Rhythm 'n' Roots

Musical Explorations.

Glasgow! (0)

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It has been too long but I have come out of my blog slumber back in Glasgow. I was awoken from this short term hibernation by Modeselektor and Resident Advisor. Their latest podcast (download here) features the germanic duo's bass driven selection. The one tune which really got me was Modeselektor's own remix of the headhunter track Prototype, here is a short clip played live by Moderat:

Forthcoming 12" release on Tempa Records.

I will shortly be doing some updates on the Glasgow music scene. After having been away for a
year it is good to be back and see club nights like Numbers, Fortified and Ballers Social going strong and sad to say goodbye to Kinky Afro who bow out at the Sub Club this Friday with special special guest Matthew Herbert!

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August's Rhythm 'n' Roots Mix goes back up to 130 BPM to bring all sorts of house, bongo-tech, ghettohall, dancequake, squarebass music for your ears. Many of the tunes were dug out of the big internet blogging crate and the others can be paid for (!!)

Download, put it on your walkman and jive.


  1. Rubidan & Lostbahnhof - Hold on Tight vs Clare Fischer - Descarga Yema Ya
  2. Karizma - The Ganni
  3. Plastician - Still Tippin' (Vocal Edit)
  4. Zombie Disco Squad - Eurovision (Mowgli Remix)
  5. Stush & Hard House Banton - We Nah Run (Sirens Riddim)
  6. Kenny Dope ft James Rouse - Money for Love
  7. Lady Chann & Sticky - Sticky Situation
  8. Headhunter - Physics Impulse
  9. Benga - Why is Everything Mono vs Twizzle - Skydiving (Greenmoney Remix)
  10. Zombie Disco Squad - Esperanto
  11. Boy 8 Bit - Baltic Pine
  12. Villa Diamante - Lykke Li vs Martyn

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Toddla T has been another one of those names which crops up all over the internet, be it remixes, hype or his mixes. A dancehall, funky, bashment junky, the young Sheffield lad has produced and remixed an awful lot and thus has created a big buzz, no doubt soon to be increased by the latest Fabric Live Mix CD. Toddla takes the reins for number 47 and mixes up all sorts. Out noooow.

Check out the entertaining videos on the BBC's Introducing site with him giving tips for up and coming artists:

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Thanks to one super super blog (Bass Music blog) I discovered another super super blog (Cooliado) with some super music and thing. Grab the mix recommended on the Bass Music blog for the reasons stated, a really interesting mix of techno-minimal-house which drops into neo-cumbia and finishes with The Doors. It was mixed by Un Mono Azul who was amongst the winners of the Fauna remix competition held by ZZK Records.

The inclusion of Faithless, Ricardo Villalobos, Animal Collective, Fauna, Missy Elliot, Renaissance Man, Kraftwerk and The Rapture all in one mix should be enough to wet the appetite!


The blog is full of good stuff and if you can wade through el español then there is a good read to be had and a some excellent music.

In their own words:

Congratulations for sniffing basslines. it's a good way to blow your mind. I wanna see you injecting yourself with harmony.Cheers

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New Radiohead (0)

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Mr York and co. have offered up a new tune on the W.A.S.T.E. site/as a torrent called These are My Twisted Words. Amid an awful lot of rumour and guesswork (as ever with Radiohead) the song first appeared as a rather suspicious torrent before the band stopped the rumour mill and and posted it on their blog for free.

Anyway, it is pretty darn good and proves that Radiohead have definately still got it.

Twisted Woods artwork

Download from their Dead Air Space blog here along with the tribute to the 111 year old First World War veteran, Harry Patch released a few weeks back.

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Posts have become a little sparse because I am in the middle of the countryside and working on lots and lots of music and not listening to enough! However, a couple of things caught my eye this weekend.

The wonderful FACT mix series reaches number 75, quite impressive really and celebrates with a mix by the man TRG. The mix shows TRG's UK funky house influences as with a fair few cross-over 2-step/dubstep producers these days. Tunes from the likes of US house mainstay Karizma and UK's Roska alongside a bunch of TRG's new tunes (Hitek House) and the TRG remix of L-Vis 1990's Untitled Groove. Grab it here: FACT 75

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L Vis 1990 New Mix (0)

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A summer mix from L-Vis 1990 (see down there) It is a funky house/2-step/4x4 style mix for those rare sunny afternoons! Check out the MJ Cole remix of United Groove.

