Esa Cumbiera Intelectual (en español) – …another long article on cumbia , out today in the Argentine newspaper Página 12. (aside: as we drove, Pablo Lescano played me some of the upcoming Kumbia Queers album he produced and it sounded great, Andean-style vocals !, all in all unlike their current album’s dull rock covers.) shout to Sonido Martines for the tip.

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Musicans have to tune to something, and “in-tune” versus “out of tune” is a matter of relativity, so you might as well tune to the rooster.

Vibracatheral Orchestra has a nice album by that name which i blogged about 2 years back (“hangin’ out in another corner of the astral plane parking lot…); today i found its likely namesake:


[audio:06 Turning To The Rooster.mp3]

Blind Street Musicians of Cusco – Tuning to the Rooster

… once they’ve tuned it, the Peruvian harps and mandolins sound like this:

[audio:05 Marinera Cusquena.mp3]

Blind Street Musicians of Cusco – Marinera Cusqueña (3-Beat Rhythm)

the album’s buyable. Japan possess an intense tradition of blind street musicians playing strings which Ove-Naxx introduced me to.



institutional heat!?! 7:30 sharp. I get the feeling that turning up on-time or pre-ordering tickets will be a good move… price includes museum admission.

I ordered extra subwoofers & Klash is reportedly bringing his dancers. fair chance the white-box theater will get duttied up. click image 4 info:





it’s out! The Fader’s summer issue (F55) is in stores now and sports a lengthy article on CUMBIA by yours truly, along with AMAZING IMAGES from photojournalist Gabriele Stabile.

How awesome is Gabriele? Consider the following: Fader sent us to Argentina for a week – during this time he lost his only jacket, almost broke a rib, was unsuccessfully mugged (thank you, taxi driver!), stepped in dog poop like 3 times, was buzzed by armed youth on a motorbike and nearly shot at (twice, technically), was denied return passage to America (he made it out a few days later, only hours before the airport was closed due to brush fire), and still managed to take a thousand or more photographs (on actual film no less!). It was an honor to roll with someone so dedicated.


the magazine is available as free PDF download (45MB); our piece begins on page 59, but you should seek out the print version, if only to do justice to luscious, intense, Gursky-eat-yr-cold-and-sterile-heart-out centerfold photos like this one, taken at a Damas Gratis show. Yes, they are moshing. to slow keytar-driven cumbia:




TOURIST. NATIVE. BOY. GIRL. the poverty of either/or

you make a border real by policing it

“Interdependency cannot be reduced to a mere question of mutual enslavement*. It also consists in creating a ground that belongs to no one, not even to the ‘creator’ … Essential difference allows those who rely on it to rest reassuringly on its gamut of fixed notions. Any mutation in identity, in essence, in regularity, and even in physical place poses a problem, if not a threat, in terms of classification and contrl. If you can’t locate the other, how are you to locate your-self?” – Trinh T. Minh-Ha

* although this has its perks

africa migration

Some CIA affiliates came to the Fiesta Soot in Paris and gave me incredible music. CIA = Clan des Indigènes Accablés of United States of Africa = WOW now synthy-grimey African beat manifestations. Boomeranged to the back of yr head via velocities emanating outward from Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and Paris (Sarkoziland) for the summer. we are all in Babylon Residence.


Nasty – Jreste une Hard


Manusa – Jfuck

the comp these are from is available as a free download, creative-commons-licensed: CIA History Part 2.

Stay loud, stay free, stay interpenetrated & (at least) three.






Amandititita – Viernes de Quincena

pop acid satire ‘anarcumbia’ from Mexico City

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shout to Villa Diamante; he directed me towards where I could find this next piece.

he had had time to find and then lose the thing I’d been looking for without success (a cumbia rebajada mixtape from Houston crew Choppaholix). Now he can’t find it (but told me where to look) which suggests that he still has it, somewhere, obscured under the weight of semantically decaying metadata, or perhaps he has deleted it to make space for something else, an unknown known lodged in a hard drive.

“Empacho digital” says Villa Diamante; having eaten too much, bellyfull, the belly hurts. “Solo se sabe que el exceso de información de los tiempos que corren es el eje principal, en sintonía con Babasonicos.

One solution is slow down.


Choppaholix – Choppacumbia track 12

plus youtubery of Sonido Condor‘s Cumbia de los Estados (as in USA), both original & rebajada… first heard the latter via Sonido Martines; hold tight cumbia fans, next week is your week




several people have asked so sure: if you want me to re-post any MP3, now is the time.

leave a re-up request in the comment section & i’ll see what i can do. (Mind you my laptop died a few months ago, taking lots of audio with it.)

fractal snowman




For tomorrow’s radio show (wed. 7-8pm EST) 2 verrrry special guests visiting town will stop by to do some bass damage: Bok Bok & Manara! we’ll chat about what’s bubbling in London then the duo will serve up a likkle mix of things that go bump in the night.

+ tix giveaways to the Skream DubWar, me saying “um”, & high quality realtime FM decentertainment as always.

this Friday B&M are playing Kingdom’s new party (go Kingdom go!). the following they’ll be throwing down @ Trouble & Bass.

Look how nicely we New Yorkers accept total bass invasion by the Brits! There’s something in their water that isnt in ours.

Bok Bok sinks into the bog over at Low End Spasm, whose recent mix starts with a MIDIlicious interpolation of Big Pimpin and/or Abdel-Halim Hafez and sports WATERMELON GRAPHICS.



OK, so it’s not that Uncle Tom. We’re talking Tío Tom, legendary Cuban rumbero whose music is celebrated on a new Smithsonian CD


Rumba, sticks & poetry;

as the free liner notes (PDF) say “The rumba was born in Cuba out of a fusion of African traditions, and it dates back to the colonial era, when there was dancing and playing of music in the barracks of slave plantations… With only voices and varied percussion (cajones ‘boxes’, drums, sticks, spoons), its polyrhythm, vocal nuances, and musical structures turned out to be complex, though flexible.”

who trusts things which are complex and not flexible?

[audio:01_Puntilla Rios y el Conjunto Todo Rumbero_Mi tierra.mp3]

Puntilla y el Conjunto Todo Rumbero – Mi Tierra (My Land)

This is the Smithsonian’s third notable nu-world latin release of 2008; the others involve very fast vallenato (Ayombe) and even faster, insanely fast merengue típico /perico ripiao (La India Canela), the stuff that Carolina wrote on a few days ago (which can also be found towards the end of Geko Jones’ wow-analysis of a minimal synth driven pedophiliac mambo tune from DR and what that has to do with the price of milk in rural Hispanola and interweb editorializing).

Check Esquina Rumbera for more on the Afro-Cuba style.


i moved into an apartment 2 minutes from the sea where Lucky Kitchen had lived and this CD was left in the CD player but the funny thing was I already had it anyhow.



[audio:02 pil pil.mp3]

Hypo – Pil/Pil

loving diagonal silicon-chipped French pop from the slow turn of this century, 2000-2. The label-related store calls Hypo’s album “a falsely heterogeneous collection of tracks”

While the concept of fake dissimilarity/ersatz multiplicity may be of use, Karaoke A Cappella sounds like itself. This is a good thing. In an alternative universe “indie” media picked up on this and it sold 45,000 copies instead of an underlit five hundred. I’m still listening to Hypo, six years later. Sensual timbres & songcraft plus electricity sparks. You can’t number passion. We know these people.

[audio:05 ddash babass.mp3]

Hypo – Ddash Babass


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does anyone know about RSS feeds? about this RSS feed? it stopped appearing in Bloglines, so I upgraded WordPress, but it still doesn’t seem to be playing well with Bloglines.