Co-written by DJs Ushka and Ripley.
When we talk about “global bass” as a genre and scene in New York, it’s not always clear what fits into this recently generated category. Who gets to claim “global bass” and what does it represent? This desire to cookie-cutter a range of musical genres as a way to identify a “scene” has in its doing led to the lack of inclusion, in media accounts, of many communities who are engaging with global music and culture in meaningful ways, with amazing music.
We travel in circles. Our lives move in cycles. Our dreams spin us around. This is something that artist Rafi El understands intuitively. Through his life and music, he’s been constantly circling back to the source of his creativity, the mountains of South America – long a source of cultural wealth and shamanic power. Raised by parents from Argentina’s historical Jewish communities, Rafi was born in Israel and grew up in Los Angeles, where he currently lives. His earliest days were steeped in the sounds and cultures of three continents.
In anticipation of the release of Rafi El’s debut full length album this summer, Dutty Artz releases the lead single “Tra Ba” as a free EP:
Friday March 15th we’re welcoming EL FREAKY from Bogota Colombia to NYC. Having just wrapped shows at Moombahton Massive in DC, and Tormenta Tropical and Afrofunke on the West Coast, we’re looking forward to hearing some of the new material they’ve been working on featuring Colombian Dancehall artists and Reggae veterans Tanto Metro and Devonte.
Brooklyn’s iBomba party is hosted by DJ Beto and our very own Ushka, whom a lot of you got to meet digitally last month via her Foreign Brown mix for our Mixtape Mondays series in February. She and Beto’s residency at Bembe has been turning it out on Mondays and bringin out some really great acts over the last year, so I’m looking forward to hearing what’s in their crates.
What are your stereotypes about Washington, DC? A place to go for protests? Full of suits and wonks? Epicenter of evil? Totally boring?
We residents of the District call bullshit. Sure, there is some truth to be found in those assumptions, but the reality is so much more than that. We’re a place of people fighting on the front lines against gentrification and for social justice, a place with many stories of amazing music, dance and creative cultures. Not enough people talk about this. These aspects are lost not only on most people from elsewhere, but even on some in the area.
Thursday’s release of ‘Distrito Cósmico’ hopefully will help change that. “It’s a song inspired by the Maracuyeah community — music elevating and uniting people beyond the mundane in collective and collaborative experiences that celebrate culture, community and fun,” says Lucy Pacheco AKA La Yorona, who wrote and sings this DC cumbia original (G-Flux composed the music and Luis Torrealva weighs in on chorus).
She’s talking of course of local DJ and booking collective Maracuyeah! (in which I’m something of a sub-comandante to comandantes rAt and Mafe) which has been expanding the dance and party universe in our city for over a year. “Maracuyeah has a role as a creative forcefield in this release,” says rAt, describing how she and Mafe helped the song come to fruition. The various players were all doing their own thing until they came together in Maracuyeah space. “La Yorona and G-Flux have been collaborators with us,” says Mafe. “They met each other at a Maracuyeah gathering and decided to work together. We’ve been part of the process through creative input and media outreach and are very excited to present this new single.”
Maracuyeah siempre sabrosa
Fiesta tropical — travesura
Fiesta tropical — baile duro
Fiesta tropical con mi gente nocturna
Says La Yorona:
“Synchronicity connected me with Mafe, rAt, G-Flux and Luis Torrealva and ‘Distrito Cósmico’ just seemed like a fitting representation of this collaborative representation of DC’s tropicalismo. My approach to MCing is based on playfulness, fun and encouraging others to let loose and enjoy themselves, to notice the inspiring spaces and experiences we are all creating together. The song is a representation of playfulness; I love it. I love that it’s DC artists meeting and creating together through music.”
Global sonidos turnin’ up the heat
Booty beats all up in the street
Cuz we takin’ over like a tropical boom
Tropical monsoon, tropical typhoon
Maracuyeah, like sister collective Anthology of Booty and several other projects, is part of a new wave of music and party innovation that has a long history in our city. “We have created a space for collaboration of people interested in exploring alternative tropical sounds,” says Mafe. “This single reflects the coming together of individuals who have been in the DC music scene for a while, collaborating with individuals who are newer to the scene.”
At Maracuyeah’s one year anniversary in April, the incredible local cumbia band Los Tribaldis played, along with Dutty Artz wunderkind Chief Boima plus rAt, Mafe and other local DJs. It represented the dual efforts of Maracuyeah — highlighting amazing DC talent as well as bringing folks to the city who otherwise wouldn’t come here, like Chancha via Circuito, Zuzuka Poderosa or Pernett.
“We are excited about the vibrant community that keeps growing and mutating and producing exciting experiments like ‘Distrito Cósmico,’” says rAt. “We are excited to see what comes next. I love to see creative people criss-crossing ‘flavor lines’ and expanding the concepts of self-interest and solidarity, in meaningful, long-lasting ways.”
The download for ‘Distrito Cósmico’ will be available on Friday — the release party is Thursday night at Tropicalia on U Street. Birthed in transitional 2012, La Yorona says she’s “gonna keep creating and collaborating and dancing.” Same goes for Maracuyeah… and DC.
[youtube width=”525″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESj164wKc6I[/youtube]
Super excited about this new event, BomBeat, that I am launching with my crew Cumba Mela, and Nickodemus from Turntables on the Hudson. Its all going down this Saturday, November 24th at Le Poisson Rouge, in Manhattan. Expect to hear a wide range of global bass music: cumbia, dancehall, kuduro, house, moombahton, reggaeton….