Green=wetter than average summer

Link: L-Vis 1990 Mid Summer Mixtape

1. AM Roots – He Africa feat. Fred Mthembu
2. Rishi Romero – African Forest
3. Geeneus – Yellow Tail VIP
4. DVA – Jelly Roll
5. Conan liquid – The King
6. Untold – Just For You (Roska Remix)
7. DJ Gregory – Vasefa (Argy Remix Beats)
9. Karizma – Neccessarry Maddness
10. Greena – Tenzado
11. L-Vis 1990 – Hide
12. Tayo – Salvador Riddim
13. L-Vis 1990 – United Groove (MJ Cole Remix)
14. Bok Bok – Ripe Banana
15. Joy Orbison – Wet Look
16. Brackles – Get a Job
17. L-Vis 1990 – Untitled

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Free TRG tune (0)

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A free tune from Romanian producer extraordinaire TRG? Yes please. Thanks to Bass Music blog for this 2-step business:

"It's a remix of Al Haca, and it's a track that was actually done about two years ago, but never released by the label for whatever reason."

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L-Vis 1990 name keeps cropping up with his endless remixes, mix tapes (UK Funky house, Fabric promo mix, Dubplates) and production work (so called "dubblestep" creations). His musical knowledge is deep and his sound is refreshing.

This is a video of the mad United Groove released on Mad Decent:

Finally a couple of remixes:

Buraka Som Sistema - IC19 (L-Vis 1990 Remix)

L-Vis - Big Weekend (Generation Bass Blog)

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San Francisco based chef and music lover Roger Feely's Soul Cocina blog is a tasty mix mouthwatering recipes, food culture and musical explorations. A blend of global eats and beats.

Some Chicha music to go with your Peruvian Ceviche?

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If you haven't already heard of/checked out the Red Bull Music Academy then do so now. It is a big creative orgy held once a year around the world with special invited guests dishing out their wisdom to a group of budding producers, artists and DJs. The week long academy offers these lucky few the opportunity of a lifetime and is all about the vibe, apparently.

A Carl Craig remix workshop...

For those of us who didn't apply or didn't make the cut, the academy offers up videos of the lecture series and they are excellent. I just watched one with Joe Bataan (an hour and a half long!) The site is a great resource for hearing about the artists from the artists. Lectures by the likes of Mala from DMZ, MJ Cole, Carl Craig, Gilberto Gil, Goldie, Madlib, Michael Mayer and the list goes on!


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To celebrate July and my return to the UK I have changed the layout of the blog (one template for a prettier one!) and have completed the next instalment of the Rhythm 'n' Roots Mixes.

Number four of the ongoing mix series 35 minutes of old songs, new songs, remixed songs and songs fused together. Download here (or click the sheep) and check out the tracklisting and artists beloow:

I have swapped Buenos Aires for Derbyshire, England.

Rhythm 'n' Roots IV - Tracklisting
  1. Chicha Libre/Control Machete- Tres Pasajeros/Comprendes Mendes
  2. Collie Budz - Come Around (Kinky Electric Noise Cumbianativo Remix)
  3. Puba Grand - Get It (Toddla T Remix)
  4. Axel Krygier/Magot - Cumbia Tucumana/Als Ik Los Ga (Kid Kaio Remix)
  5. M.I.A./Kush Arora - Fire Fire/Weed Control
  6. Poncho Kingz - Space Cumbia (Sonidero Nacional Remix)
  7. Roots Manuva - Mind 2 Motion
  8. Modeselektor/The Fugees - Ready or Da Macka (DJ Elected Mix)
  9. Chancha Via Radiohead - A Punch Up at la Pachamama (No No No No No No No)
  10. Villa Diamante/Ukamau Y Ké - Emisor (Cumbia Style)/Periférico

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Rhythms (0)

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Hyperdub honcho Kode9 talking new book, non-musical rhythms and the tasty forthcoming Vinyl/CD/Digital super-release to celebrate it's fifth birthday:

August 31st 12" release.
October digital & CD release.

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The first I heard of Bolivian rapper Abraham Bojorquez was, unfortunately, his tragic and untimely death in May this year. Aged 26, he was run down by a bus in the city of El Alto (the huge sprawl which sits above La Paz.) I read an article on this website and since reading it have been on the lookout for some of his music. Thanks to Ghetto Bassquake I have managed to find an album by Ukamau y Ké, his group, and it lives up to the reputation.

Abraham Bojorquez ( Wara Vargas / www.lamalapalabra.tk)

Bojorquez learnt his trade in Brazil while working in a textile factory. Intrigued by the role rap played for the young people of the favelas (as a means of expression), when he returned to Bolivia in 2003 he went about creating a rap scene in El Alto. Founding the group Ukamau y Ké and starting open-mic sessions, Bojorquez was, as Ghetto Bassquake puts it, The Godfather of Bolivian Rap.

Wayna Tambo radio community station where Bojorquez had a show

He was first and foremost a rapper of the people, his songs often political and social, dealing with the problems faced by the native Bolivian people in light of the years of opression and struggle against autocratic and racist regimes, or indeed individuals. He brought Aymaran, (The first language of 73% of El Alto's population and 25% of Bolivia's) culture to hip-hop and to the world, changing between rapping in Spanish and Aymara. The personal account given by Benjamin Dangl on the above site or here is a testament to the young producer and MC. Here is another interesting article by Dangl from 2006 about Aymaran hip-hop in El Alto.

