016 promises to be their best year yet!
“If BBB is world music, it’s in the most literal sense – because it can move anyone in the world.” – Time Out
So yeah, go check out their SoundCloud, they got some freebies in there:
Inti Che – Manantial (Folcore/Konn Recordings/Aztec Electronic Music)
This is one of the greatest releases that I have had the pleasure of listening to this month. Inti Che never fails. Hypnotic atmos and synths progressively meet potent drums and shakers, and create this all in one profound dense atmosphere. The panning on these tracks is fantastic and boosts the whole experience so well. I couldn’t choose one track to represent the whole album, so make sure you check out the whole thing. There’s even a track featuring Rodrigo Gallardo from Matanza. And thanks to those involved in making this album free to all of us !
I mentioned Nicola Cruz’s remix from the 1st volume of Orcas Remixes a few months back and was pleasantly surprised to see the Vol 2 taking shape so quickly, and with great names on board: Chancha Via Circuito, David Last, King Coya & MI. Chancha Via Circuito’s deep & organic remix of ‘Uno Resuena’ has left me eager to discover the 3 other remixes which should be available by the time you read this blog. In his remix, I love how Chancha integrates his world into the original vibe of the tune; you can really feel his sounds progressively surrounding her voice; the drop half way through is amazing !!!!
If you missed them, don’t forget to check the original ‘Orcas’ album released on Jumpsuit Records in April 2015, & ‘Orcas Remixes Vol 1’ released a month ago on Black Swan Sounds with remixes by Nicola Cruz, El Búho, SaQi & Sleepers Work.
VA – Sonidos De La Jungla (Fértil Discos)
“After receiving contributions from more than 40 artists, Fértil Discos is pleased to announce its first compilation, gathering the most interesting representatives of the south american electronic scene. Following the wave initiated by albums such as Chancha Via Circuito’s Amansara and El Remolón’s Selva, we’ve decided to adopt this environment as an inspiration, taking home recordings of birds, crickets, rivers, ayahuasca’s ícaros and amazonic sounds as leit motivs.” (Fértil Discos)
This album is beautiful and brings a really diverse insight into the current tropical wave. The sounds are organic, crunchy, vibrant, true,,…. and each track feels like it could be a different path in the jungle. And to make it all even nicer, the whole thing is available for free. Thank you to Fértil Discos and all the artists involved in this album.
“María arrullá la guagua = María calma al bebe = María calm the baby.”
Absolute tune !!! It has been on repeat since he kindly sent it to us a few weeks ago. Thank you from La Selva. The vocals are amazing, so powerful; just like the more instrumental moments in the tune, with beautiful marimbas, violins, bongos, congos, ….and a wicked subtle, crunchy bassline. The tune continuously evolves, with really good drops catching you on the way! The great news is that this is apparently one of the tracks from his forthcoming EP !
Gaiteiros De Lisboa – Se Fores ao Mar Pescar (El Bu?ho Remix)
I’d never heard of the Gaiteros De Lisboa and was amazed when I heard these pipes ! We’re used to tracks with LatinAmerican gaita sounds in them, but here, combined with the melancholic vocals, they bring you into a completely different world; it’s more like a slow walk along the misty Lisbon waterfront. El Búho has kept the essence of the vocals and pipes and added a lovely deep beat to them, full of atmos, reverbs, delays, and little details that enhance the whole atmosphere. Love it !
Tactical Groove Orbit has released several really cool remixes and new tunes over the past few months, but this one is a personal favorite. Proper dancefloor business. The production is really tight and potent. I hadn’t heard anything using Calle 13 vocals in a while and it was worth the wait; they work really well here. TGO also leaves a lot a room in his tune for the instruments to take over and add to the festive and bouncing vibe. We will have the pleasure of playing with him for the first time in Rodez (FR) next week, alongside many other french tropical ravers (more info: Balkan Vs Tropik https://www.facebook.com/events/363453160445203/ )
Tribilin Sound – Cholo Cósmico
This guys never stops ! Everytime I am on soundcloud I have the great surprise to see that he has uploaded something new, and this time he’s gone deep and I love it.
A deep and thick atmosphere with heavy cowbells and shakers that take you on a 4 minute journey into some sort of synthesized tropical jungle. Close your eyes and enjoy.
Chakana – Inkarri (Colectivo Huachuma)
Another incredible musical journey ! Seems like 2016 is starting off with a very deep and atmospheric vibe; I like it !! Thanks to the almighty Silly Tang for sending this one my way. I had heard of the Colectivo Huachuma and their parties around Rennes in France (check them out if you are in the area), but hadn’t had the pleasure to hear Chakana’s productions before. This tune is a constant progression and develops profound sounds, with new elements and superb vocals that come & go in such a smooth way that you are taken into a progressive psychedelic tropical journey right into the Andes !
And you can keep on travelling with the Second mixtape in the Flavour of the Month series on Shika Shika, which was released at the end of January and mixed by Barrio Lindo. It’s a beautiful hour long smooth tropical trip around the globe with a great selection of tunes, including some amazing forthcoming releases which I had the pleasure to discover.
