Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mad Decent meets Cumbia

Diplo´s wonderful record label Mad Decent announced signing Toy Selectah from Monterrey, Mexico, to their roster. As the label describes him, Toy is an icon in Mexican music. He produced one of the first and biggest hip-hop acts in the country with Control Machete back in the '90s, moved on to A&R - direct for the biggest latin acts on Universal - and revived the Mexican cumbia scene with live DJ-sets around the world.

Toy Selectah is putting out his 12" on Mad Decent in January with his crew Sonidero Nacional under the new title Cumbias Machine. While digging into my song archives, I ran into the following Sonidero Nacional remix of Mexican pop princess Julieta Venegas´ song "Eres Para Mi". The remix fuses pop, reggaeton and cumbia into something called... cumbow? (Should such title leave you puzzled, let a professional musicologist shed some light on the issue.)

Julieta Venegas - Eres Para Mi (Sonidero Nacional Cumbow remix feat. Anita Tijoux and Sonidero Nacional) (zShare)

After that Toy Selectah´s official remix of Calle 13´s new single almost feels like a natural move. Calle 13 is one of the most progressive reggaeton acts hailing from Puerto Rico. Group´s previous albums took the Latin America by a storm and the third one is about to drop. Here Calle 13 manage to write a love song that has the group's trademark wit and dryish humour, yet is kinda touching at the same time.

Calle 13 - Nadie Como Tu (Toy Selectah Raverton remix feat. Café Tacuba) (direct link, via Mad Decent)

And finally Toy´s somewhat unique take on Chromeo´s Fancy Footwork.

Chromeo - Fancy Footwork (Toy Selectah Raverton remix) (zShare)

(Read more from Mad Decent´s blog.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yes, we are back.

After months of silence, I am working on taking this blog back on-line. Especially a lot of articles on funk carioca are right on their way. Meanwhile, a few free goodies for anyone interested in how is that experimental cumbia stuff doing. Pretty well, apparently.

The grand ol´ men of experimental cumbia in Buenos Aires, ZZK Records, have put on-line a nice selection of mix-tapes from the biggest names in the city: Villa Diamante, Chancha via Circuito, El Remolon and my favourites, the Mendozan "digital cumbia ragga dancehall" duo Fauna (mixed by Daleduro). Also grab the new Fauna song Los Piratas del Zanjon (Zurita Mix) for free. And congratulations to Zizek for club´s second anniversary - and November 2008 European Tour!

Cabeza! is a net label offering digital cumbia (and anything related, from hip-hop to dancehall), on-line, all for free. In their own words, they want to invite you to have a taste of sounds that are nothing less than "super-original, incredibly tasty and finely selected. Danceable in any moment and any place on planet. Rhythms with seal of quality." So give 'em a try and go get that stuff!

And if that isn´t enough cumbia for you, or you want to get your hands on something more physical, Bay Area´s Bersa Discos are there for you. Their third EP is out, this time featuring Chancha via Circuito and DJ Panik. The EP is again getting a lot of love from Turn Table Lab and is available in other selected on-line stores too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cinemaissí 2008

Cinemaissí 2008, a film festival for Latin American and Caribbean films starts today in Helsinki.

Films featured include Jose Padilla´s Elite Squad (22.10 18:30 Kino, 24.10. 21:25 Kino, 25.10 18:45 Kino and 27.10. 19:00 Bio Rex), or Tropa de Elite, the controversial Berlin Film Festival winner featured in this blog earlier - and a fine pick of other very interesting films.

Just to mention one, I could recommend Argentinian documentary Trelew (26.10 18:45, Dubrovnik). The film is a story about a failed espace attempt from a political prison during the Dirty War, the darkest chapter of the country´s history and one of central themes in Argentinian Cinema.

The rest of autumn will not be bad for film freaks either. Lens Politica, a festival for political films, is arranged in Helsinki again, so keep an eye on this site. Part of the festival will be an exhibition in Gallery FAFA of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, featuring a selection of my photos from Brazil.