My own tribute is a remix of the Ukamau y Ké track La Coca, download below:

Ukamau Y Ké - La Coca (El Buho Remix)

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To celebrate Rinse FM's 15th birthday, the label is giving away a selection of tracks from some of it's contributors and hosts which happen to include some of the best producers around (Skream, Geenus, Skepta, Plastician.)

The 31st of July is the big date and, of course, they are holding a birthday bash down at Matter in London town, as expected, the lineup is stellar:

DJ’s - Skream v Benga / Ms Dynamite / Boy Better feat. Skepta + JME + Frisco + Maximum / Kode9 / Magnetic Man (Live Set) / Geeneus / Crazy Cousinz / Marcus Nasty / N–Type v Youngsta / Zinc / Slimzee / Newham Generals / Caspa / Spyro v Silencer v Vectra / Alexander Nut / Katy B / Circle / Chef v Plastician / Scratcha

MC’s - Pokes / Stamina / Versatile / Tippa / SP:MC / Crazy D

Head over to Rinse FM and get the tunes, includes VIPs, unreleased stuff: general goldmine. While you are there get into the radio shows and podcasts for some real future music. So far:

17th Geenus - Yellowtail (VIP Mix)

20th Zinc ft. Aloe Blacc - All Your Base

21st Plastician ft JME, Skepta and Tinchy - Still Tippin'

22nd Skream - Calous

23rd Scratcha DVA - Kill All A’Dem (VIP)

24th Geenus ft Katy B - As I (Skepta Remix)

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Amazonian Wave: Chicha Peruana 1

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I just read an article in The Guardian about a Madrid based label Vampisoul reissuing long lost music from Latin America and beyond. Their first release was a compilation of Peruvian Underground music from the 60s and 70s, including Peruvian funk, garage, psychedelia and chicha. The article reminded me of an album I have which was released by Barbés Records - another fine label of crate diggers, called The Roots of Chicha, which charts the history and emergence of Peruvian Chicha music

Chica morada, the (slightly) alcoholic drink which the music is named after.

Chicha is often described as "Peruvian cumbia" but it is more like a bastard genre of tradition crossed with modernity. It originated in the Amazonas region of Northern Perú around the time of the oil boom in the 60s. The music took influences from the local folklore and mixed it with rock 'n' roll or surf rock, tropical rhythms such as colombian cumbia and Andean scales and melodies. It was primarily, however, a music to dance to and a music of the people. Barbés has some fantastic background information for all their releases and they do a much better job than either wikipedia or myself at explaining the history of the music.

Juaneco y su combo in full dress.

One of the most influential chicha groups was Juaneco y Su Combo and, in particular, guitarist Noé Fachin. The band mixed Brazilian rhythms, cumbia, rock n roll, surf rock with their own roots, writing songs inspired by local legends from the forest and dressing in traditional Shipibo atire, as Barbés mentions: "They were the musical ambassadors of the selva (forest)."

Unfortunately the main label which recorded and released many of the big names such as Juaneco y su Combo and Los Mirlos, INFOPESA, disappeared and the master tapes were lost. In 1977, five of el "combo" were killed in a plane crash, amongst them guitarist, composer and driving force behind the band Noé Fachin. The remaining members continued to play and indeed continue to play to this day with son of Juaneco, Mao Wong Lopez leading the group. It is great to see these labels making this near forgotten music available globally so support them if you can!

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Música Mestiza (0)

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Coming back to Perú I inevitably became reacquainted with Huayno and as I descended the highlands towards Bolivia it became clear Huayno is the popular music of the Andean people. It is a mestizo music: taking the traditional Huayno rhythms and vocal styles of the Incas and mixing it with Spanish lyrics and instruments such as harps and accordions. The musicians play repeated phrases, stretched brass lines and swirling violins accompanied by harping vocals and music box like plucked strings; at times it sounds a long way from Latin American music. It uses a lot of the pentatonic scale, used in folk music across the world, perhaps explaining why at times the harp phrases sound rather more Asian than Latin American.

Huayno Dancing

Perú: Huayno del Centro

Of the 200 or so tracks on this disc some are modern versions of Huaynos complete with cheesy drum machines and keyboards but the ones which really got me were the old, badly recorded tracks. The warm, live sound emphasises the fierce emotion which characterises the style, the vocals near shouting with passion.

Haydee Raymundo

Haydee Raymundo - Cuatro Palabras


The self-proclaimed "voz de los pobres," I first heard Haydee in a taxi ride and from then on she cropped up everywhere!

Picaflor de los Andes (Victor Mallma)

Picaflor de los Andes - Sacrilegio


One of the few men on the CD, el Picaflor de los Andes (The Hummingbird of the Andes), better known as Victor Mallma, was one the many "provincianos" who migrated to Lima in the 60s looking for work. He brought the folkloric music of the provinces to the city and became an key figure, representing the lives of the impoverished classes lured to the city. 100,000 people turned out to the man's funeral in 1975.

