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.’

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

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

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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New Cumbia Calling!

Somehow cumbia is one of those genres that just keeps reinventing itself geographically and historically. Though “digital cumbia”, “nu-cumbia” or whatever you want to call it exploded a few years back and was a little swamped with generic cumbia “versions”, fresh sounds keep emerging. Producers mixing their own influences into the rhythm, nodding to folkloric roots or digitalising completely. These three musical gems released over the past week are testament to exactly that:

Dengue Dengue Dengue Mixtape Volume II

All the way from Peru, Dengue Dengue Dengue‘s second mixtape is a psychadelic journey through their digitalised cumbia world. It mixes classic cumbieros with original material and hard-hitting 21st century Cumbia/Cumbiahton. Looking forward to their future releases.

Future Sounds of Buenos Aires

Almost like a Best Of ZZK with a few added bonuses thrown in. This album is the perfect introduction to the vibrant scene which revolves around the Buenos Aires based club/label. It is a diverse mix of electronic folklore mutations, cumbia futurism and sounds you just wont hear anywhere else. Fresh as ever. Get it here.

Sonido del Principe – Nueva Cumbia Ronda 2

It has been a while since we last heard from Dutch based producer Sonido del Principe but these four heavy Cumbia cuts released this week are well worth the wait. What’s more, you can download them for FREE via Mediafire.

Kumbia Queers – Daniela

Last but certainly not least, the new video from our favourite all-girl cumbia punks Kumbia Queers. This time it is all about tennis and, as pointed out by Canalh, a tongue-in-cheek nod to Martin Solveig & Dragonette’s massive hit Hello?

Freaky Fridays: Colombia’s El Freaky Colectivo

I have been hearing a lot of hype of late about Colombia’s Freaky Colectivo (mainly due to some tireless Twitter PRing!) and it seems the team of DJs/producers (@andreshaq @djmikestyle @kmmy_ranks @fatsugardaddy) are the ones to look to for futuristic tropical heat in Bogota.

The collective, which has been running a regular Freaky Friday clubnight for nearly four years (!), draws musical lines between urban bass music and folklore in an “anything goes if it makes you dance” kind of fashion. The ZZK of Bogota anyone?

El Freaky have shared the stage with some of the biggest names on the global bass scene including Toy Selectah, Que Bajo? honchos Uproot Andy and Geko Jones, Diplo, Calle 13, ZZK’s bearded tropi-pop don El Remolón, Peligrosa’s DJ Orion and even Peruvian child star Wendy Sulca!

300 songs, 7 DJs, 8-15 genres: Freaky Friday's 10 hour spectacle

It is interesting to see the mutations of latin/afro folklore with electronica/global bass come back to one of its spiritual homes to be re-interpretated and mutated once more. Musical migrations at their best! So, if you are ever in Bogota and looking for a good party on a Friday night, Freaky seems to be the place to be. Check them out via TwitterFacebook and Soundcloud.

Super Guachin – Piratas Y Fichines EP (ZZK)

It would be hard to sum up Super Guachin with one word but Pixelated isn’t bad. Piratas y Fichines (Pirates and Videogames/Arcades), which is somehow only their second release (see Cabeza! 009), is an insight into the Mendozan brothers’ weird and wonderful world of bleeps, bass and cumbia.

Super Guachin – Se pixelo el vinito

The duo’s music flits between old school console blips, slices of sub bass, cumbia villera rhythms and samples of anything that takes their fancy. They call it Cumbiatune. We call it a lot of fun.

Once more a unique and quality release from our favourite purveyors of Latin American digitalism, ZZK Records. You can pick up the six track Piratas Y Fichines from the ZZK webshop, Amazon or iTunes.

ZZK European Tour & El Remolón Mixtape

To promote ZZK‘s forthcoming tour of Europe the label has commissioned electropical-cumbiero El Remolon to put together a little mixtape. New music from the Argentine producer/remixer extraodinaire is always welcome and the mix is scatterd with fresh remixes (Nicolas Jaar and Los Destellos) and new material (including a tribute to Argentine cumbia/pop legend Gilda!) – tracklist and ZZK tour info after the music.

El Remolon – ZZK Fall Tour Mixtape

1. Mercedes Sosa – Guitarra Dimelo Tu (El Remolón Remix)
2. Nicolas Jaar – Keep Me There (El Remolón Refix)
2. El Remolón – Cuelgue que te cuelgue
3. Los Destellos – Lamento de la Selva (El Remolón Remix)
4. Fauna – Para Mi (Prod. por El Remolón)
5. Air France – Max Le Daron Remix
6. Lorna – Papi Chulo (Javier Estrada Remix)
7. Daniel Klauser – Circuito Americano
8. La Portuaria – Selva (El Remolón & Le Freak Selector Remix)
9. Analogik – Don Texas (El Remolón Remix)
10. Os Paralamas Do Suceso – Alagados (El Remolón Remix)
11. El Remolón – Se me ha perdido un remolón (Gilda Tribute)
12. El Remolón + Super Gachin vs MC Caco – Los Guachines
13. Los Reyes de La Milanga – No Me Mires Más
14. El Remolón – El Preferido
15. El Remolón + Lido Pimienta [aka Remolido] – Atrás

The tour will bring a large portion of the ZZK stable to European shores (Fauna, Tremor, El Remolon, Mati Zundel (Lagartijeando), El G and the VJ Mariela Bond) so check them out in a town near you! And if there are any UK promoters out there…book them! Dates and details after the jump.

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