The guys from Generation Bass have put out their SoundAmerica compilation – Wow, I can’t believe they are up to Vol. 10!  If you don’t know about them, get to know.  This month’s theme:

“Soundamerica volume 10 is an essential Soundamerican Roots compilation: big names and songs that have surpassed the barriers of time, place and fashions and definitely influenced Latin American music last century.” Download it for FREE + share!

Though Suramerica is not MY land, or where I grew up like the first song on the compilation from Mercedes Sosa, ‘Sudamerica es mi voz‘  says; the lyrics resonate so much.  I could go on and on about growing up straddling the worlds of my parents and that of ‘real time’ here in the US…but won’t today.  And maybe some are rolling their eyes that I’m not familiar, but eff it, there’s TONS of people like me discovering everyday.

It’s exciting to hear more contemporary artists + DJs going back to these roots musics + re-inventing them through hip-hop, electronic or even rock music.  It  bridges all sorts of gaps – between Latinos + the rest of the world, generational – and creates new sounds that people all over the world can discover and love.

Anyway, I wanted to point out some singers on the compilation if you are new to this world of music.  Some of the artists I was not aware of so I’m paying respects too.

Mercedes Sosa (Argentina)- ‘La Negra’ from Argentina.  She passed away last year at 74 and was one of the more celebrated folk singers from the ‘Nueva Cancion’ Movement.  She toured internationally + was dubbed ‘the voice of the voiceless.’ Read her obituary from the Guardian.  “Life chose me to sing” – she once said.

Petrona Martinez (Colombia) – One of Colombia’s most distinctive voices of Afro-Colombian folk music.  From her record label‘s website “Bullerengue is an Afro-Colombian dance rhythm originating in the small towns of Bolivar + Cordoba counties in Colombia.  It was concieved as songs to be sung only by pregnant women who were confined to their homes, unable to attend to the youthful village dances.” In 1999, she released an album in France called ‘La Bullerengue.’

I’ve heard her song ‘El Hueso‘ on some mix from Geko Jones or Uproot Andy.  Big ups to those guys (and Dutty Artz) + others who keep this music alive + are spreading it.

Astor Piazzolla (Argentina) – renowned composer + musician, he ushered in a ‘Nueva Tango’ sound, incorporating his classical training and love of jazz into the Tango he loved.  From his bio: “What was once a choice between the sophisticated music OR tango, now would be sophisticated music AND tango, but in the most efficient way: to work the structure of sophisticated music with the passion of the tango.”

Rubén Rada (Uruguay) – From his website, Ruben is one of the masters of  ‘Candombe’, an Afro–Uruguayan rhythmic style music, which only exists in Uruguay and is based on the sound of three types of drums: ´chico´, ‘repique’ and ‘piano’.  There is a community of over 180,000 Afro-Uruguayans.   If interested, read his whole bio, but he’s released many albums, is huge in Argentina, and has put out come children’s albums as well.  Looks like his song ‘Mi Pais‘ – is a love letter to Uruguay.

Here’s a very very rough guide to some more contemporary websites, blogs, DJs, artists, labels, etc paying homage to Latin America’s folk musics (whether cumbia or bullerengue, etc) + her new forms (incorporating rock, hip-hop, electro, etc) in one way or another whether playing it in the clubs, remixes, releasing these artists to the world, online radio, brilliant blogs, etc:

Generation Bass (Blog/DJs)
Dutty Artz (Blog + Record Label)
Geko Jones + Uproot Andy’s Que Bajo (Promoters/Party in NYC)
(Online Radio)
DJ Orion
Nacional Records
(Record Label)
Quantic y S Combo Barbaro
(Record Label)
Bersa Discos
(Party/Promoters/Record Label)
Polen Records
(Record Label)
Club Fonograma (Website)
Toy Selectah
(Artist/DJ/Godfather of Nueva Cumbia Mvmt)
(Party/Promoter/Artists/Record Label)
El Parlante Amarillo (Website/Blog/Video)
URB Mag new column ‘Border Control
…and the blogs listed on this Afropop ‘Best of Nu-Whirled Blogs‘ feature!

I’m sure I’m missing tons – so fill me in by commenting below + put me on!

I like the question Lynn Fainchtein posed on Twitter the other day:
No hay un stereogum, nme o rbdl de grupero/cumbia/popular -q le llaman- en twitter?”(Wouldn’t that be nice if the super knowledgable people I listed above could come together on this?)

Ruben Rada

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