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ZZK Records have just published the results of the Fauna Remix competition from a few months back. The tracks chosen are a mixed bag of remixes and cut ups from of the five tracks from La Manita de Fauna album by a group of relatively unknown artists.

Go check out the site and download the 10 remixes chosen by members of the ZZK crew. It introduces a whole host of new artists to get into; a whole afternoon's worth of Myspacing!

I am a fan of the Lagartijeando sea-shanty-cumbia remix of Las Mil Caras:

Fauna - Las Mil Caras (Lagartijeando RMX)


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A "lost" weekend in Santa Fé has left me a little bit behind with the music so it is time to catch up. Still in Ecuador, which borders Colombia, I bought a disc of Colombian cumbias (I was unable to make it Colombia for a lack of time.) I somehow left Ecuador with music from anywhere but Ecuador!

I wanted to upload all of these tracks as they are just great! I have restrained myself however, and limited it to just three. In comparison to the aforementioned Bachata, this stuff is a breath of fresh air. Music to put you in a good mood, the perfect remedy for a grey, stormy Buenos Aires day. Furthermore the lyrics are great. I have already charted, briefly, the history of cumbia so I will leave it to Grant Dull from ZZK to refresh the memory: "Africa, Colombia, America."

First tune which I featured in my Rhythm 'n' Roots Mix Volume I and is a classic cumbia called Cumbia Cienaguera as interpreted by a Conjunto Tipica Vallenata (this appeared sampled on a house track by Samin called Heater and has been interpreted by many).

Conjunto Típica Vallenata - Cumbia Cienaguera


Second track is by Gustavo "el loco" Quinteros and is called Baracunatana. Made famous by Colombian rock group, Aterciopelados (youtube) but Gustavo Quinteros seems to be quite a character and the song is about him not bringing a prostitute home with him (the one who got on the moto with that idiot!)

Gustavo "el loco" Quinteros - Baracunatana


The final track is called Tabaco y Ron by Rodolfo Aicardi who is a big name in the history of música popular in Colombia. He sang all sorts of styles from ballads to cumbias to boleros, and alongside Gustavo Quinetero, (above) he spent time as a member of the legendary Los Hispanos group. He was even responsible for taking cumbia to the world, performing in Europe and Asia in the 80s and 90s. This song is, surprisngly, about tobaco and rum.

Rodolfo Aicardi - Tabaco y Ron


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While looking into the background of the various CDs and new genres I have aquired, I discovered a really great resource for Latin American music, or more specifically Andean music. Pacoweb is a site full of info on artists, discs, styles, dances and instruments (in Spanish). Check out the Ritmos Sud Americanos part which lists and explains the hundred of rhythms and variations of the numerous styles. It lists around 49 variations of Huayno!!!

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Ecuador: Nuevas Bachatas #113

Part II takes us to the Dominican Republic via Ecuador. A genre formerly known as "amargue" (bitterness), Bachata is usually is about relationships breaking down. Though I purchased this in Ecuador, Bachata is a style which originated in the Dominican Republic. It has since spread across South America hence why I found it in a CD shop in a town in the Ecuadorian andes. They say it evolved from Bolero, integrating a lot of guitar and is not too dissimilar from Merengue . The music really took off in the Dominican Republic of the sixties. This disc however, is modern, popular Bachata with electric guitar and drums and I have to admit it is rather cheesy: every one has to indulge once in a while and it is a little more acceptable when in another language. What's more I am intrigued by the fact that nearly every song is about heartbreak.

El Chaval
El Chaval - Me Mata una Pena

I have chosen a song called Me mata una pena by El Chaval: Great guitar riffing with a tragic sound and even more tragic lyrics. "She left me, I am sleeping alone, I cannot live in this shit, I carry on suffering this pain. But one day I have to forget her!" Blimey.

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In January I left BA and hit the road for three months taking in Chile, Perú, Ecuador, Bolivia and Northern Argentina. Along the way I managed to amass a collection of music ranging from Música Nacional Bolivia 2009 to Nuevas Bachatas #113 2008. For the most part I didn't see anything which resembled what I know to be a record store, all the music shops were filled with mountains of pirated CDs with badly photocopied inlays. Think 300 tracks on one CD for $4. I guess the RIAA and the IFPI don't hold much sway round these parts...I brought it all back and did some digesting and now it is time for the regurgitation!

For the next week or so I am going to offer up one track from each CD per day (ish) each with a short description and the track itself for listening/downloading. I suppose you could call it musical geography. I offer you my musical journey through South America.

Southern Peru: Pioneras del Huayno

Starting with a disc purchased in Tacna on the border of Chile and Peru after a taxi driver introduced me to Huayno. It is a music and dance which comes from the mountainous regions of Perú and is characterized by the rhythm; one long, two short, the andean instrumentation (charango, harp, drum etc) and it's shrill singing. Each song on this disc also includes an introdcution by a chap bigging up said chantante or offering some words of wisdom such as, "treat your woman well, she deserves it." Modern Huayno often fuses the traditions with other elements such as cumbia, rock and even reggae!