We are going to try our best to get a free EP for ever event. Be sure to check out the first one bellow!
1 Roasted Red Bell Pepper
1 Roasted Green Bell Pepper
15 Kalamato Olives
1 Tsp Italian Herb Tomato Paste
3-4 Sprigs Thyme
3 Garlic Cloves
2 Olive Oil Drizzles
I invited some friends to eat in exchange for a bread-breaking data swap. I’m definitely not on a culinary level with my dude DJ Rajah over at SoulCocina but this is really what meetings should be like. Exchanging in currencies that don’t depend as directly on the dollar really has an intrinsic value in making people connect. It leads to better less guarded conversation and reminds us that if we work together, there’s always more to eat on the table. Here’s my TOP 5 Things I won in the West Coast Data Swap
First up, G-Notes, the guitarist and beatsmith behind the hybrid flamenco act Granada Doaba and all around Gnawledge famalam hit me with a few remixes and edits
a sick Mex with Guns – Dame lo [Gnotes Rmx] hyper dembow bizness
and this touch up of Gotye’s anti-love jam caught me off guard…
Now my homie, Santero in the Bay Area has been holding me down for a few years now. I was happy to crash at his this time around and spend some time getting to know what he’s been up to. I learned he has been working with our homie Boogat up in Montreal.. Notice how the cover art is Boogat with the fam all around at a BBQ or somn… home cooking how we do !
Santero also just put out a brand new mixtape a couple days ago for Los Rakas’ homegirl FAVI called Flor de Azahar (orange blossom – really the best smelling flower in the world for my money)
Santero also put me on to this Goapelle/Los Rakas Remix I had admittedly been sleeping on. It was featured on Fader and Rcrd Lbl months ago. Be sure to check them out on November 19th with me and Dre Skull at SOBs
I’ve been traveling to Colombia at regular intervals to present a new sound fusing folkloric Afro-Colombian rhythms with modern day electronic music production techniques that harmonize into a synthetic club sound rooted in tradition. Via the internet, the birthplace of Cumbia has become a source of inspiration to a number producers worldwide. Recently, we invited some of the top names in the scene to a bandcamp in Colombia and a filmmaker to document it. We want to provide an insider view of the impact this music is having on the local scene and how a small network of globally minded producers are defying conventional standards of Latin club music.
We have a couple weeks to get this production costs for completing this project funded. To hear more about how you can help please visit http://www.indiegogo.com/Pico-de-Gallos
People of LA! This Saturday one-time Mudd Up! guest and great DJ Lengua will celebrate his record release party for his LP Cruzando put out by Unicornio Records. Más Exitos crew + special guests, Mister Juanderful and Sonido Franko will play some great vinyl you would be hard-pressed to hear anywhere else. In Más Exitos’ words expect everything “from fuzzy cumbias, to jumping boogaloos, to funky soul oddities, to disco aztecas, rock n’ rolleros, a-go-go latino, paisadelic-psychedelic freak outs and janky electro beats.”
Next Friday (the 13th! hope you’re not a superstitious partier!) at Sweat Lodge we’ll be celebrating the release of new DuttyArtizt Atropolis debut self-titled album. Atropolis will be joined live by Uruguayan singer Noelia Fernandez (who appears on the album) and her comparsa and Nabin Shanti will MC for his set. On hand will be myself Matt Shadetek, Geko Jones, Chief Boima and DJ /Rupture. So far these parties have been nothing short of amazing and we aim to continue the trend. This time we’ll also have some exclusive Dutty Artz stuff for sale including CDs of the Atropolis album, new Dutty Artz hats and hopefully t-shirts too if the boxes arrive in time. This will be the first time any of this stuff is available for sale anywhere. The party itself is FREE cuz we’re nice like that.
DUTTY ARTZ SWEAT LODGE
Atropolis Album Release feat. Atropolis w/ special guests Noelia Fernandez & her comparsa and Nabin Shanti
The Cove 108 N. 6th St. Brooklyn, NY. L train to Bedford Ave.
Friday May 13th, FREE PARTY 10-4AM
Not really a lot of commentary about this besides the fact that I just listened to it like 19 times in a row. This is, how you say, my shit. Sweet and low rnb en espanol by World Hood out of Sacramento with Peligrosa crew’s own Sonora coming in hard body on the remix. Big tune, and it’s downloadable via the soundcloud page, so get to it.
Here’s the video for the original, which is also very nice:
Very Be Careful are from L.A. and play a rowdy rootsy version of Colombian Vallenato & Cumbia. VBC have released a number of albums over the years but it’s their live shows — legendary, high-proof fun — which have won them a kind of cult following. Accordion cultists, it turns out, are the best kind.
For a bit more on VBC, try this post: “The cat pours the dog a stiff drink. The dog longs for opposable thumbs so he can reload the shotgun.”
tHE sECOND aLbUm BY thE kUMBIA qUEERS, “La Gran Estafa del Tropipunk” (The Great Tropipunk Swindle) is fantastic! Following up on their covers LP, this is a record of primarily original material from “six girls who play tropical punk,” easily one of the albums of the year if you live within earshot of my world.
I can’t find a purchase point at the moment, so I’ll hold off on further notes until I can link to magic you can buy. Suffice to say I’ve been waiting for this ever since producer-wizard Pablo Lescano of Damas Gratis played material from it over his SUV’s incredible soundsystem as we swerved around Buenos Aires (an optimal listening experience if there ever was one).
Also note their correct spelling of ‘kumbia’.