Rhythm 'n' Roots

Musical Explorations.

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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