Im DubTo write a blog about Cumbia is a bit absurd. I am aware of that. But on the other hand, I can only explain my enthusiasm for the newer Argentine variety of cumbia with the fact that reggae and cumbia may not be as far apart musically at second glance as it initially seems. Cumbia was created on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, so to a certain extent across from Jamaica. Like the forerunner of reggae, mento, cumbia comes from the time of slavery and consists of a mixture of African and European rhythms. Like reggae, cumbia is played in 4/4 time, is strongly syncopated and has a polyrhythmic structure. In contrast to salsa, there is a clearly emphasized bassline in the cumbia - this is also a common feature with reggae. In the 1970s, cumbia became popular in Argentina, first with the working class, then with the middle class kiddies and finally the upper class also danced to the highly commercialized "Cumbia Romántica". The break with the mainstream followed in 1999 when Pablo Lescano single-handedly turned Cumbia upside down and made music the gangster rap counterpart of Argentina. His “Cumbia Villera” was played faster, adapted various “urban sounds” such as hip-hop and electronic music and was given a fat, heavy beat, which was often crowned by a trashy-sounding MIDI lead melody. In 1996, Dick el Demasiado from the Netherlands initiated a series of festivals called “Festicumex”, which was devoted to the experimental manifestations of cumbia. From 2003, a new focus of the scene in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires emerged when the Festicumex series was revived there. And from now on it will be exciting, because in 2006 the mashup DJ Villa Diamante organized a series of parties under the label “Zizek”, which eventually became the club and the record label ZZK records should emerge. That was the birth of Cumbia Digital, a hybrid style in which Dub, Reggae, Reggaeton, House, Minimal Techno / Electronics and Cumbia come together in a fascinating way. The result is an incredibly grooving experimental hybrid that sometimes sounds to me as if the Cologne compact artists had slipped their rhythm tracks.
If you want to be hooked, the two samplers are: "ZZK Sound Vol. 1 - Cumbia Digital" and "ZZK Sound Vol. 2“Recommended, both by Geres' main label. If you are then ready for a real solo album, "Rolling“(ZZK) from Chancha Via Circuito. Chancha's stoic-repetitive beats are fantastic minimal music - on a cumbia basis, beautifully intricate and still groovy. It then continues with "Freestyle de Ritmos“(Soot / Cargo) by El Hijo De la Cumbia. His music is not as radical as Chancha's and sometimes even reminds of classical Cumbia Villera, which is by no means less exciting - especially since El Hijo always garnishes his beats with grandiose melodies. It gets really weird with "Space cumbia“(24 Hour Sounds), a curious sampler with pieces that sound like Kraftwerk is playing Cumbia. Three other good samplers are: "Arriba la Cumbia!"(Crammed / Indigo),"Sonido Martines Presents: Nueva Cumbia Argentina, The Buenos Aires Implosion"(Soot) and"Cumbia Beastial!“(Chusma). The offer a completely free insight into the world of modern cumbia from Argentina ZZK mix tapeswhich can be downloaded from the ZZK website.
Anyone who discovers Cumbia Digital for themselves will inevitably become a hunter and gatherer, because information on this subject is rare and finding new records is real detective work. Therefore: if you have tips for me - always bring them on!