nearly forgot! – I’ll by DJing at Remor in Girona (Barcelona) this Saturday May 24, and then on Saturday May 31 I’ll be at the Novara Jazz Festival in Italy, and the Saturday after that you can catch me live featuring Jahdan Blakkamoore at Madrid’s La Casa Encendida for only 3 euros!

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& now for youtube:

turntable rebajada from Sonido Martines. I like this one because the visuals are as simple as the rebajada itself – yet more disorienting. Andres Landero ground down to 33.

… which leads us to a cumbia utopia – in the sense of an impossible, impossibly pleasant location. I’m not just referring to the pretty girls dressed in haltertops or asymetrical synthetics who are dancing on a computer-generated plane with that radiant horseshoe crab in the foreground as brass notes flare near a pre-peak-oil fantasy truck sold on eBay by Mad Max, now sober, turned beekeeper to support his love of honey – although that is a part of it. There is also a sense of rescuing. And, as always, the cumbia itself. Herself? Spanish, a gendered language.

9 thoughts on “UPCOMING”

  1. what’s that really fast (125 bpm+) style of latin/hispanic music that has a really consistent house/techno kick? i heard a lot pf it in n.y.c. on the radio, and recently heard some on satellite radio coming back from a festival. i should have written down the artist as a clue, but the driver told me the style was called rumbon (which turned out to just be the radio station’s name). the style sometimes has synthesizers and other digital effects, but is still basically just songs. btw, it isn’t “latin house”, it seems more of an original form than an exoticised derivative variation of another style.

  2. hello form portland OR…just got the Sonido disks in the mail! rebajadas van a PDX!
    the northwest is hungry for this. The people say CUUUuuUMBIA! whooo if that slow drippy cumbia dosnt make me and every one who hears it out here move.
    GRACIAS para todos!!

  3. merengue is a little slower and more traditional than what i’m thinking of.

    this shit pushes 140 b.p.m. i know jace has heard it on the radio in n.y.c.

    it’s got a lot of the sound palette of th modern cumbia just faster, and dj’ed…

  4. hmmm, i 2nd Wayne’s guess… ! ‘merengue’ is a broad category — if yr thinking of the trad stuff you might be *hearing* the contemporary stuff

  5. …”techno-cumbia”?
    as being different from “electro”-cumbia, that is electronized and/or dj’ed/processed ‘trad’ cumbia.
    techno-cumbia is cumbia/latine “pop” lyrics/melody + techno drumming (e.g. Maria Daniela y su Sonido Lasser / Nuevos Ricos)

  6. Hey James, insofar as the politics goes, perico ripiao has been around long enough, and been transposed to different contexts, that it’s had political and nonpolitical moments. Decades after it started, it’s become a much broader genre than the “partying campesinos on accordion” image that it still sometimes projects.

    Fulanito is a good example of the modernizing of perico ripiao, but I had to crack up that he refers to “apambichao” in “Mira.” That’s a transliteration of “Palm Beach” and was used to refer to the dragging (less nimble) way that U.S. soldiers would dance the merengue. That’s a reference back to the first U.S. occupation of the DR, 1916-1924. A lot of the early merengues that are still standards (eg, Desiderio Arias, El negrito del batey) had veiled political references. But when Trujillo promoted the music as representative of the “true spirit” of the nation, the only politics allowed was praising the dictator.

    Merengues (though not perico ripiao) became more political in the 1960s and 1970s, after the death of Trujillo, but still with a lot of double entendre that would be tough to catch for someone who wasn’t up on the context.

    There are lots of “politically compelling” lyrics in modern-day merengues, usually about Dominican political corruption or the travails of immigration, but not so much in típico, and certainly not in the club version (the technofied stuff).

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