Several things happened in the Ghetto Archipelago recently that caught my ear/mind. For instance: the University of the West Indies held a conference on cloud computing to float the idea of transforming the whole Caribbean basin into some kind of distributed super-computer and a sizable shipment of new music from the Dominican Republic washed up on the shores of hipsterville. But most of all the Banana Clipz crew--one of my favorite groups currently making music—released a free EP of their palm-infested compositions.
One of the Clipz is my occasional comrade-in-soundclash DJ Chief Boima (the other half is DJ Oro11 of Bersa Discos fame) who recently posted an extensive digger’s travelogue on his firsthand experience of the Colombian champeta scene—a whole network of competitive picós (soundsystems) who base their style on vintage afropop. I’ve been bugging him to do a guest champeta mix since it went up and seeing as how he had something to plug this week it seemed like a good excuse to lock it down. Accordingly, please find below 16+ minutes of congo-Colombian madness, along with Boima’s notes on the track-list (For deeper background, continue reading here, here and here.)
Download: GP 122: Chief Boima Champeta Blend
El Guajiro Dubplate Intro
Papa Noel, “Bel Ami” (Congo)
El Temible Zaa & El Yao, “El Celular” (Colombia)
Gizela Silva, “Amor Veneno” (Angola)
Michel and Lilibeth, “No Voy a Detenerte” (Colombia)
Brenda Fassie, “Sgubu Se Zion” (South Africa)
Geo Bilongo, “Ma Femme Est Capable” (Congo)
Casimiro Valdez, “La Ambulancia 2” (Colombia)
Mbilia Bel, “Mobali No Ngali Wana” (Congo)
Casimiro Valdez , “La Patineta” (Colombia)
Makina Del Karibe, “PCC Levemente Obscaeno” (Colombia)
Milton Mendoza, “El Caramelo (Techno Pop)” (Colombia)
Banana Clipz f. Los Rakas, “Afro Latino (Freestyle)” (U.S./Panama)
El Guajiro Dubplate Outro
Track 1: El Guajiro Dubplate Intro - From a set of great placas (dubplates) that the picó El Guajiro gave me that he uses when he is in competencias (soundclashes) .
Track 2: “Bel Ami” - Classic Congolese soukous!
Track 3: “El Celular” - I think these guys are from Cartagena. At least, they shot their video there. This is the style of singing that I hear so much in champeta; the chanting style chorus is perfect for crowds to shout along.
Track 4: “Amor Veneno” - An amazing tune from the recently released debut by this Angolan singer. I think this tune would go over well in Colombia.
Track 5: “No Voy a Detenerte” - Michel and Lilibeth have been hands down making my favorite temas and I feel like their style is channeling the late great Brenda Fassie. So…
Track 6: “Sgubu Se Zion” - I put Brenda into the mix.
Track 7: ”Ma Femme Est Capable” - More classic soukous, the sound that really serves as the inspiration for so many champeta songs. As you can see here:
Track 8: “La Ambulancia 2”
Track 9: “Mobali No Ngali Wana” - Known as "La Granada" in Colombia. When I was on the coast this summer Mbilia Bel was performing in the municipal stadiums in Baranquilla and Cartagena.
Track 10: “La Patineta” - More soukous-inspired tunes.
Track 11: “PCC Levemente Obscaeno” - A live band that has taken champeta back to the live instrument experience. Uproot Andy met them in Cartagena and passed me their CD.
Track 12: “El Caramelo (Techno Pop)” - It's called “Techno Pop.” No need to say anything else.
Track 13: “Afro Latino (Freestyle)” – This track and the Banana Clipz full EP available now at Ghetto Bassquake!
Lastly, I just want to say big up Fabian (of the Africolombia blog) and Pintao for hosting me in Baranquilla, and all the picós I met (especially El Guajiro for the placas) and Geko Jones and Uproot Andy for satisfying my need for a periodic champeta fix on their many travels to Colombia. - Chief Boima