Video 18 Aug

Just favorited “Fly Points v.2 - Matar a Saudade (New sounds from Brazil)” by DJ El Dopa on Mixcloud.com

Text 6 Aug 1 note Últimos días en Chile

Hey everybody!  At the end of my travels in South America I was writing a bunch.  I’ll be posting a lot of new ideas.  Hope you enjoy reading!

This piece I wrote my last week in Santiago, as I was saying my goodbyes to a one-and-a-half year stay in Chile:

Últimos días en Chile

 As we say our goodbyes we yearn for more.  A friend for months or an acquaintance on a blurry night, it is impossible to know the impact a person has made on you until that point comes. A hug. A kiss. A simple wave.  That’s it.  For some, you wish them well and hope you’ve made even a small impact on their lives.  For others you know this isn’t the end; that the place in time where you parted ways is just a pause in your friendship.  The question becomes when and where you will come in contact again.  Such is life.  An exciting journey that takes you on trips, where the people you meet should guide you on your way.  The conversations with people and the things that bring you to raw emotion.  Laughter. Crying. Fear. Comfort.  Feelings that we all feel and want to share with one another, but some feel a desire to grow independently.   To build a house so big we lose ourselves.  To drive a nice car, wear nice clothes and buy nice things to feel important.  To drown ourselves in work to achieve higher-level positions. 

 At the base of who we are we are meant to share.  Share ideas.  Share emotions.  Share culture.  Share music.  And by sharing we learn from one another.  That is the greatest reward.  The greatest achievement.  To listen to a friend and learn something.  To stop and talk with a stranger to gain another perspective is a skill to be proud of.  This is the beauty of life because everyone lives it differently.  It is not right to judge one as better than the other, but to interpret and understand the mind of another.  This world is too big to know it all yourself and when you think you’ve reached the top it is the peak of a very small mountain.  Stay humble.  Stay curious.  Stay creative.  Continue to learn from others as to teach many more.  Sharpen your mind and you’ll brighten our world.

 “Que linda la mañana cuando sale el sol.”

Text 25 Jul Creatividad (verano mix 2012)

Hey people!  Brand new mix from B-EZ with some international tunes to enjoy the summer!  On this mix we will hear from artists from Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Angola, Sierra Leone, England, and the US.

Enjoy the music!  And follow along below as I give a brief description of each artist.

 

Que Bloco É Esse - Aiyê & Criolo

A Brazilian hip hop lyricist, Criolo, heads up the coast of Brazil and continues up the funicular to coastal, Salvador de Bahia to team up with Ilê Aiyê, the Carnival Afro-Brazilian group.  Criolo lays down smooth, windy lyrics to the typical Bahia bongo beats, as Ilê Aiyê turn up the summer heat and set rhythm to the black communities of Salvador.  Read about Criolo and his goals in music in this exciting interview: http://www.mtviggy.com/interviews/criolo-with-love/

 

Mother in Law - Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

The Refugee All Stars from Sierra Leone are exactly how their name describes them.  A group from Sierra Leone pushed out during Civil War only to return and bring peace through music.  This track “Mother in Law” brings some positive, upbeat horns and percussion to the mix as we start to build up a base to such a diverse mix.  Read more about SLRAS at: http://www.cumbancha.com/slras

 

Saudade - Batida

The next track comes from Angolan/Portuguese producer Batida, who is mixing and modernizing traditional Angolan music.  The majority of the album features more club heavy sounds with kuduro and soca beats, but this track “Saudade” is my favorite on the album.  It slows down the album about while still maintaining a traditional Angolan music theme.  Bob da Rage Sense, a Portuguese rapper, lays his native tongue down on a classic Bonga sample.  Read more about Batida, and a review of the album written by yours truly at: http://www.soundsandcolours.com/reviews/music-reviews/batida/

 

La Danza del Petrolero - Los Wembler’s De Iquitos

Quick! Take a leap over to Peru circa 1960, and we discover a psychedelic blend of Cumbia also known as Chicha.  Los Wembler’s de Iquitos were one of the pioneers of the genre and are leading the resurgence of the style.  Every DJ in Latin America is dying to get their hands on Chicha.  For those unfamiliar with the style, but love it and want more check out this page: http://www.barbesrecords.com/rootsofchicha.html

 

Hija de Zion (remix Ft. Goyo) - Voodoo Soul Jah’s

From the Roots of Chicha to ‘Root a Pacifica’ we head North to the Pacific coast of Colombia.  A rich musical ‘tierra’ where many African styles flood the native styles of music and instruments like the marimba, a cousin of the xylophone.  On this track the Voodoo Soul Jah’s, a Colombian reggae collective, gave the mic to the lead singer of Choco Quib Town, Goyo, who rhymes quickly to the marimba beats and smooth trumpet riffs.  More commentary and free download of the ‘Root a Pacifica’ project linked here: http://latinoresiste.com/2012/03/16/latino-resiste-presents-root-a-pacifica/

