Every week resident FADER selector Eddie STATS runs through dancehall riddims and other artifacts from the ghetto archipelago. This week, guest columnist DJ/Rupture aka FADER contributor Jace Clayton files an exclusive cumbia blend for a special “Villera Palms” edition. Jace went deep for this one, covering foundational joints to new bastardizations and selecting “only tunes I haven’t heard on the internets.” For maximum Villa-fication you can run the blend as a soundtrack to his “Slow Burn” feature from the current issue here.
DJ Rupture’s “Villera Palms” cumbia blend:
Estrellas Azules, “Virgen de Gaudalupe”
Jorge Meza, “Cumbia Coqueta”
Jorge Meza, “Cumbia de Los Sonidos”
Grupo Soñador, “Gigante de Hierro”
SuperCumbia Bros mix excerpt
Lucky Kumbia mix excerpt
Afrosound, “Tiro al Blanco”
Milk Dee, “Top Billin” (accappella)
ODB vs Uproot Andy, “Brooklyn Cumbia”
El Hijo de la Cumbia, “Para Bailar” remix ft. Alika
Grupo Saya, “Canita Canaveral”
Voces de Yuma, (Title unknown)
As I explain in Slow Burn, cumbia is popping off all over the place, bending things differently in each locale. The first few tunes here are momentous cumbia sonidera jams. Sonido means (among other things) soundsystem. Cumbia sonidera rubs up against Jamaica sounds in that regard: homebuilt rigs, dubplates on CD-R, an MC on the mic, low-end whoomp. The mix kicks off with what every faithful DJ needs: a tribute prayer (directed at the Virgin of Guadalupe) for the divine protection of international sonideros. “..the pilgrimage of all us soundmen… Virgin, we come to thank you…because I’m a soundman and I travel wide.”
The next two jams come from the Bronx’s own Jorge Meza (like the genre itself, he arrived here via Colombia). “Cumbia de los Sonidos” roll-calls hot soundsystems from the New Jersey to Monterrey—it’s basically a who’s-who of the cumbia sonidera scene. “Cumbia Coqueta” is his sweet & low take on a much-versioned song. “Gigante de Hierro” (Iron Giant) is a stomping anthem from popular Mexican boy band Soñador. To keep the weight up I dropped a few quick crunk-cumbia cuts after that. Straight outta Texas; thugged-out rap lyrics and delirious accordion loops.
The next section starts with a blend I like to do live. The instrumental cumbia tune comes from Disco Fuentes band Afrosound, “Tiro Al Blanco”. This bad-ass Colombian combo soaked up Peruvan chicha guitar influences then purchased a Moog—shout to Sonido Martines for the original LP. Manu Chao sampled “Tiro” heavily (check Chao’s first album, dude learned a lot from cumbia). I layer it with a classic old school acapella from Milk Dee (young people: this is the source track for the sampled hook on 50 Cent’s “I Get Money”). Milk Dee’s Bed-Stuy boasts flow into a new school O.D.B. cumbia refix courtesy of Brooklyn’s Uproot Andy. One of the reasons cumbia attracts MySpace mashuperos is because it mixes with rap so easily: right tempo, and you can always find an acapella that brings the right vibe.
Then we dip into an exclusive from the mighty El Hijo De La Cumbia from Argentina, with reggae vocalist Alika on vocals. El Hijo is only 23 but he’s been producing sonido crews for over a decade; just two days ago I found a crop of pirated Hijo tracks—a competing Argentine DJ/producer had cut-up Hijo productions and slapped his own name on top.
Two roots tunes close things out—the first is Grupo Saya, Andean cumbia with heartbreaking/poignant lyrics (“I don’t deny that I loved you, now forget me, I’m begging you… so much swimming in the river, only to die on the shore”) and those much maligned pan-pipe flutes. After that we go back even further, to an Afro-Colombian roots jam that Alan from Lima’s Sonido Inca gifted me. This gorgeous tumbling rural sound came before cumbia. It’s folk, yeah, but it’s fiercely beautiful. This mp3 says “Voces de Yuma” (yes, my cumbia crates sag under the weight of bad metadata). For more of this gaita sound, check Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto or Totó La Momposina. Totó is loved by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and sampled repeatedly by Polow and Timbaland (Rich Boy’s “Get to Poppin,” “Indian Flute” etc.) so you know she’s serious.