The ladies on this disc, however, are the pioneers. It features the delightful Flor Pilena, Mina Gonzales, Sally, Alicia Delgado and Wilma Contreras. Alicia Delgado was tragically killed last week amid rumours that her fellow folk singer Abencia Mezaso masterminded the murder. Thus, I have chosen two songs from this disc, one in memory of Alicia and the other a personal favourite.

Alicia Delgado - Luna


Mina Gonzales - Aguila Negra

The track I have chosen is a reverb laden ode to a black eagle...I love the Huayno rhythm which is so hard to pin down and the vocals are so rhythmic. The verse on this one is just great. "Que corazón tan variable!"

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The previous post's post is has now been fufilled and the monstrous collection of Villa Diamante mash-ups are up and available for donwload from heeeere (or click the pic): Diamante Style.

"Un disco triple de mashups que recorre en mas de 40 tracks un impensable viaje musical donde las referencias culturales se ven alteradas, los géneros se mezclan para dar lugar a lo inaudito."

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This Friday (26th June) sees the return of La Peña Electrica, it is like a peña (a traditional place to go and see Argentine folkloric music) but not so traditional. On the line up are aforementioned Imperio Diablo with dancers from the Ballet Amerindia and Gaby Kerpel (King Coya) as Gaby Kerpel (who I interviewed today, should appear on FlyGlobal but I will post some things on here once it is written up and shiny.)

Performing alongside them are Semilla, Yicos, Los Hermanos Nuñez c/Ruiz Guinazu, Laura Peralta and Chakatap. Lots of new names to me. It should be a varied mix of ace live music, dance and visuals. The event kicks off at 21:00 in Club Niceto (Niceto Vega 5510) and costs $20pesos.

Bombo legüero y distorsión; loops y bagualas; zaphiphopeo y chacapogo; psicodelia y carnavalitos; sonido de raiz y asfalto bajo las suelas. Tribus criollas y urbanas en espacio experimental, festivo y telúrico. Origen y futuro de una identidad en transformación.

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Diego Bulacio aka. Villa Diamante from Villa Diamante (a barrio of Lanus, Bs As) is set to release Empacho Digital on the 24th of June via ZZK Records. It is a mega compilation of more than 40 mash-ups and mixes available for free download from the 24th: Diamante Style and ZZK.

Disc one pairs some of ZZK's most known artists with anyone and everyone, e.g. Chancha Via Circuito vs Nelly and Intoxicados made cumbia! Disc two is a dubstep crossover inspired by Daleduro, one of the few dubstep producers/DJs in Bs As, and unites big tunes from big name dubstep producers with latin american artists. (Benga's anthemic Night meets Juana Molina?!) The third and final disc is a tribute to Rock Nacional Argentino in a way you have never heard before. Bound to offend Rock Nacional purists and down the line hip-hop heads alike for it's wonderfuly unimagineable pairings: (Abuelos de la Nada vs O.D.B. Charly Garcia vs Busta Rhymes!?)

This really is an "anything goes" affair, original in it's concept and execution. Empacho Digital is a statement on the mash-up culture, as Diego says on his site, the disc has "the intention of reflecting the excess of information that the internet era has brought about, it is no longer a privilege but rather a nuisance. We are in the age of hyper-communication and the possibility of having everything at the touch of a button."

Here is a little interview (in Spanish) with Villa Diamante, though it was filmed a while back you can see where he is coming from:

Entrevista: Villa Diamante en Codigo Urbano from Villadiamante on Vimeo.

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Dubstep tonic (0)

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This post is inspired by the release (MP3, CD came earlier) this month of Tectonic Plates Volume II, the second compilation of Tectonic's vinyl releases. Run by DJ and producer Pinch, the Bristol based label is one of the most important and interesting dubstep imprints around and this release proves why.

The first disc comes with the tunes and includes names like RSD, Martyn, 2562, Skream and of course Pinch himself (worth it just for the RSD and Martyn tunes!) The second CD is a gold mine mix done by Pinch which includes many hard to find/deep tunes from Pevrelist's Blues, Answer Me by Mala and the word Dubplate repeated a lot (special!) It is really spot-on, the mixes are smooth-as and the selection is second to none. Full release info can be found here. An interview with Mr Pinch can be found on Sonic Router.

Suddenly finding myself with a bunch of, what I think to be, really great tunes, I decided to make a short mix in which the music takes priority. I have learnt from learning to mix (CDs Vinyl) that things don't need to be fancy and complicated, I also have a lot of respect for DJs putting vinyl mixes together like the aforementioned. This mix (MP3s) lets the music speak for itself and the music chosen does just that. It has a 2-step, tech-step, moving groove vibe and it flows.