 

Chismosa - Locos por Juana

Now we’re starting to hit some fluency on this mix.  Locos por Juana are a Miami based group, but draw heavily from their own Colombian heritage.  They take the Afro-Colombian sounds of Mapale and Chande mixing in Cumbia and Champeta of the modern Colombian scene, but also fusing some Ragga and Dancehall of more Caribbean focus.  This is Miami!  This song keeps us floating along the wavy tides of hip-hop in Spanish.  Listen to more and keep up at: http://www.locosporjuana.com/ 

 

Lunes Vudu (feat. Rootz Underground) - Sarazino

Sarazino continues the reggae riddim, as the truly international star teams up with the Rootz Underground to come up with Lunes Vudu.  Bringing some life to Mondays, and reason to be excited at the start of this week.  Sarazino’s music combines influences from Latin America, Africa, and Europe.  You can listen to his newest album ‘Everyday Salama’ and learn more about him at: http://www.cumbancha.com/sarazino

 

T.E.T.O. (strut) - Congo Sanchez

As we begin to switch gears we stop in the nation’s capital, DC that is, and we find Congo Sanchez.  Current drummer for fellow DC musical entrepreneurs, Thievery Corporation, El Señor Congo Sanchez has his solo career beating hard in the DC area.  Mixing Latin rhythms and Afro with reggae and punk.  This track T.E.T.O. has a jazzy afrobeat sound that ever so smoothly passes the mix from a global reggae vibe to something more traditional.  Check out Congo Sanchez on ESL Music: http://www.eslmusic.com/#!/artist-profile/congo-sanchez/

 

Porro Mangueleño - Makina Kandela

If you love traditional music, as I do, this track will be your favorite on the mix.  Here we have Makina Kandela utilizing the gaita, a 2-foot flute played with a pair, laying a melody on top of bongo drums and maracas.  A sound typical of the Caribbean Colombian coast, however this is a group in 2012 from Santiago de Chile.  The band is composed of Chileans and Colombians but they remain true to the traditional rhythms of the Caribbean coast.  Listen to more of Makina Kandela and read about the group here: (Heads up! - Link in Spanish) http://soundcloud.com/makina-kandela

 

Cumbia Sobre El Mar - Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno

We’re gonna stay on that same coast for the next track, but let’s head to the beach.  If you’re not already completely chilled out let Quantic and his Colombian musicians relax your mind.  Those of you who don’t know Quantic, you should so just google him, but I will explain what this specific project was.  The ‘Flowering Inferno’ project was a musical experiment in which Quantic brought some dub and reggae to mix with the Afro-Latin and Cumbia rhythms. The result is what you can’t help but bob your head to right now.  If you want more check out: http://www.quantic.org/releases/albums/dog-with-a-rope/

 

Show de los pobres - La Chilombiana

Let’s stick with the Cumbia!  This is La Chilombiana and yes as you guessed it, they are a mix of Chile and Colombia, but based in Santiago.  They are really stretching the genre of Nueva Cumbia in Chile.  Their sound is much more set in Chilean Cumbia than Colombian, however they utilize some more traditional stuff from Colombia in their music and the live performances take on more energy, more brightness, and more warmth, akin to the callejeros of Colombia.  Interested?  Check out a Revolver - Santiago Magazine article my friend Nick wrote as he sat in on a rehearsal:  http://www.santiagomagazine.cl/music/features-and-profiles/00807-la-chilombiana-–-latin-roots-music-here-and-now

 

La Zenaida - Combo Ginebra

Ok, so my time in Chile has given me great music, and the style I fell in love with is La Cumbia, as you probably already know.  But Cumbia sounds different in every country and the origins were born in Colombia.  So we have many connections here from Chile to Colombia.  This track is Combo Ginebra.  An eclectic group with the look of 1950s Rock-A-Billy but the sound of a tropical punk band.  However, this song is not an original.  ’La Zenaida’ is a cover of a Colombian, Armando Hernandez and his Cumbia Colombiana orquesta.  Here, have a comparison:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuH9JRetATA

 

Las seis de la mañana - Joe Vasconcellos

“Son las seis de la mañana…” the Chileans will yell out!  This song is for all my friends down South.  Joe Vasconcellos is a Chilean, Brazilian singer/songwriter and a God of music to everyone from high school punks to middle age rockers.  A poet and performer, Joe makes music with heart and soul.  “Se termino la noche!! Y me dejo con ganas!!!”  Sorry, the music will carry you away.  If you are unfamiliar with Joe’s work please check out his many timeless hits. “Otro balie contigo!!  El lugar en tu cama!!!” http://www.joevasconcellos.cl/

 

