Rhythm 'n' Roots

Musical Explorations.

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There is Ishkur's Guide to Electronic music but it is all tongue in cheek and now feels a bit outdated.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

| edit post

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.

| edit post

King Kerpel (0)

14:44 by , under , , ,

Another trip out to ZZK and another excellent night with King Coya the invited guest DJing/showcasing his new album. He was joined by La Yegros providing live vocals. The multi-talented man behind King Coya is Gaby Kerpel who produces and DJ's cumbia electronica under King Coya, appears alongside Julian Gomez under the El Trip Selector pseudonym and produces/sings/composes under his own name.

I did a bit of research on Snr Kerpel and found some interesting trivia. He got into music production while working for two renowned theatre groups(La Organización Negra y De La Guarda) where he was in charge of producing the sounds and music for the experience. He is also the brother of Anibal Kerpel who, alongside Gustavo Santaolalla, has produced albums for some of the biggest names in Latin American music (Molotov, Café Tacuba, Juanes, Julieta Venegas, Árbol etc etc.) They also co-produced Gaby's album Carnabailito.

Gustavo Santaoalla

On a side note, Santaolalla is famed for his work on film soundtracks. He composed the soundtrack for Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Motorcycle Diaries (winning a BAFTA) and won two Oscars for Brokeback Mountain and Babel. Quite the mentor then?

Last night was a taster for Kerpel's new album Cumbias de Villa Donde as King Coya and it sounded fantastic! Though I could count ZZK's releases on one hand (Chancha Via Circuito, Fauna, El Remolón, the compilations) judging on the quality of these, King Coya's forthcoming album is much anticipated!

In the meantime here is a King Coya Remix of Petrona Martinez's Un Nino Que Llora en los Montes de Maria. Save Petrona Martínez's story for another day!

Petrona Martínez - Un Nino Que Llora en los Montes de Maria (King Coya Remix)


| edit post

Doña María (0)

19:51 by , under , , , ,

Headed to Le Bar in the micro-centro last night for a mojito tranquilo and was delighted to discover Doña María playing live. First I had heard of them but really enjoyed the show and the reaction of the audience was great. Mucha onda!

They have vocalists, a chap on turntables, double bass, percussion and guitar. A real mix of styles from Argentine folk to cumbia, electronica and beyond! A quick song and video here (pretty different styles):

Doña María - Doña María

| edit post

ZZK Volume II (0)

21:38 by , under , , , ,

After heading down to ZZK's weekly extravaganza last night I grabbed a copy of their latest compilation album; ZZK Sound Vol.2. I am currently giving it the first listen and have to say I am impressed, the sound is progressing, it is not just stuck on Cumbia with electronic beats. There are of course some great sounding electronic cumbia tracks such as Uproot Andy's Brooklyn Cumbia but it is far more diverse. Another snapshot of what is going on in the southern hemisphere.

The styles are all over the shop and a fine and intriguing shop, bit like an antique shop: full of stuff. There are tracks which passed me by and then there are tracks which grabbed me and said: LISTEN!!! Which is obvious given it's size (19 tracks - value for money or what!) Give it a listen on ZZK's webiste where you can download individual tracks. I also snapped up the previously mentioned Chancha Via Circuito album, also recommendedededed!

I have picked two examples here for your listening pleasure but there is MORE, much more. You can buy the album (MP3) from ZZK themselves here: ZZK Volume II and apparently Amazon (they are going up in the world!) Though it says 23rd June is the release date? Hmmm. Watch this space, or ZZKs.

Lulacruza - Soloina:

MeNeo - La Licuadora


| edit post

"Argentina Potencia" (0)

21:16 by , under , ,

I just picked up the latest copy of Los Inrockuptibles, the best mainstream music magazine I have found in Argentina (feel free to enlighten me.) Inside there is an article all about the tropical electronica scene, of course concentrating on the ZZK crew, a good introduction to the scene covering all the bases. Anyway, on the second page they list the artists which are making the scene what it is today (shining in it's own light...) here it is:

Chancha Via Circuito

Lo Pibitos

The Peronists

Sonido Martines

DJ Campeón

A couple are new to me, worth checking them out, especially Chancha Via Circuito whose album Rodante is packed full of exciting music for trains and nightclubs.

| edit post

Rhythm 'n' Roots Volume II (0)

21:43 by , under , ,

The has come once more to present some fairly fantastic musical creations in the form of a miiixxx! 45 minutes of upbeats of Dubstep, Baile-funk, Dancehall, whatever (!) around 135bpm.

Download, dance and enjoy here (or for a more fun way, click the bear!):

  1. Chancha Via Circuito - Buceato
  2. Rustie & Joker - Play Doe
  3. Max Peezay - Komrfrån
  4. Daleduro - Bombon Asesino
  5. Zgomot - Gypsy Step
  6. Frederic Galliano - Até Quando
  7. Debasser - KLS (Si Begg Remix)
  8. Benga - Hotstepping
  9. Zinc ft Nolay - Killa Sound
  10. Major Lazer - Hold the Line (Omri Anghel Remix)
  11. Ghislain Poirier - Blazin (Starkey Remix)
  12. DJ C & Zulu - Animal Attraction
  13. Roska - In Your Handbag
  14. Frikstallers - To Com Saudade
  15. La Roux - Quicksand(Mad Decent Alternate Southern Rmx 2)
  16. Ramadanman - Penn Hill
  17. Martyn - These Words

| edit post

London must be such an amazing place to live/work/be for anyone interested in progressive music. The birthplace of so many fresh sounds, the latest I have recently stumbled into is the UK Funky House scene. Something like a mix of Funky House, garage, grime. etc. I was initially sceptical, having heard some fairly bland house music with female vocals over the top but I decided to dig a bit harder.

Rinse FM is the place to go, Marcus Nasty and Mac10's show is as good a place to start as any (Yesterdays show here). Also recommended is Grevious Angel's Funky House Manifesto, a selection of top tunes taken from radio shows. A great website following all kinds of new sounds and styles (Dancehall-Carribean Rave) which also incorporates UK Funky House is The Heatwave. Lots of downloads, mixes and interesting stuff. A final link to FACT magazine and its amzing collection of mixes: FACT Mixes such as the Roska (number 23...see below) and Greena mixes. With DJs like Ramadanman and Kode9 throwing it into their sets, it is getting making a lot of noise!

The tunes which really get me are the rhythmically moving, tropical, truly funky stuff. It just seems so danceable, can't wait to hear it out live some place. UK Funky House hasn't quite reached Buenos Aires yet. As for artists, from the few I have heard, Geeneus seems to be the man, I also have a few tracks by Roska, I am on the tip of the iceberg I suppose! Here is an ace track which appeared on The Heatwave:

Rubi Dan & Chinski - Big Boi Spitta


| edit post