Animated Cumbia

Splashes of colour, indigenous patterns, forests, rivers and sunshine, two traditional dancers dressed in white and red – the video for JWCM’s Cumbia de Piedra is a beautiful audio-visual impression of the producer’s native Colombia.

Directed by Tomás Pichardo, a fellow student of Jhon Williams Montoya Castro (JWCM) at the Italian communications research centre Fabrica in Treviso, the video is inspired by rural Colombian life from indigenous traditions to those of today’s campesinos. Reminiscent of a Miró painting, mixing anmation, stop motion, rotoscoping and digital painting, it gives a vision of the country from afar, the perfect backdrop to JWCM’s music, marrying the rhythms of his native homeland with his own classical violin playing and electronica.

JWCM

However, this is not the first incarnation of Cumbia de Piedra. The track featured as the centrepiece from JWCM’s part art exhibition, part concept album Mohs, focussed on the idea of creating sounds from stone. Uniting diverse inspirations from folkloric rhythms and live sampling to the mineral classification studies of German scientist Frederich Mohs, the album is part digital cumbia, part classical violin and part experimental. It even features a bespoke instrument called the ‘stone pad’ made from stones.

New sounds are in the pipeline from JWCM so watch this space!

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.’

Matanza // Gallineta Chica

Incredibly, we reached over 3,000 Euros today on the Kickstarter. Now just 24 hours to go so still time  to support the ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’ project!

On to artist number 9 and one we are very excited to announce! All the way from the Andino plains of Chile we give you the mysteriously wonderful and entrancing Matanza! The shamanic Chilean trio will be making a track inspired by a special Patagonian species, the Gallineta Chica or Austral Rail.

The Bird – La Gallineta Chica


The Artist – Matanza

www.soundcloud.com/matanza

Hailing from Chile, Matanza are a trio of electronic musical shamans. The band been integral in the folk/electronica movement in Chile n Chile and beyond, breaking new ground with their fresh approach to both Andino folkloric music and electronica. Matanza fuse together the music of their roots, collecting, playing and recording a range of native Latin American instruments like Bombos and Gaitas, with the music they grew up to – the sound of the dancefloor sighting Ricardo Villablobos, Matias Aguayo and the label Dirty Bird as influences. Their productions blur the lines between house, techno and folklore, reinventing, remixing and developing new musical directions and meeting points. In their words: post-modern folk music. In our words: brilliant. Listen below:

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Algodón Egipcio // Cotorra del Sol

We are happy to introduce our first Venezuelan bird and artist from ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America‘. As our 9th artist we give you Algodón Egipcio who will be creating one track inspired by the stunningly coloured and aptly named Cotorra del Sol or Sun Parakeet. Find out more about the bird and the artist below. Still three days left to support our Kickstarter to make this album happen. Check it out here!

The Bird – Cotorra del Sol


The Artist – Algodón Egipcio

www.soundcloud.com/algodon-egipcio

Algodón Egipcio is a Venezuelan artist and one half of the lovely, melody soaked pop duo Jóvenes y Sexys. Under his production moniker, Algodón AKA Cheky makes wonderfully spacey, atmospheric lo-fi electronica but with melody at its heart and his warm vocals drifting over the top. He recently took part in the wonderful Norte Sonoro project in Mexico and has made a name for himself on the Latin American underground scene. Listen below:

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Barrio Lindo // Capuchino de Pecho Blanco

As we reach 100 backers and 90% of the backing on Kickstarter it is time to introduce you to our next ornithological musical duo  – Argentina’s Barrio Lindo and El Capuchino Pecho Blanco or the Marsh Seedeater! This beautiful little bird is in steep decline due to trapping for the caged bird market and it is estimated there are only 600 – 1700 left in the wild.

The Bird – El Capuchino Pecho Blanco


The Artist – Barrio Lindo

www.soundcloud.com/barriolindo

Barrio Lindo AKA Agustín Rivaldo is an Argentine producer who also happens to make his own guitars and charangos. The young producer spent three years in Colombia immersed in the country’s rich rhythms and sounds before returning to Buenos Aires where he honed his production skills under the tutelage of fellow porteño Chancha Via Circuito.

Barrio Lindo crafts electronic-folk spacescapes, dream like sequences seeped in atmosphere but grounded in the rhythmic undercurrents of South American traditional music. He has released music on Bad Panda and most recently on the forward thinking German label Project Mooncircle. Listen below:

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Nicola Cruz // Jocotoco Antpitta

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Joining the host of talent featuring on ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’ our fifth artist is an Ecuadorian producer who has collaborated with Nicolas Jaar and is behind the mysterious QTZLCTL collective. Introducing Nicola Crúz and the Jocotoco Antpitta, a bird only discovered in 1997 and found in only 5 locations. Find out more and become part of the album by backing us on Kickstarter.

The Bird – El Jocotoco Antpitta


The Artist – Nicola Cruz

www.soundcloud.com/nicolacruz

Nicola Cruz is a DJ, producer and musician born in France but having gone back to his origins and currently living in the heart of the Andes – Quito, Ecuador. His music is founded in electronica, drawing from house, techno and electronica explorations, mixing this with the sounds of his surroundings – the culture, traditions, landscapes and rhythms of the Andes.

Cruz is an Ecuadorian producer who has released music on Nicolas Jaar’s imprint and is behind the QTZLT collective. He has played stages from LA to Buenos Aires and has crafted a sound echoes that of Jaar’s – a live, organic electronica that, in his words, makes ‘electronic music sound as if a band were playing it.’

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Chancha Via Circuito // Macá Tobiano

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We are honoured to announce Argentina’s Chancha Via Circuito as artist number four, a producer whose sound it seems was made for this very project. He has taken on a very special bird, the Hooded Grebe, a species whose population has reduced by 40% over the past 30 years. Find out more about the ‘A Guide to the Birdsong of South America’ project and help Kickstart us here.

The Bird – El Macá Tobiano


The Artist – Chancha Via Circuito

www.soundcloud.com/chanchaviacircuito

Chancha Via Circutio, otherwise known as Argentine producer Pedro Canale has become one of the country’s most heralded young producers celebrating and reviving his country’s folkloric traditions.

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