Caleta Vargas - Chico Trujillo

El Gran Pecador himself has released a new 7” vinyl, which is where I found this little gem.  ‘Caleta Vargas’ sounds like a warm-up to an electric Chico Trujillo show, of which there have been many recently, as the band has spent this past summer touring the US and Europe.  But on this mix we are dropping the Cumbia beat.  So inhale, slowly step away from the guacharaca, and exhale some smooth Brazilian grooves.  Check out the website for tour dates near you: http://chicotrujillo.com/englishsite/index_eng.html

 

Pirraña - Vanessa da Mata 

Drift back into a relaxed state as we hear from Brazilian songstress, Vanessa Da Mata.  The mix winds down with one of my favorite singers (non-Spanish speakers that is). ‘Pirraña’ adds to different sound to a similar rhythm and sends us floating up the Atlantic to finish in England.  Hear more at: http://www.vanessadamata.com.br/home/?lang=en

 

I’ll Keep My Light in My Window - Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Bárbaro

Yes, from one amazing voice, we end this beautifully diverse mix with another amazing female voice, Alice Russell.  This song comes again from the mastermind Quantic and his Combo Bárbaro.  Another project combining the instrumentation of some fantastic Colombian musicians, focused on soul and rhythm and blues.  However, this beautiful and uplifting song is also not an original.  In fact, it’s a cover from the days of Motown by Caston & Majors.  Here compare it to the original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCa2R_1TPmw

Text 9 Jul cerro monserrate

—————————————————————————————————-

Un punto tan alto

Que puedes ver la ciudad

Bogotá, se llama.

 

De arriba me llena de tranquilidad y paz

Pero abajo las calles me atrapan demás.

 

Entre diez calles me quedo

Por afuera me dijeron que no.

 

Ando mirando por todos lados

Con cara sin miedo y ojos estresados.

 

A todo la gente me dice “cuidado”

Por los ladrones que entrenan como soldados.

 

Escondidos en las cuadras como si fuera la selva

Atacan a cualquiera que están dando vueltas.

 

Pero de una vista alta, la encuentro hermosa

La verde me llama mi atención mas que cualquier cosa.

 

Sin ruido, sin peligro, sin miedo, ni nada

Un cielo por ahora que me lo ha encontrado.

 

No sé, si está es la ciudad, de verdad

Es posible que ahora no me muestra la amistad.

 

Por es la primera vez que nos conocimos

Espero que la próxima las corazones nos abrimos.

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Text 7 Jun Sounds and colours presents: Colombia

This summer Sounds and Colours - a UK-based South American music and culture website - is launching it’s first ever print edition, focusing on the music and culture of Colombia. 

Keen to banish existing stereotypes, this collectable book and accompanying CD takes a fresh look at the country’s music and culture, with articles on established genres like cumbia and vallenato, as well as lesser-known folk rhythms and traditions. It also delves into the current music scene and the ways in which Colombian music has influenced artists worldwide.

There will also be features on Colombian cinema, Circo Para Todos, indigenous culture, alternative tourist destinations, Barranquilla Carnival, and lots more. See ‘The Contents’ below for full details. We’ve been working on this content all year, doing research into some of the most interesting cultural aspects of Colombia, as well as speaking to collaborators and writers to work on the content, with the aim of bringing you something unique and insightful.

Sounds and Colours Presents Colombia will be:

  • a thoroughly-researched, passionately-written 208-page book/magazine looking at the music, film, arts and culture of Colombia,
  • a valuable resource for anyone interested in Colombia and its culture,
  • a reflection on both alternative and popular culture from the country,
  • a multimedia publication incorporating articles, photographs and illustrations in the print publication, as well as online platforms featuring exclusive music and resources.

Why Colombia?

Colombia is the perfect starting point for what we hope to be a series of Sounds and Colours Print Editions. It’s a country that seems condemned to sterotypes, yet if you’ve been to Colombia you’ll know that it is one of the friendliest and most beautiful countries in the world. And - importantly for us - it is a country full of culture.

What Is Needed

Quite simply we are aiming to make enough money to print 1,000 copies of the book, all of which will come with an accompanying CD of new Colombian music produced by our good friends at Movimientos (listen to their Colombia radio special here. This accounts for $4,000 of our funding goal. The remaining $500 will go towards paying a number of Colombian artists and illustrators for their artwork.