Download here: Strictly Rhythm Mix


  1. Dark Knight - Broken Beats (Urban Riddims)
  2. Martyn - Yet (Tectonic)
  3. Julio Bashmore - Around (Unreleased)
  4. Cooly G - Love Dub (Hyperdub)
  5. Falty DL - Human Meadow (Planet Mu)
  6. Pinch - Joyride (Tectonic)
  7. Untold - Can't Stop This Feeling (Hessle Audio)
  8. F - The Untitled Dub (7even Recordings )
  9. Geiom - Remenissin' You (Kode 9 Refix) (Berkane Sol)
  10. Skream - Percussion (Tectonic)
  11. Shackleton - Massacre (Hot Flush)
  12. Bjork - Dull Flame of Desire (Modeselektor's Remix for Boys) (One Little Indian)
  13. Clouds - Protecting Hands (12" release....no poss of a 12" in Buenos Aires but it is a killer tune!) (Deep Medi)

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Apparently there was some kind of release by Diplo? Switch? Something to do with lazers? Most hyyyyyyyyyped album for a wee while (in blogging circles at least.)

Musically? The album is fidgety. It is moves from reggae to electro from dancehall to "lazer." All well and good for the genre surfing pair but it is a strange mix and from streaming the album, I am not blown away. Though there are some irresistibly danceable tunes on there but tracks like Keep It Goin' Louder and Mary Jane are a let down and, to be honest, I have been more of a fan of the countless remixes of Hold the Line than the original. Well, sure it will be lapped up by all hipsters (see Guardian's review.)

A slightly sour note to the whole super-mind blowing project is the inclusion of some artists from the Jamaican dancehall scene who, in the past, have released songs with strong, and often violent, homophobic lyrics. A few examples:

  • Mjor Lazer - Bruk Out feat. T.O.K. & Ms. Thing

T.O.K - Chi Chi Man: (slang for a gay man) which includes the lyrics:

From dem a par inna chi chi man car.
Blaze di fire mek we bun dem!!!! (Bun dem!!!!)
From dem a drink inna chi chi man bar.
Blaze di fire mek we dun dem!!!! (Dun dem!!!!)

  • Major Lazer - Pon De Floor feat. VYBZ Kartel

Vybz Cartel: Dropped from the MOBO awards in 2004 for his homophobic lyrics (songs such as "Batty Bot Fi Dead", "Faggot Correction" and "Guns Like Mine")

"Kartel buss one inna batty bowy spine"

  • Major Lazer - Can’t Stop Now feat. Mr. Vegas & Jovi Rockwell

Mr Vegas song: "Bun Chi Chi Man"

  • Major Lazer - Mary Jane feat. Mr. Evil & Mapei

Mr Evil (aka Dr Evil): "J.A. Don't Like Gay" and Batty Boys Need to Stay From Me

"I bought dis A.K to spray on all gays..
Including OutRage! whose fightin all our deejays
Gunshots for all you faggots, I really hate you maggots.

Perhaps Diplo and Switch should have chosen their collaborators not just on their dancehall credentials. These and more can be found here. Homophobia is illegal in Jamaica and as well as violent attacks on gay men over the past few years, in February this year, a member of the ruling party demanded life imprisonment for homosexual conduct and the banning of gay organizations, causing outrage by organizations such as Human Rights Watch.

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The Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires does a pretty good job when it comes to festivals. There is not a month that goes by without a big festival celebrating everything from independent cinema to modern art from dance to maths. This time around it is the second Ciudad Emergente Festival which has ran over the long weekend, ending today.

Held at the Centro Cultural Recoleta it brings together new, emerging bands, fashion designers graphic artists, street dancers and film makers. It has a very urban twist on it, two walls inside the Centro Cultural have been put in the hands of two teams of street artists, the dance is danza calleja (from the streets) and the art/cinema is mainly graphic or associated with music. All in all, however, a great opportunity to take a check on Argentina's apparently blossoming arts scene. What's more, it is completely free.

Macaco Bong(ey)

I managed to catch a couple of bands which I'd been meaning to see. First of Macaco Bong (pronounced Macaco Bongey), an instrumental rock trio from Brazil (ciudad de Buenos Aires emergente?) They played an intense set of at times post-rock, at times instrumental funk, at times pure rock. Three fantastic musicians playing with heart and soul. A Pagina 12 article (in Spanish) says they list: "Pantera and Dream Theater to Weather Report, Pat Metheny, Mogwai, Charlie Parker, Joe Satriani, Tom Jobim and Michael Jackson" as influences....

Just thought I would add the poster for it's design qualities.

Later I saw Imperio Diablo, who I had heard a lot of, seen a few videos etc. They are, more or less, a troop of Argentine travellers bringing the music of Bolivia and Peru to Argentina. A mix of cumbia, huayno, electronica, hip-hop and lots of dancing and shouting "heei!" The group play traditional instruments (charango, accordion, flute, pan-pipes, violin, rhythm n brass section) and are backed by a couple of laptops producing beats and overtly political samples. Throw in some Amerindian dancers and you have an entertaining spectacle. Though the bands members may have been to Bolivia's famous Oruro carnaval a few too many times, if it makes you dance, it's alllright!

