Rhythm and Roots – Volume 21

The leaves are turning orange and the cold is setting in in Amsterdam so time for our first autumnal episode of Rhythm and Roots. There is so much great music coming out at the moment that this was a tough one to pull together. A refined selection of music old and new (or sometimes new meets old) from Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Indonesia, Portugal, Ecuador and beyond!

Featured Artist – Populous

Our featured artist for this episode is Populous, otherwise known as Italian producer Andrea Mangia who recently released his first album in six years – Night Safari via Bad Panda Records. His new found sound flitters between old and new influences, marrying worldly samples and rhythms with tight, full electronic productions and featuring an equally eclectic guestlist from fellow Italian tropicalista Clap Clap! to Japanese dream-pop singer Cuushe. Night Safari is scattered with birds, cicadas, deep 808 kick drums, sweet vocals, sweeping synths and scratchy samples: a globetrotting journey from the Himalayas to Brighton Pier.





1) Ulises Conti – D
2) Roquefeller – vuelo
3) Mura Mansa – Miss You
4) Chancha Via Circuito – Sueños en Paraguay
5) Helado Negro – Myself On 2 U
6) Populous – Honey (Feat. Iokol)
7) Zikomo – Champion Riddim
8) Desmond Dekker – Beautiful and Dangerous
9) Thomash – Calango Fumando Palha
10) Nicola Cruz – Cumbia del Olvido
11) Populous – Fall (Feat. Cuushe)
12) Colo – Ghana 95
13) Captain Planet – Cicada
14) Populous – Dead Sea
15) Sono Rhizmo – O Telefone
16) Sidirum – Akasha (Nicola Cruz Remix)
17) Rocky Marciano – Selva Rainha
18) Thomash – Field Recordings in Minas Gerais
19) Grupo Bahia – Recordando (Andrés Digital Remix)
20) Rocky Marciano – Dançante
21) Midnight Runners – Disko Cha Cha Cha
22) Batida – Pobre e Rico
23) Castro – The Vibration is International
24) Von Party – Pygmy Funk
25) Booddha – I Wonder Why
26) AbJo – Kalimba Song


South America to the world

Over the past ten years the international music media has sporadically raved about the latest bubbling scene from the ‘hip’ city of the moment, be it Montevideo, Bogota or Buenos Aires. These days when we talk about modern, underground Latin American music it’s not about disparate pockets or unconnected scenes but a thriving, diverse, border crossing movement of cross-pollination and global interaction. How we view traditional Latin American music has been turned on its head and these developments are having reverberations across the world.

In the mid 2000s now household names in the scene like Frikstailers, Chancha via Circuito and Matanza, helped by platforms like ZZK Records, began to make noises for their fresh take on the continent’s traditional rhythms and music. However, they demonstrated there was something beyond the nucumbia or ethno-techno tags they had been assigned, laying the foundations for a new generation of beatmakers constructing and deconstructing a ‘New Latin American Sound’.

You could call Chancha Via Circuito one of this movement’s godfathers. In fact the quietly spoken Argentine shaman directly bequeathed his own sound and productions techniques to the new generation through his now famous production tallers (classes) in his home city of Buenos Aires. Three years on from his last album Rio Arriba, Chancha this week released his latest work Amansara and in doing so demonstrated how the sound of him and his contemporaries has revolutionised modern Latin American folk music.

Simultaneously organic and electronic, local and global Amansara is his most accomplished album yet. An album that carves out and refines his beautiful interpretation of folk music in a modern, international context. On the heels of fellow Argentine folk-tronic trio Tremor, Amansara is released on Wonderwheel, the New York based imprint run by Nickodemus.

This very Latin American sound, deeply grounded in the continent’s sounds, landscapes, mythology and cultures has made waves across the world and in turn impacted a new generation of producers in South America and beyond. A nod to the scene and testament to the family that has grown up around it, Amansara includes a beautiful ‘apprentice and teacher’ moment on the track Sabiamantis which features Barrio Lindo and Sidirum, two young producers who both attended one of Chancha’s classes.

The legacy of this ‘ZZK’ generation is clear to see in the sound of producers like Sidirum, taking inspiration from the scene’s instigators whilst adding their own influences and driving in new directions. Yesterday the Chilean based net imprint Sello Regional released their 20th EP, a collection of global remixes of Sidirum’s fantastic Le Soleil EP showcasing this next generation of like-minded producers from Latin American, Europe, the US and beyond. With guests like Haarlem’s (the Dutch one…) Umoja, Ecuador’s Nicola Cruz and Hamburg’s bombombum this is an international affair and another hint at how the scene has expanded to influence young bedroom producers across the world. The description to Le Soleil remixes sums things up nicely:

‘Generar unión por medio de la música y mostrar la visión que pueden entregar diferentes artistas de un mismo objeto. Así es como queda una obra colectiva, libre y con mucho amor por la música.’

‘Generating union through the medium of music and showing the different interpretations that artists can create from the same object. In this sense this is a work that is free collective and filled with a love for music.’


Psilosamples // Soldadinho do Araripe vs Periquito Cara-Suja

We are now over 50% of the way to our Kickstarter goal for the ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America‘ album! Already two artists (Lulacruza and Tremor) have been revealed alongside the birds and their inspiring songs (the Critically Endangered Cucarachero de Nicéforo and the Endangered Cardenal Amarillo respectively).