It’s not often that you have 3 hours of spare time to listen through a mix of that length, but when you do, or when you have a few mates at home for a few drinks, you’ll be glad to have this great selection by the French Dj Turbo Boom-boom. Originally from the Grenoble and Saint-Etienne area, where he is still involved in the organization of several tropical parties such as ‘Tropical Clash’, he is now based in Paris and ready for some action ! This mix covers it all, in a really nice varied way, with classics, older tunes and recent releases of Cumbia, TropicalBass, Afro, Caribbean, Latin, Champeta, Kuduro, Tribal, Bullerengue ..
Perro Agradecido – Mata Hari Spy Dance (Official Video)
A cool new video came out last month from the Mexican psychedelic cumbia band Perro Agradecido. Might be a good opportunity for us ‘guiris’ to take note and learn a few moves.
This video reminded me to listen to their last album again,’Ánima en Pena’, which came out last summer. Pure psychedelic chicha business ! It’s amazing.
La Yegros – Chicha Roja (Official Video) (Soundway Records)
La Yegros is coming back at us with a new album in March: ‘Magnetismo’, to be released on the great label Soundway Records. Meanwhile, here is a really cool animated video for one of the tracks on the album. It’s sounding & looking great: full of life, with a catchy rhythm, traditional instrumentals, subtle electronic hints, her lovely voice,…. ! As most of you will be, we are really looking forward to and are curious to hear the whole album. Keep your eyes out.
A Musical Journey – ZZK Films
“A Musical Journey is a documentary film exploring the story of the Argentine digital cumbia movement accompanying a band as they tour across Europe for the first time.”
ZZK Films brings to us a great insight into La Yegros’ band’s first European Tour, as well as a great outlook on the label itself, and an interesting overview of the development and growing of this tropical/cumbia scene all over Europe. It’s really worth a watch.
For all English speakers, the documentary is subtitled !
Keep informed about all forthcoming ZZK Films on http://zzkfilms.com/
I have to say I was gobsmacked when I saw this title appear on Fania Record´s soundcloud page. Celia Cruz remixed by the one and only Happy Colours. It has both the Celia and the Colours vibe and it creates this unique piece of sublime music.
Zurvolt – Shake (Caballito Netlabel)
Once again Caballito brings us some pure niceness ! This time it is the producer called Zurvolt who brings us this Ep “Tentacion” which to be honest is an all in one banger release! I love the production and the dark edge to some of these tunes. I choose this particular one because it has this kind of Dinamarca sound. Very dark but still very dancehall orientated.
Tropical Terror – Crujiente (Caballito Netlabel)
While I´am talking about Caballito, this is another work that was put out this month on their label. Watch out! This one is much more Cumbia orientated and has the perfect twisted psychedelic flavours we all love. Get a snake and start teaching him how to dance 😉
Rebajadoooooo ! I wanted to mention this radio show somewhere on the blog as it is a show I follow regularly. On this mix you can get some previews of some tracks by our hermano El Barba Dub, El Buho o Los Brujos. A very fine selection of lovely cumbia. Big up Radio Rebajado !
Turbo Sonidero Mix for Club Chai
Now this mix ! Once again THIS MIX ! I came across it at the beginning of the month and I truly love it ?¡ All the cumbia versions are very solid and it has this slight twist which makes the whole mix a very trippy journey ! Big up Turbo Sonidero everytime !
Bigote – Xiloton (Caballito Netlabel)
The new village grime favourite Mr Bigote once again hits us with this dope beat. Following the lines of artists such as the N.A.F.F.I crew, this track has the ability to make you feel intensely strange and make you brock out at the same time.
HNRY – Dónde estás Satanás!
Here we have it for me; The banger of the month. This track brought to us by HRY is a real pleasure to the ear for me, as I love the original. The re-edit of it sounds great. Minimal work but a true refix that keeps a real nice deep production. Been listening to this on loop all month !
Kumbia Boruka – Live 2015
Kumbia Boruka is a group originated from Lyon, France and when I caught a glimpse of this live video it really made me want to dig more into what they do and maybe try to get myself to Lyon to see them live¡ Wicked old school sounding cumbia band¡
La Sound – Diplo’s Riddim (Cumbia Reboot)(WorldwideMX)
Take your shoes off and get your booty shaking, this lovely bit of cumbia injected tropical funk really does the job. It combines catchy accordeon hooks with a lovely guitar and some sweet, sweet electronic atmos including everything from vocal cuts to party lasers. A nice fresh tune that makes you wish summer were here already!
DJ Caution – Donna Summer Vs Fito Olivares
One of the main protagonists of Madrid’s explosing tropical scene, Caution never fails to blend his sense of humour with a sense for the dancefloor. This Mash up features Donna Summer and Fito Olivares, an 80´s disco classic combined with a cumbia booty shaker. I haven´t had the opportunity to play this in the club yet but as usual it’s pretty tight and I can just imagine the happy faces!