Diablada from Imperio Diablo

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Inside cover to The Roots of Dubstep

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Since it's emergence nearly a decade ago the term dubstep has always been open to interpretation, indeed that was one of the enticing things about the sound. Many have tried to define the style, stating that dubstep uses the snare on the third beat, heavy bass weight, wobble, standard quote from film etc etc. Indeed many dubstep tunes fit this description to a glove, however, it has become an umbrella term for a host of artists making tunes around 140BPM. There are the Ruskos, Cokis and Caspas making near chainsaw dub, aggressive tunes filled with drops and ready for the rewind (An amusing take on these guys by Mr Simon Reynolds in the Guardian in which he called Caspa "The Guy Ritchie of Dubstep" Forum bait,) the synthy madness of Zombie and the Purple Trinity (Joker, Guido, Gemmy), the tech-influenced 2562, TRG, Headhunter, Pevrelist, the dub influenced Mala, RSD, Mungo's Hi Fi, the many arriving from the D'n'B scene, not to mention the countless artists working somewhere in between (where do you put Hyperdub Records?!).

The emergence of the sound and it's structure comes from the dark 2-step garage which emerged at the start of the decade, associated with Ghost Records and artists such as EL-B, Horsepower Productions and Steve Gurley. For an introduction check out the Roots of Dubstep CD on Tempa or United Vibes
History of Dubstep Mix. Equally, another, far superior Reynolds' article which appeared in The Wire back in the day is great read charting the progression of UK garage, 2-step etc.

Loefah, of DMZ fame, recently set up Swamp 81 Records (named after the Met police's stop and seach operation which caused the 1981 Brixton Riots), an outlet for the dark, rolling 2-step garage sound in the context today's dubstep scene. The excellent Blackdown blog has an interview with Loefah and Kryptic Minds, who are heading the first Swamp 81 releases. It sums up Loefah's thinking behind setting up the label and his reflections on the scenes progression. Listening to a preview mix (DL here) of the new Kryptic Minds stuff is dark. It is futuristic, murky 2-step, full of atmousphere, clicks and rhytmic urgency. As Reynold's ends his article, written in 1999: "two-step sounds like it has a whole world of places left to go." He was right.

Kryptic Minds Studio Mix - DL here
Kryptic Minds - Untitled - Osiris Music uk Dub
Kryptic Minds - The Weeping - Disfigured Dubz Dub
Kryptic Minds - Untitled - Osiris Music uk Dub
Kryptic Minds - Untitled - Osiris Music uk Dub
Leon Switch - Latin Dub - Osiris Music uk Dub
Kryptic Minds - Wondering Why - Osiris Music uk Dub
Kryptic Minds - Untitled - Osiris Music uk Dub
Kryptic Minds - Unititled - Osiris Music uk Dub
Leon Switch - Untitled - Osiris Music uk Dub
Kryptic Minds - Three Views Of A Secret - Swamp 81 Dub
Kryptic Minds - Mercury Rising - Dub
Kryptic Minds - Bad Man - Dub
Kryptic Minds - Rubberman - Dub
Leon Switch - Untitled - Dub
Kryptic Minds - Dissolved - Swamp 81 Dub
Kryptic Minds - One Of Us - Swamp 81
Kryptic Minds - Organic - Swamp 81 Dub
Kryptic Minds - Follow Me - Dub

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Rhythm 'n' Roots Volume III (0)

18:51 by , under , , , ,

Another month passes and it is time for another Rhythm 'n' Roots mix. This time inspiration came from the latest ZZK Compilation and includes four tracks from the album as well as a few other ZZK tracks from other releases and a whole host of great music drawn from my collection and new discoveries from scouring the internet. It has lots of rhythm and lots of roots for the arrival of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter down here in the southern.

Winter is a comin' in (Photo from here)

Download, listen, spread it around and enjoy! (Click the snow or the link below.)

  1. Lulacruza - Soloina
  2. Doña María - Doña María
  3. Marta Gómez - Chicharra
  4. Caballeros Con Descuento - El Francés
  5. The Knife - Got to Let You Go (Tropical Mix)
  6. Chancha Via Circuito - Selva
  7. Omzo - Li Guen Pt II
  8. Kingdom - Jump Up Step Back
  9. Princessa - I Feel So Good (El Remolón Mix)
  10. Petrona Martínez - Un Niño Que Llora en Las Montes de María + El Hueso (King Coya Remix)
  11. Frikstailers - Cumbia Kamisama
  12. Kirat - Mamma
  13. Balkan Beat Box - Habibi Min Zaman (BBB Remix)
  14. Passaic (?) - Goza New Jersey, Baile New York
  15. Systema Solar - Mi Kolombia
  16. El Remolón - Escape a Barcelona (Ft Blitto & Jahcoozi)
  17. Flying Lotus - GNG BNG
  18. Chosan, LF & El Gambina - O.N.E. (One.Nation.Emerging)
  19. Kinksi - Badunk Gadunk (VS Burial)
  20. Daleduro - La Poli
  21. The Heatwave - Piano Riddim (Rubidan Vocal - Higher Heights)
  22. Theophilus London - Grey X Stage (El Buho Remix)

