Compass: Navigating the Global Dancefloor

MIS + Toy Selectah Present: Compass

Antionio Hernández and Camilo Lara could be described as the modern-day dons of Latin music. The two producers better known as Toy Selectah and Mexican Institute of Sound have helped shape, globalise and drive the evolution of modern Latin American music. From the advent of digital Cumbia to subtly infusing modern-day Pop with Latin roots and sounds, the influence of these two can be felt on dancefloors and charts all over the world. Under the name Compass, the two have now combined forces on a project celebrating and championing global sound. It is in their words, the duo’s “PhD thesis on global music production”.

Lara, Maluca, Gael Garcia Bernal & Toy recording Compass

The name Compass comes from the Mexican compas or compadres meaning buddies but is also a metaphor for the project’s navigation around the world of modern music production. The album to be released in 2015 features an astounding 80 collaborators, from four continents, endless genres, styles and sounds.

“WE WANTED TO SHOW PEOPLE THAT THE DANCEFLOOR IS THE SAME EVERYWHERE; IT’S A VERY DEMOCRATIC PLACE WHERE ANYONE CAN SHARE MUSIC’S ENERGY”

Alongside some recognisable names in the Latin electronic music scene like Bonde Do Role, DJ Dusty, Eric Bobo (Cypress Hill) and Helado Negro, the project also features a few surprises including Boy George, Toots & the Maytals, Sly & Robbie and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera. As Lara says: “It’s a global album, but it all has a distinctive Mexican flavour.”

The album will be released next year but watch out for a series of five videos detailing the project recording process and more via Red Bull. Red Bull, which supported the recording of the album, also last week released a preview of one of the tracks, La Llama.

“IT’S JUST MUSIC, WE ALL SHARE A BEAT, YOU KNOW?”

This cut is held together by a trademark MIS sample fuelled beat fused with the global influences of Notch (formerly of Born Jamericans), New York’s Matty Rico and Ohmega Watts, ghetto-techno empress Maluca, legendary Cali dj Kut Masta Kurt and Beastie Boys collaborator Money Mark. Check out an interview with the two dons here for more information.

Continue reading

Metropolitan Music

Two continents, ten cities, 50 musicians and 20 authors: the Ten Cities is an initiative funded by the Goethe Institute that explores and juxtaposes the club scene of global metropolises from Africa and Europe. At the heart of this music project is the question, what would happen if these scenes, their sounds and the artists behind them were to meet head on?

The project began by twinning cities from the two continents: Naples with Luanda, Bristol with Lagos, Kiev with Johannesburg, Lisbon with Nairobi and Berlin with Cairo. Some of the leading producers and DJs behind the thriving electronic music scenes of these cities, names like Batida, Pinch, Dirty Paraffin, Okmalumkoolkat, Afrologic, Just A Band and more (full tracklist below), came together and collaborated on a series of tracks, live shows and special events.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Alongside mixtapes, free-downloads and visual content, the core piece of content will be a 17 track album showcasing the outcomes of this collaborative process released on Soundway Records this month.

Continue reading

DRC Music – Kinshasa One Two

Back in July a group of producers brought together by Damon Albarn set out for the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, with the aim of producing an album in collaboration with local Conoglese musicians. They spent five days recording and working with groups and artistis such as  Jupiter and the Okwess International and Bebson and this week Warp Records announced further details on the finished product, ‘Kinshasa One Two’.

The album will be released at the beginning of October and in the meantime, you can listen to three of the DRC Music (as the international collective is known) tracks via Soundcloud (full tracklist after the break). All the profits from the DRC Music project will go to the local performers and to support Oxfam’s work in the DRC.

Continue reading