So, now we move from Spanish speaking South America to the country of the moment, Brazil, to present artist number three. This is also a bumper edition with two birds for the price of one😉

The Bird(s)

Soldadinho do Araripe

Periquito Cara-Suja

The Artist – Psilosamples


Psilosamples, otherwise known as Zé Rolê, is an artist born and raised in the small town of Pouso Alegre from the state of Minas Gerais. His childhood growing up surrounded by nature, vegeatation and a sense of calm permeates into his music. His sound is innovative and fresh, splicing Brazil’s rich musical heritage, from cantigas and forró to Tropicalia with worldy influences like IDM, techno or electronica. Each song is a journey, traverssing rhythms, sounds and speeds with ease. A young producer that has found his niche and is making 21st century Brazilian music like no-one else. Expect big things from this young man.



Fresh Electronic Music From Brazil – Hy Brazil Vol 4


Chico Dub has been showcasing the wealth of talent from the Brazilian underground electronic music scene for the past few years, curating Rio’s Novas Frequências festival and Sónar in São Paulo, and releasing four brilliantly diverse compilations of the best new electronic and experimental artists from the country. Each Hy Brazil departs from the same formula: 14 unreleased tracks by 14 new producers across the country. Volume 4 serves up another platter of new producers and fresh sounds, a timely reminder that Brazilian electronic music is so much more than just bossa nova meets drum ‘n’ bass or Rio tinged lounge electronica.

The fourteen tracks span the spectrum of electronic music from Manara’s opener, the driving, piano dripping, percussion heavy Many, Mytho to No Step‘s spacey, dusty marimba led hip-hop, from the UK garage meets acid meets post-tropical sound of Rio Shock to Asshake’s dancefloor ripping trap / baile-funk crossover. What stands out from this release is the diversity of sound coming from these producers and the way many of them are ripping up the rulebooks, splicing styles and genres together at light speed. Once again Brazilian music has become a bubbling melting pot of rhythms and styles. As the spotlight turns to the country for the World Cup and the Olympics, this compilation is a glance into what is happening on the country’s thriving underground scene and shows that Brazilian music is, once more, at the forefront of new sounds and directions.

Hy Brazil Vol 4 is available from bandcamp for ‘name your price’.


Rhythm and Roots Radio – Volume 16

We are very excited to share with you the very first ever Rhythm and Roots Radio show coming to you from the newly launched Groovalizacion Radio with you host El Búho. The new monthly radio show will bring you the freshest mix of classic roots music alongside new, future tropical rhythms from across the world (with a little leaning towards Latin American music😉 ).

This first episode features the talented Ecuadorian producer Nicola Cruz and new tracks from Dengue Dengue Dengue, Alsarah and the Nubatones, Castro and more. You can check out the full tracklist after the break.

Continue reading

DJ iZem – EP2

DJ IZem - EP2 COver

Lisbon based French producer DJ iZem has been quietly bubbling away over the past couple of years as a producer on the rise. The few tracks and remixes that he has released have demonstrated a talented artist with a unique style blending tropical rhythms with funk influences, smooth synths with live instrumentation and deep basses with smooth vocals, epitomised by 2011’s brilliant Quiver / Debaixo D’Agua EP. He returns with his 2nd EP… EP2, offering another slice of quality, warm, soulful, topically infused electronica. What’s more, it is available for free download (!)

Continue reading

Dengue Dengue Dengue! – La Alianza Profana

I am back from the land of the incredibly busy and catching up on the mountains of great music that has been awaiting my ear for the past month. Near the top of the list was the debut album from Peru’s masked cumbia viajeros Dengue Dengue DengueThe duo have been causing waves, not just in Peru, but internationally for their fresh take on digital cumbia and performances at Lima’s TOMA! fiestas. Their two mixtapes (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2) set a precedent for their fresh digital cumbia explorations, showcasing the producers’ talent for a good remix alongside their burgeoning production/dancefloor-science skills.

The culmination of these explorations is La Alianza Profana, one of only a few independent albums to emerge from the mass of tropical / digital /cumbia productions floating around Soundcloud these days. As much as I’d like to throw away the “digital cumbia” association, DDD’s album is threaded together with that rhythm in digital form making it hard to judge it as anything else. The album however shows why DDD stand out as two of the most interesting producers of their ilk, skilfully mixing influences from electronica, dubstep, dub, cumbia (of course) and god knows what else.

While El Remolón crafts multi-coloured ice cream nu-cumbia and Chancha via Circuito sounds like he’s drifting down a foggy rainforest tributary, DDD twist nu-cumbia into a much darker place. The basses are crunching, heavy and tight while the melodies are haunted and black. Simiolo and Chacalom (two peas in a pod) are stand out dancefloor killers while Chichon (personal favourite) is a hands in the air, heavy hitting slice of digital villera. Como Bailar la Cumbia manages to weave Funky House rhythms into cumbia, layering it with a floating melody that makes it sound truly fresh.

The album is clearly leans more towards the digital side than to rootsy cumbia but this is not to its detriment – it is DDD’s sound. It is clear that La Alianza Profunda is an album conceived, tested and made for the TOMA! dancefloor. It is also bluddy good ammunition for any budding digital cumbia DJ from Buenos Aires to Stockholm.

Listen – BuyMore info