What You Get

You will get:
  • a huge published “thank you!” inside the book from ourselves,
  • the 208-page (234mm x  156mm) book,
  • a CD or download of new Colombian music (depending on which option you choose),
  • the higher-end perk includes a tote bag with specially-commissioned artwork from a Colombian artist (artwork TBC)

[And please don’t be put off by the fact this campaign is in dollars. Indiegogo was the best website we found for what we needed, but only allows for campaigns in dollars. We want this product to be international, with people all over the world able to discover the best of Colombian music and culture]

The Contents

These articles will all feature in the magazine and will be written by our dedicated writing team:
  • Cumbia, Cumbia, Cumbia! - in-depth look at cumbia, starting with Sonora Dinamita (the group that internationalised the style) and onto the present day. Will include an interview with Toto La Momposina as well info on transplanted styles such as Peruvian cumbia, cumbia sonidera and cumbia villera.
  • The African Influence on Colombia’s Atlantic Coast - feat. interviews with Lucas Silva and Sidney Reyes, photos by Miriam Wirz of Barranquilla’s Picó soundsystems and mixtape of champeta music
  • Guide to Colombian Cinema - looking at new Colombian features and classic cinema. Also including an interview with Ciro Guerra about his film Los Viajes del Viento
  • Barranquilla Carnival - history of 2nd biggest carnival in the world, with photos, 1st person account of festival, and descriptions of all the characters (i.e., Joselito, the Marimondos and Monocucos)
  • Ondatrópica and the Resurgence of Tropical Music - article on this new Colombian all-star project from Quantic and Frente Cumbiero w/ photos by B+ taken inside Discos Fuentes studio
  • Juanchito and the Boom of Salsa Caleña - a look at Colombian salsa and its birth in Cali
  • Circo Para Todos: The Social Power of Circus - article on Circo Para Todos and their work with Colombia’s disadvantaged children, as well as their professional touring group Circolombia
  • The Power of Yage (William Burroughs in Colombia) - a short piece on yage (ayahuasca), focusing on William Burroughs experience of taking yage in the Putumayo
  • Música Pacifica Special feat. interviews with Hugo Candelario, Herencia de Timbiqui and Ancestros, as well as feature on Festival Petronio Alvarez and mixtape of music from Colombia’s Pacific Coast
  • Santiago Garcia, The Master a biography of the recently awarded (2012) UNESCO World Theatre Ambassador Santiago Garcia – el maestro – the man behind the renowned Teatro La Candelaria collective. He is only the second person to be awarded the prize in Latin American, after Augusto Boal.
  • Uniting Indigenous and Modern Culture - article on the indigenous cultures of Colombia as well as ways in which their music has influenced modern musicians such as Teto Ocampo and Hector Buitrago
  • The Train Of Fire and Ice: Mano Negra in Colombia - account of Manu Chao’s trip by train through Colombia
  • Carlos Vives and La Provincia - Turning Vallenato Into A Commercial Sensation
  • Alternative Tourist Destinations: Punta Gallinas (Guajira), Nevado del Cocuy, Cano Cristales (Serranía la Macarena)

Plus, there’ll be original artwork from Colombia!!!

  • Specially-commissioned cover collage by Colombian artist Javier Piraguata
  • Illustrations from Colombian comic book artist Power Paola
  • Additional illustrations and original artwork from Colombian artists

The CD

Our good friends Movimientos - one of London’s finest Latin music promoters and a record label to boot - have agreed to produce a CD of new Colombian music, which will accompany each copy of the book.

For a taste of what to expect from the CD check out this Colombia Special on Moviemientos’ SOAS radio show http://soasradio.org/content/movimientos-nuevo-colombia

Why Get Involved?

Over the past two years Sounds and Colours has earned a reputation as a worldwide champion of South American culture, with regular readers across Europe, North America, South America and Asia. We’ve always been committed to finding the most interesting stories and artists, and are at our happiest when unearthing a hidden gem. It’s the same approach we are bringing to this edition.

When you buy a copy of Sounds and Colours in print, you help to cover the cost of printing a first edition book. This is a big undertaking. You are also supporting the writers in showcasing their talent, the independent Colombian artists with their artwork, and the creation of a wider audience for Colombian culture. Not to mention the fact that you will get book of passionately-written, well-researched book that you will want to keep for years.

Who Are We?

Sounds and Colours is a South American music and culture magazine. Up to now we’ve always been purely online, with this being our first venture into the physical world!

Our aim has always been to raise awareness of the amazing and diverse cultures of South America, promoting independent artists, groups and movements that rarely get the attention they deserve. This is something which we will continue doing in Sounds and Colours Presents Colombia.

Why Are We Using Indiegogo?

We have been planning this book for some time now, and could never quite work out how to make it happen. Trying to get advertisers takes a lot of time and diverts our energies away from actually writing about the things we love. It also creates situations where we have to feature certain content to please our sponsors.

By raising the funds through Crowdfunding it really feels like we are able to keep our DIY aesthetic, and will allow us to make the book that we want to make, and that you all will want to read.

Breakdown of Costs

The breakdown of the costs are quite simple. Here they are:

Cost of printing 1,000 books:$3,000

Cost of producing 1,000 CDs: $1,000

Payment for Commisioned Artwork & Articles: $500

Que Mas?

