Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Martin Denny, "Quiet Village"

Don't really know Martin Denny yet. Apparently some classic 50s tropical-loving American composer/musician. This video is brilliant. Love the animal sounds, and the stoic faces of the musicians.

A little more info from Wikipedia and The Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny page.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beyond the Golden Age of Latin American Cumbia

Depends on how you look at it, but many of these songs could easily be seen as being bad.

1. I love the first one
2. The second one is bizarre (a song about an El Salvadorean dish)
3. The third one looks like it takes place at a Peruvian high school dance for adults
4. The fourth one has no redeeming qualities besides the singer's hair
5. In the fifth one you see the girl from behind way more than you do her face
6. Watch for the audience's enthusiasm in the sixth one
7. I got a little carried away. This is the third video in this post from Los Ronisch, the Bolivian cumbia superstars.

1. Adrian y los Dados Negros, "Tarjetita de Invitacion"

2. La Chanchona de Tito Mira, "El Chuco"
El Salvador

3. Agua Marina, "Viviré Para Amarte"

4. Rafaga, "Mentirosa"

5. Los Ronisch, "Amigo Traiga Cerveza"

6. Los Ronisch, "Prefiero Estar Lejos"

7. Los Ronisch, "Soledad Disco"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Argentinean Murga!

I don't know much about murga yet, but I am intrigued. It first began when I heard this song, "Cumbia Murguera," by Chancha Via Circuito, the Argentinean musician:

The sound reminded me of something, but I couldn't say what. Then I was reading an article/interview with him (I forgot where and I can't find it now) where he mentioned that having played the drums in the murgas of his hometown as a child was formative in his musical development.

According to Wikipedia, murga is a form of popular theater. But it seems the Argentinean style - which differs from the Uruguayan style (murga originated in Uruguay) - features less vocals. There is a lot of percussion, and a lot of dancing.

Watch this 10 minute montage of Murga Porteña (Buenos Aires-style Murga) - carnivalesque marching band, Argentine-style.

And this low-budget street murga. Watch the way they kick, and the little kid, and they way they rock the little cymbals atop their great drums - especially at the end.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I rarely see things like this that blow me away. Or maybe it happens a lot? But this is crazy. Right? South African PLAYDOE. Found thanks to DJ/Rupture's listings in Mondomix.

And this I like, too. Ghislain Poirier [watch in HD at YouTube!]

Thursday, March 12, 2009

TOKIO TROPICAL presents ELEC(TRO)PICAL * Tokyo Cumbia Party 3/29

Sun. March 29th
7 PM till last train
Shibuya, bar Q
Dogenzaka 2-25-14 B1 (around the corner from the McDonalds right down the hill from Don Quixote)

東京トロピカル presents エレクトロピカル
道玄坂2-25-14 B1

Classic Cumbia and Cumbia Digital from Colombia, Peru, Argentina & more
Check out Rezar's Mini-Guide to Cumbia and LISTEN to classic cumbia, cumbia digital & more


CLASSIC CUMBIA La Sonora Dinamita, "Ritmo de Tambor" [Colombia]

CUMBIA DIGITAL El Remolón, "Alza la Manos" [Argentina]

Sunday, March 8, 2009

ZZK Records in Tokyo

ZZK Records from Argentina had a rare weekend of Tokyo parties last weekend, with mini-events for cumbia lovers in Tokyo's Shimo-kitazawa and Koenji neighborhoods.

The occasion? ZZK's art coordinator, Anna Brown, was on a long vacation spanning the globe. And they rightly decided that it would be a good idea to send her some music to share with the surprisingly enthusiastic cumbia-loving communities of Tokyo and China.

I made it out to this past Saturday's event at a small bar called Grassroots in Koenji. The place is tiny, but it was packed, and the sound system is respectable. As soon as I walked in a little before 1 am, I saw the only other non-Japanese in the room, and rightly guessed she was Anna from ZZK. The room had a lively energy, and people were excited to hear ZZK's fresh new sounds!