Earlier Mixes:

March 09 - Rhythm 'n' Roots Volume I

April 09 - Rhythm 'n' Roots Volume II

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I have been a big fan of DJ/Rupture ever since I heard his Gold Teeth Thief and Minesweeper Suite mixes/albums/creations. His blog is full of all sorts of random musical journeys and I hear his DJ sets aint bad. It seems he also wrote one of the best articles I have read on cumbia and more specifically, cumbia in Argentina (for an american, this man knows his cumbia.) It appeared in The Fader back in July/August 2008. Here is an extract:

The 2001 economic crisis saw the real value of the Argentine currency plummet by seventy-five percent. Folks with $100,000 in the bank suddenly had $25,000. The underclass hemorrhaged, rich turned poor. Who could stomach flowery love songs after that? This nasty reality slap boosted cumbia villera’s popularity to astronomical heights. “The villa is in a state of emergency,” says Lescano. “A kid dies in the villa and it doesn’t matter. You say ‘black’ not for the skin color but for the barrio you live in.” The lethal popularity of a cheap new drug called paco (like crack, but worse—few addicts survive past six months) has made edge living even more raw. But a bizarre umbilical connects freedom and neglect. Even though cumbia has maintained incredible popularity across South America for decades, its mala reputación meant that it never garnered much external interest. Cumbia kept growing, with nobody to answer to but its fans and followers.

Read the full article here.

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Mapping Music 1

17:44 by , under , , ,

A music genre is a category (or genre) of pieces of music that share a certain style or “basic musical language” (van der Merwe 1989, p.3). Music may also be categorised by non-musical criteria such as geographical origin though a single geographical category will often include a wide variety of sub-genres (Music News Review)

I was thinking recently what with this global exchange of music that it would be interesting to create some kind of chart, a comprehensive guide to music and it's roots. Plotting influences, genres, movements etc. I imagine it would consist of lots of arrows and names. I started to dig around google and try out with different search terms.
There is Ishkur's Guide to Electronic music but it is all tongue in cheek and now feels a bit outdated. Then I found this chart (Wikipedia) which resembles more or less what I had in mind, it is a graph of cuban music with extras added in.

I then found this blog:
Digital Music Collector who is in the process of constructing a music genre map, a very comprehensive one by the sounds of things.

Obviously it should be merely a guide which traces the evolution of music but does not constrain or attempt to define artists etc. But for example the evolution of cumbia, the roots of Reggaeton, tango's Italian/spanish/folkloric influences. The possibilities are endless and especially if it was user friendly or possibly Wikipedia-ish, in that users could update information, provide descriptions, new genres (all monitored, to an extent.) Also sites like
LastFm could link into the information for users listening, music players could use the genre tag and link to the site. Etc etc. If anyone is interested or would like to offer support to the programmer behind the Music Genre Tree site contact here: Contact

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Blogged Down (0)

15:57 by , under , , ,

After being drawn into starting my own music blog I soon discovered that the world of music blogging reaches far wider than you could imagine. All across the world people are blogging and promoting the music they love. I could easily spend a whole day trawling through blogs downloading music, reading about the latest musical happenings or hidden gems from the Ivory Coast to Brooklyn. Each blog in turn links to it's own favourite blogs which in turn lead you to more and more. The sphere is endless. For a fan of "world" music or of music as a whole, it is an inexhaustable gold mine.

Exaple: yesterday I had a few hours spare and decided to catch up on the blogs I have in my blogroll (<--- see over there.) I then headed to their own favourite blogs which in turn led to more, whose posts had links to more. I arrived at a blog called Awesome Tapes from Africa
which uploads and shares music from cassettes found accross Africa. Ethiopian Jam's, Eritrean pre-banjo, banjo music, mixtapes from Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and more. An incredible gem of a site. Then I found Radiodifusion which hosts a large collection of MP3s sorted by country. Then there is the blog of then man who spent three years in West Africa digging for rare records and coming back to Brooklyn and sharing them with the world. Not to mention the sites which bring all of this stuff together like Ghetto Bassquake.

Awesome tape from Africa

Who would've thought Soca music would reach Brooklyn clubs or that Angolan Kuduro music would take the world by storm thanks to a pair of Portuguese DJs or indeed that people might be mixing cumbia with hip-hop, dancehall or dubstep?! These are exciting musical times, don't sleep on it.

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