As well as the articles mentioned above, we are also planning on featuring some of the following ideas:

  • 5 Colombian Bands To Watch Out For
  • Agua Para Todos / Canto Para Agua: Colombia’s Campaigns for Clean Water
  • Colombian Music in New York (feat. interviews with Uproot Andy, Geko Jones and Cumbamela)
  • How Cumbia Beats Changed the Global Beats Scene (w/ new cumbia mixtape)
  • Fernando Botero - He Likes Big Butts
  • The Unique Sounds of San Andres Island
  • Information on Colombia’s other traditional rhythms, i.e. Bambuco, música carranguera, música llanera
  • Exploring The Putumayo: Colombia’s Forgotten Frontier
  • Feature on Medellin’s burgeoning Hip-Hop Scene
  • Article and/or mixtape highlighting 60s/70s rock ‘n’ roll from Barranquilla and Cartagena
  • Colombianos In London
  • Pablo Escobar as Tourist Attraction
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez Reader

More info: soundsandcolours.com

See our Colombia section to get a taste of what the book will feature


Text 6 Jun afro-disiac

Afrobeat grooves to make love to… Blending some classic Afro Beat rhythms with modern hip hop music, from a variety of international artists, this mix takes on the love and power of music. From Africa to Europe, Brazil to New Zealand grooves take form and attract one another, arousing musical desire.

Saludos a todos los amantes!!!

Peace and love. .B-EZ.

Tracklist: Afro Fever - Dirty Drummer

Che Che Cole - Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra

Tema di Malaika - Bixiga 70

Mariô - Criolo

Macaco - Novalima

Nutridihna (Kerri Chandler album mix) - Cesaria Evora

Senegal Champions of Africa - The Black Seeds

Cumbia de los muertos - Ozomatli

Ariwacumbé - Frente Cumbiero & Mad Professor

Bang Data - Bang Data

Itsoweezee (Fela Soul) - Amerigo Gazaway

Galaxias Cercanas - Mala Rodriguez

Las Cosas Por Su Nombre - Ana Tijoux

Unified Tribes - Thievery Corporation

Video 30 May

Just favorited “Cal Jader’s Tropicalista summer 2012 mix” by Movimientos on Mixcloud.com

Text 2 Feb la nueva cumbiartegena chilombiana

Recently I was fortunate enough to find myself in Amoeba Records, the globe’s largest independent record store.  Located in the heart of San Francisco, the warehouse is stocked with as many CDs, vinyls, and DVDs as drugs ingested by the retired hippie occupiers of the Upper Haight.  My mind blown, I dove in head first perusing the classic rock, the hip-hop, and the soul sections before heading over to, you guessed it, the Latin section.  I was amazed by the depths of the crates, arranged by country or geographical genre. There was salsa, merengue, bachata, samba, rumba, but most importantly Cumbia!  Let’s face it Cumbia is a trending topic, and so great because it has taken on many forms in each country.  But I’m interested in the origins, so after enduring a more rewarding version of “Find the Needle in a Haystack,” I came across Cartagena!.

"Cartagena! is the story of José Maria “Curro” Fuentes, the youngest son of the family that founded Colombia’s largest record label - Discos Fuentes.”

The album is a collection of musicians that “Curro” produced and discovered all along Colombia’s Caribbean coast from 1962-72.

 It’s truly an amazing album, and although features more than just Cumbia tracks, those are my favorites, and it got me thinking on how the Cumbia I listen to today in Chile was influenced by artists like “bombardino,” Rosendo Martinez and composer/trumpeter Manuel Villanueva. 

 How do the modern artists of La Nueva Cumbia Chilena compare with the Viejo Cartagena, Colombianos?  

Well check out the latest B-EZ mix to find out for yourself…

Text 3 Jan kick start the New Year

"Three years in the makingMaga Bo's Quilombo do Futuro  melds heavy afro-brazilian rhythms with the massive bass of electronic dub and studio trickery of hip hop production.  Caxambu on top of 808 kicks, alfaias punctuate dancehall ragga, swirling filtered echoes circle tamborim figures.”

Maga Bo has worked with some highly respected names in Brazilian music - BNegão and Marcelo Yuka who have been musical partners for many years, João Hermeto on percussion, Lucas Santtana, Biguli, Funkero, Gaspar from Z’Africa Brasil, Speed Freaks (RIP), Rosângela Macedo, As Meninas do Reconca Rio and some of the members of BaianaSystem as well as the heavyweight talents of US based singers Jahdan Blakkamoore and MC Zulu.

And now it’s time to produce and share the production with the world.  This is where you come in…  Go to:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/comandodigital/maga-bo-quilombo-do-futuro-new-album-release

On this site you can learn more about the project and what is needed to reach the goal.

Do it for the love of music!!!!

Text 27 Nov Pulsar 2011

The Chilean Music Industry is as broad and diverse as ever.  Last weekend the annual “Pulsar – Mercado de Música” was put on by La Fundación Música de Chile.  The 3-day event showcased all the different players that foster the advancement of music in Chile.  It highlighted instrumental technology and state-of-the-art recording studios.; record labels with revolutionary distribution methods to combat illegal downloads; professional schools and institutes for young musicians to fine-tune their skills; Oh, and oh yeah, live music all day everyday. 