"Annita Cumbia Selectah" went on soon after, and as soon as the sounds of accordions and thumping cumbia percussion left the speakers, the place went up in dance. She spun a long set including ZZK tracks I had never heard, interspersed with crowd favorites. Despite her non-DJ-ness, it was an amazing set, and people were thrilled. I got to keep a couple of the CDs they sent her with (two tracks below!)

After her set, Moodman spun really good hip hop, which eventually phased into reggae. Around 6 am, after a bowl of ramen, they asked her to spin again. She was like, Cool, but I'll probably be playing a lot of the same songs again. But since nobody had heard them for a few hours, it was fresh all over again! I sat in the back of the small room next to a guy that had passed out. The sun was beginning to come up but it barely leaked into the dark 2nd floor space. The speakers behind me shook with the bass. The place was still full. I was half-asleep, half-daydreaming, imagining some combination of Argentina and outer space.

I had no idea cumbia (and perhaps cumbia digital especially) sounded so good loud! As my first time enjoying the music at a club (or club-like space), it was eye-opening. And since I met a few cumbia-loving Japanese people, upcoming parties are in the works.

These two songs blew minds.

Dead Menems "Taliban del Amor" (El Remolón remix)

I don't know who this is yet!:

Check out the free mixtapes at ZZK's homepage.

Friday, March 6, 2009

"El Acordeón del Diablo"

"El Acordeón del Diablo" is a film by German director Stefan Schwietert about accordions and Colombian music. Accordions of course came from Germany, and the movie begins by explaning how the accordion came to be such an integral part of coastal Colombian music such as vallenato and cumbia, among others.

The film tells the story of the 92 year old Francisco Pacha Rada, a literal living legend, still playing the accordion. He is one of the most stories musicians in contemporary Colombian musical history, and yet lives humbly in the Carribean city of Santa Marta.

The film also features a lot of Alfredo Gutierrez, a famous musician in his own right, from the generation following Francisco Rada's. Here's a great song of his I got thanks to Africolombia, "Ojos Indios."

If the film is coming to a town near you, see it at the theater (here's the homepage). Otherwise, enjoy it on the tiny screen at YouTube, where it's available in 9-minute pieces.

So far I am enjoying it. I'm on the 4th part right now, which features a lively performance by some old men (including the star's son), in the town of Aracataca (Garcia Marquez's hometown). Check out the maraca player's fancy footwork around the 3-minute mark: Part 4

But be sure to check out the whole movie. Really interesting if you're interested in Colombia, Colombian music, vallenato, cumbia, or Latin America in general.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"The Godfather" by El Afrocombo de Pete Vicentini

This is a fluff post dedicated to a cheesy theme, that being this song by El Afrocombo de Pete Vincentini which does the Godfather theme afro-Colombian justice.

This is a distillation of brilliant Fabian's post/uploads at
Africolombia which you should go see. Perhaps first listen to the song below and see what you think. The stuff over at Africolombia has more breadth and is not focused only on Godather covers.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Música Antigua de Colombia

This is a mix of music I borrowed from my aunt in California last December. She had just brought it back from her trip to see my grandma, aunt and cousins in Pasto, Colombia. It's just a burned CD with the title "Música Antigua" written on it. I didn't know what it was, but when I put it on in the car driving back to the San Diego suburbs from LA one night during vacation, it almost floored my mom.

I remember my uncle would watch music programs where middle-aged and older musicians would play this type of music at night in his room after dinner in Medellín.

I don't know any of the artist names, so please let me know if you do.

Here's one song, then links to the full album in two parts.

Música Antigua - 1st half

Música Antigua - 2nd half

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Best of February (and Best of January) 2009

Here are my Best of February and January iTunes playlists. Sorry no downloads here. Obsessed with disco, house, cumbia and more.