Musical roadtrip to Colombia’s coast

“Explore the vibrant culture of the contemporary Caribbean music scene in this Native Instruments original documentary. Producer Mauricio Alvarez takes us on a trip from Bogotá to the Colombian coast in an attempt to understand the spirit of Caribbean groove, highlighting the soundsystems, the artwork, and a generation of musicians and producers creating a new music all their own.”

Tracklist:

00:00 Bota candela :: Sultana (unreleased Kobra edit)
00:26 Danza de los mirlos :: Los Mirlos (live Dengue Dengue Dengue Refix)
01:17 El Preferido :: El Remolón (ZZK)
02:00 Bye Bye :: Cero39 (Polen records)
03:17 Brisa :: Cero39 live (Kobra edit)
06:20 Saludos a Kamisama :: Cero39 (unreleased)
07:50  La guitarra que llora :: ?  (n/a)
10:19 Descarga tacones :: Pollo Burbano (Private press)
11:11 El Agua :: Dj Rata Piano (n/a)
14:01 Cero39 a lo Ratista :: Cero39 & Dj Rata Piano live (Kobra edit)
15:17 La Orejera Coleta :: ? (n/a)
17:16 Amanecer :: Dj Dever feat. Lil Silvio (Passa Passa)
19:13 El vacile de la nevera :: Cero39 & Dj Dever live (Kobra edit)
20:17 El Manimal :: Anne Zwing (Kuky)

Sidestepper talks to Alt Latino

I caught this half-hour Alt Latino interview with Richard Blair, aka Sidestepper, and it just flew by (I’m both happy and sad about that) because the music contained within is beautiful. Check it out ; )

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“Richard Blair is from Britain, but his heart is in Colombia. Blair went from producing albums for Peter Gabriel to immersing himself in the music and culture of Colombia — itself a country with deep African roots.

He chased a sound he’d heard in his head; one that mixed the burgeoning electronic music scene of Britain with the Afro-Colombian sounds he’d heard in the streets and clubs of Bogota, the Colombian capital.

The result, formed in 1996, was the band Sidestepper, which released four albums that left a huge impression on the Colombian music scene. Current Colombian bands like Bomba Estereo and Choc Quib Town have spoken at length about the influence of Sidestepper on their music.

Blair recently assembled a new generation of Colombian musicians to re-form Sidestepper and release an album (Supernatural Love) with a sound that looks forward and backward at the same time. It’s rich with tradition, and with the sounds of clubs around the world.

This week on Alt.Latino, Blair joins us to discuss Sidestepper’s history, his own musical influences, and what we’ve determined to be the ultimate truth. (Listen in to find out what I mean.)”

Listen to the great 33 minute podcast at NPR

Yo me llamo Cumbia

“Yo me llamo Cumbia” (“My name is Cumbia”) is a documentary that goes in the search of Cumbia’s origins. We’re going to identify the geography and history of the rhythm, within which the entire story of the cultural melting pot that ended up creating what today is Latin America. In over 52 minutes, we’ll know the different versions about the Cumbia’s origin, we want to contribute to the discussion on where and how Cumbia was born, traveling across the geographical locations where (according to research) originated this ancient rhythm. Our main interest is to compile, document and most importantly share the various manifestations around this ancient rhythm, an initiative that hopes to assist in the dissemination and preservation of the Cumbia.

Afro-Colombian Rappers Vie for Grammy

“For the descendants of African slaves who populate Colombia’s poorest, most corruption-ridden corner, music has long been the most natural of distractions from a very hard life.

And so it is for ChocQuibTown, a soulful, hip-hop trio in the running for the year’s best Latin-Rock/Alternative Album at the Grammys on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles. Their music is a soapbox that you dance to.

“De Donde Vengo Yo” (Where I Come From), which won Best Alternative Song at the Latin Grammys in November, is a spirited lament of the hard-luck life: multinationals and corrupt politicians get rich off gold and platinum; poor blacks get run off their land by illegal militias.

Forty-five percent of the 450,000 inhabitants of the band’s home province of Choco, which is along Colombia’s northwest coast bordering Panama, has been uprooted, while 70 percent live on less than a dollar a day. Paved streets, electricity and running water are rare.” – ABC News (more here)