Pulsar 2011 from La Vitrola on Vimeo.

It was a massive event, both literally, and in the coming together of so many talented people.  With activities for the whole family, you could walk around the different booths, bang on some instruments, then head to the upper level for a quick presentation about how to build your own recording studio.  Grab a sandwich for lunch, then venture your way to the basement to catch a quick head banging concert, wander the main level for an impromptu acoustic jam session, and finally direct your attention to the main stage for a live performance of the some of the country’s best.  

 

Friday was a day of sharing information.  The event began bright and early (for the musicians of the world) at 11 am.  The director of the FMC introduced the event, and welcomed the many different faces that painted the Estación Mapocho, the old train station of Santiago.  After a quick walkthrough to get a feel for the “onda,” I began talking to people.  I talked to a few record labels…

La Somba Records – an independent record label with different rock, and punk bands http://www.lasombarecords.com/

Mundo Vivo – A collective of Chilean musicians that play traditional world music http://mundovivo.cl/

Algo Records – An independent label that features some unique experimental projects http://algorecords.com/

 Portal Disc – An excitingly new and innovative way to provide today’s listeners with their music legally http://portaldisc.com/english/index.php

After understanding a bit of the production, distribution, and industry leaders, I approached the schools and institutes to learn about the education of music in Chile.  Music programs from la Universidad de Chile and Universidad Católica led the charge in higher education music careers, but there were many institutions ranging from orchestral symphonies to modern dance programs to recording and production courses.  But unfortunately, one thing that I kept getting a “no” answer to, was when I asked about musical exchange programs…

 Completing a stint of socializing, sharing, and connecting (and wearing myself out speaking in Spanish) I went to attend a mini conference called “Música y Política,” at which Chilean Journalist, Fernando Paulsen, shared his findings over the years with the connection between musicians and politics.  How musicians affected the political systems? And why musicians sang about politics?  His stories enlightened the listeners about some untold history of music in Chile.  As I returned to the main floor I caught a quick Clinic on Latin percussion, and I danced my way out the door, “percussed” with musical information from a great beginning. 

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

On Saturday afternoon, I returned with one mission, and that was to check out the live music.  In about 4 hours I listened to a storytelling, traditional folk singer, Natalia Contesse; the classic soft rock sounds of “Dënver”; the high energy madness that is “Juana Fe”; a mellow jazzy jam session; the experimental spacial sounds of “Astro”; and a hard core rock n’ roll nightcap by “Glup!”

An insane range of music that took place in the same amount of time as usually one concert would.  As I arrived Natalia Contesse was strumming the traditional folklore sounds of Chile, as she sang her own songs as well as paid tribute to Violeta Parra.

After this beautiful small gathering in the middle of the main floor, I headed to the basement to check out “Dënver.”  They have a very smooth sound, which is reinforced by the voice of the lead singer, Mariana Montenegro…

 

Dënver - Los adolescentes (Radio edit) by SelloCazador

After a few nice, relaxing tunes, I climbed the stairs to head to the main stage, where Juana Fe had already begun singing, dancing, and rioting on stage.  The vibe of the crowd quickly shifted to chanting, jumping, and interacting with the vibrant performance of Juana Fe…

Blowing away the crowd in just a 40 minute set, Juana Fe knows how to put on a show in any environment.  I took a quick pause outside to take in some sun, and recollect my composure for the next act.  On my way back to the basement, I caught an impromptu jazz show in the middle of the main floor.  A very distinct change of pace from the previous live act, but that was Pulsar…

As my heartbeat settled and I chilled out to a splendid jazz showcase, I moseyed my way down to the basement again to see Astro.  A psychedelic, experimental group that uses heavy percussion, high pitch sounds, and even animal noises to provide a unique blend that sounds like it belongs in Denver, Colorado or Stockholm, Sweden…

Colombo by astrosonidoespacial

Ciervos by astrosonidoespacial

Stoked yet exhausted from the music, I climbed the stairs one last time, as if they were the Andes Mountains, to catch the final group on the main stage, “Glup!” A pop-rock band who was popular in the 90s united to perform a few of their major hits and say goodnight to the people on Saturday night…

 

On Sunday the show was wrapped up by a famous female rapper named Ana Tijoux, who closed the main stage, as Pulsar said “Goodnight” and celebrated a great weekend of showcasing musical talent.  The music scene in Chile is hip, it’s happening, it’s real, and it’s interactive.  Every weekend bands like these and many more are playing at a local pub in Santiago.  I knew the scene was exploding internationally with the attraction of Lollapalooza and other major music festivals, but now I can see the diversity and talent of so many musicians here in Chile.  It is a great community in support of one another, and Pulsar was a fantastic opportunity to exhibit the talents to music lovers here in Santiago.

