Rhythm 'n' Roots

Musical Explorations.

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)

12:52 by , under , , , , , , ,

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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