Haris Pilton – Green Mamba 2016 (cumbia version)
Haris Pilton is back with a trademark Balkan Cumbia style, mixing catchy eastern riffs from a variety of instruments with mad vocals and a stepping beat. It also espouses a dub influence – I´m pretty sure this will sound good on a big system. Big up!!
Pablo Pachacutik – Afro-Andino (Hermanados En El Ritmo) (Regional)
Regional Label always brings something slightly different to the table. This release is no exception and sees Pablo Pachacutik bring us some cumbia mentalism. The album boasts a variety of style and features an avalanche of crazy sounds, where trippy synths mix with futuristic influences to great effect. Roll one up – it is a very interesting listen.
As usual from Andres Digital, expect an absolute belter of a mix for this 42nd mixtape from club Popozuda. He mixes guiros with ragga, tropical bass and moombah with a dancefloor vibe. Check the tracklist out, and enjoy the tunes. Don´t forget to get your lighter out!
Tincan – Ora Esatta Cumbia Edit
This is some experimental orchestral cumbia business! Epic uplifting melodies blend with lazer sounds with some crazy electronic beats for a pounding backdrop. Tincan brings some very original ideas to cumbia here, got to love the way it drops.
La Inédita – Chicha chicha (Pachanguito Remix)
This is a great piece of music – Pachanguito nails it with a party banger: this has upbeat fast cumbia beats and some great guitars and organs. The vocal touch on the top rounds it off nicely. A track for festivals and the great outdoors as it has a very summery vibe, it no doubt will work in the club just as well.
Cumbia With Colors (Dj Neber)
DJ Neber has undoubtedly been polishing his Hip hop cumbia style for a long time, and it really shows with a nicely executed stepper. Rootical colombian cumbia with hard hitting beats!
Folcore 050 – Sampler
This album was only slightly too late to fit into our last edition, so we were keen to make it up this time. This is a nicely varied LP with a nice mix of artists. There are some great cumbias, a few tropical dancefloor numbers, but also some tasty experimental / chill out bits. Listened to as a continuous LP, I found it really put me into a space, hitting me in all the right places. Check it out, there is something for everyone in this Folcore release.
Madrid´s tropical music scene has been making waves for a good couple of years, and, like a tropical avalanche, the progression seems to grow at exponential speed. Aside from the many parties that take place week in week out (special mention goes to Guacamayo Tropical, Sonidero Mandril, Manglar, and the many other very special events one can have the pleasure of attending), the radio shows (La Selva), Madrid´s tropical scene is also special for the collective it has progressively spawned, Conspiraciones Tropicales.
A meeting point where the city´s artists come together to promote the scene and culture, organise events, and showcase Madrid´s finest tropical creations.
After a long tropical winter, one of the collective´s many projects has borne its fruits. This one will get you sweating so hard you will remember the experience. Conspiraciones Tropicales Vol1 showcases a special part of Madrid´s nightlife, and the album certainly provides a tasteful example of what to expect in these gatherings.
Featuring a very special mix of tracks, Los Candeleros kick things off with a trippy chicha track. 2G1B delivers a killer 8 bit track featuring Secta Selectah, DJ Caution does his thing and gives us a funky Dembow that will rock any dancefloor, while Cholofoniks follows with an incredibly rolling experimental cumbia.
Guacamayo tropical brings the Jungle didjeridoo madness: Tropical Yisus´ contribution is a tasteful 80´s remix, and la Tremenda Jauria have an atmosperic electronic cumbia (beautiful!). Skywaka shakes up the dance with a lifting champeta, and Coconutah & Kaygee bring marimba flavours to 2016. Finally, the Silly tang offers an incredible dancefloor remix of a Juaneco classic!
The compilation was released on the 15th of February thanks to CASSETTE BLOG (BIG UP!), and is available for free download:
Amrit Bansie, a.k.a. ARK, is a beatmaker from Amsterdam about whom I know almost nothing else than that he has a Soundcloud and a Youtube account and made many beats until a year ago.
Most of his tracks are instrumental hiphop, experimental crossovers between hiphop, jazz and electronica. But next to that he has experimented with dembow and zouk beats, fused with ravey, angelic trance melodies and produced tracks which are totally fresh and relevant today. As far as I can tell from followers and comments overlap he has just experimented with these sounds by himself, without influence at all from either the global bass or the current avant-garde club movement.
Yet, his most recent tune totally sounds like it could be from Dinamarca!!
His bubbling-ragga-trance experiment has a very similar afreobeats vibe as Theoscicloff’s banger ‘Ritmo Dogg‘ which we blogged last week.
And another angelic oldschool trance flavoured bubbling/afrobeats tune I’m really feeling!
It’s a pity that the instrumental hiphop community is still quite separate from electronic music production, even now with the trillwave/post-trap stuff it’s coming closer together. Here a great track with the Indian influences we love so much, which at the same time totally fits in this exciting blurry area between instrumental hiphop and trap/twerk/drill influenced electronic and club music.
A dreamy melodic track, tagged as zouk, but holding the middle between dembow/moombahton on mid-tempo BPM range and the angelic sound of #Future Tarraxo…