Until 2012, keep discovering and sharing Chilean artists.

Que viva la música Chilena!!!

Video 20 Oct

A couple months back, I wrote a blurb about an idea to create a musical exchange program.  And when I let my mind flow onto the keystrokes of my laptop, it was just that… an Idea.

Today, after completing my time as a classroom teacher in the South, after traveling to new places in Latin America, and after settling back down in Santiago de Chile it’s time to turn my ideas into concrete projects.  I have done research about different programs that exist or institutions and networks that have similar goals.  I have contacted friends and connections around the globe.  But as big of an idea that I have, thats how much time it will take in connecting the pieces.  

I see this as a great opportunity for the world today, as I have not seen an organization whose goals align with mine, nor whose visions spread as wide as mine do.  To exhibit the diversity, transverse boundaries, and facilitate the advancement of our global musical community, beginning with an international network.

Creating an association of institutes, schools, and organizations worldwide is first and foremost before I can plan how to organize trips and plan ventures.  On my end, I am in contact with Santiago schools and plan to build the Latin America region, but like I said this mission travels the globe just as my students will, and I cannot be in this alone.  I invite anyone individual, school, or organization who is interested in joining forces to help me turn my ideas into real trips for students of all ages, all backgrounds, and all parts of the world.

Please contact Zach at zbezold@gmail.com for furher information.

Text 7 Oct A dark night: Bitman

Awoken by a whining car alarm, and the piercing rays of midday sunlight, I sat up in bed, and thought to myself “What a night!”  With a splitting headache, I layed back down, closed my eyes and attempted to recreate and recall every beat, track, rip, and scratch…

Piano, crusty beats and a car alarm. by alenty

On a dark night on Septmeber 30th DJ Latin Bitman lit up Club Subterraneo with some unheard of hip hop beats.  Kicking off the Spring season, he warmed up the crowd with sounds to make even the most “cuica” of Providencia, bob their heads and loose control.  DJ Bitman’s arsenal ranges from reggae, soul, jazz, funk, electronic, bossanova, etc. but his live show is centered around “Kick ass party hip hop” (Genre credited to BOYCOM).

Bitman led off his set with a punch to the mouth.  Dropping a stinging beat, while flowing in some samples, scratches, and effects to hype the crowd.  From that point on, the tunes flowed as smoothly as the piscolas.  

Usually Bitman’s music provides the soundtrack to a nice, chill walk in the park or a funky sunny Sunday loungin with friends.  But with the turntables spinning, the speakers blasting, and the eerie blacklighting Bitman increased the BPM of the crowd’s heartbeats and dancing feet.

The caped crusader masked some of his classic hits with new Bitman beats and new influences.  ”Tropilove,” which is a beachfront jam pairing the smooth xylophone beat, with the the sweet lyrics of Julian Pena.  But on this night, he layed the vocal on top of some rude boy, dubby riddims.

He remixed “Hold the Line” by Major Lazer to add his touch to one of probably the most remixed song of 2011.  Have a listen on the link below:

http://www.djbitman.com/downloads/HoldTheLine-Bitman_Rmx.mp3

So the show began with some dancehall, dub beats, before throwing in some classic Bob Marley with “Could you be Loved.”  Not an edit, remix, or cut, but he dropped the original, and transitioned perfectly, only to hear the crowd erupt in cheer.  ”Don’t let them fool ye….”

After getting everyone one in the club floatin like a butterfly he threw a hook and dropped some cumbia baseline.  Tempo matching and percussion flavored this hip hop set to spice up the recipe…

Insomnio-LatinBitman Rmx by hguzman

After more instrumental tunes and a stint of “bailando sin parar” a good friend and MC, Chico Claudio joined Bitman on stage to compliment the Bitman beats with some friendly freestyles and effects.  The human beatbox, worked on a drum machine and mic on stage to add effects to the live set…

After adding effects only with his mouth, he took a tighter grip of the mic, and started rhyming.  Swiftly flowing over the live mixes, Chico Claudio took it upon his self to steal the show.  Bitman dropped the beat, and all that as left was an MC and a mic continuing the scratches and beats with only his voice.  Providing famous house beats, and classic dancehall, with samples and effects, that play to the crowd.  ”If yo motha only knew…”

After some spitting into the Mic, Bitman Q’d up the next hitlist and quickly regained the crowd’s consciousness…

Yes Latin Bitman puts on a great show in Santiago, but 2012 will for sure be a break out year internationally.  Back in March a little event called Lollapalooza took place here in Santiago, and Bitman hooked up with percussionist of Cypress Hill, Eric Bobo.  They felt the vibes and decided to collaborate on a project called “The Ritmo Machine.”  Both of their styles compliment one another’s to explore new rhythms with classic sounds.  Oh and I forgot to mention, the duo is joined by an arsenal of collaborators including Money Mark & Mix Master Mike (Beastie Boys), Sen Dog (Cypress Hill), Chali 2na (Jurassic 5), Ana Tijoux, P-Nut (311), and Sick Jacken (Psycho Realm).

Here’s an example of how they sound…

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

For more information about Latin Bitman and his artistic background and visions, check out this recording as I sat down with Bitman before the show. (In Spanish)

Or for you non-hispanoblantes out there read more about his work and career at Revolver at http://www.santiagomagazine.cl/music/features-and-profiles/00797-skip-worldbeat-latin-bitman 

Entrevista con Latin Bitman by Zach Bezold on Mixcloud

Video 1 Oct

"We are united in America"

From the Glacierous territories of Northern Canada to the lush, thick Amazon that glues together the South, we are all Americans. North, South, or Central; English, Spanish, or Portuguese we are united by this grand continent.

Pieced together by some unique sounds and fusion of beats, here is a mix to blend some musical boundaries. Talents from the US, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina arm this musical venture with sounds ranging from rock, cumbia, hip hop, electro-traditional, afro beat, downtempo…

Have a listen and share some tunes with people who don’t know!!!

Peace and love,

.B-EZ.

“El Pueblo Unido jamás será vencido.”



Tracklist:

Novalima - Machete
VITRAUX - Ya No Puedes Tenerlo Más (Javith & Gil Remix)
El Remolon - Veridis Quo (Daft Punk reprise) vs De La Soul
Moby - Natural Blues
Cumbia Brasileira - Andrés Digtal Mash Up
Mojarra Electrica - 10 El Hueco Remix (DJ Slow Version)
Locos por Juana - Evolución
Choc Quib Town - Somos Pacificos
Alika & Nueva Alianza - Galang
Bitman & Roban - Vale Tom
Wick-it the Instigator - Sister Nancy vs. Lauryn Hill (Never Lost One)
LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum
Jaime Cuadra - Cholo Soy
Locos por Juana - Afro-Sound (Remix)
Thievery Corporation - El Pueblo Unido (feat. Verny Varela)

Text 27 Sep V I T R A U X

Picture this group in 1985, wearing space suits, blasting the futuristic, other world sounds of ElectroRock.  Then turn down the lights, and crank up the synth.  Add some pink floyd esque visuals, and you are now zoning.  They may not be all that on stage in the middle of the day, but if you follow this group until nightfall into a small dark venue and ingest some questionable yellow pills, you might then begin to understand the artistic collaboration that is Vitraux.

An all-encompassing group hailing from Buenos Aires, blending classic instruments with electronic effects that affect your musical senses like no way before.  Providing a platform to combine the deep sounds with creative visuals, Vitraux is a talent on many levels.  I present to you the band and my friends from Argentina, Vitraux with “Ya No Puedes Tenerlo Mas…”

You can read more about Vitraux and uncover their story at http://www.facebook.com/universovitraux .                  (In Spanish)

And if you would like to hear a different approach on the same music, have a listen to “Ya No Puedes Tenerlo Mas” on the newest .B-EZ. mix, which focuses on the unity of all Americans…

Nos Estamos Unidos en America by .B-EZ.

Text 1 Jul Cumbancha

Driving through the rolling hills of sharp Vermont, you might take notice of the lush forests, the vast areas of land, and the surplus of cows, chickens, or other farmhouse animals.  You might explore Mount Killington or cruise down by Lake Champlain.  You might stop to probe the local dairy, taste the sweet maple syrup, or just inhale the fresh, crisp air.  You might even visit a farmer in a house similar to this…

But this one is different.  It’s Monday afternoon at this old picturesque farmhouse, and the driveway is lined with 12 cars.  12 musical farmers inside cultivating the rhythms and sounds of the world.  If you were to walk in the barn you wouldn’t hear the “moos” of cows, or the “clucks” of chickens.  No, instead you would hear the acoustic percussion of Andy Palacio and his Garifuna Collective, sailing from the Caribbean coast.  You would hear the Portuguese, “Gaelic” chants of Brazilian songstress, Luísa Maita.  You would hear the electro-traditional peaks and waves of Peru’s Novalima. 

This is no farmhouse.  It is the headquarters of Cumbancha Records.  The barn is now an area for research and development, and the house is filled out with a recording studio, a control room, and a production studio.  At the head of it all, a man by the name of Jacob Edgar.

Jacob Edgar is an ethnomusicologist, who has spent his life touring the globe, discovering new artists, and shining a new light for world music lovers.  As a leading music researcher for Putumayo Records, Jacob has followed tunes from the horn of Africa to the Bermuda Triangle.  He has discovered many world talents and exposed their music, and culture to new ends.  But after years of working for a label, Jacob decided he wanted to start his own.  “Putumayo mostly does compilations…. I felt like there were a lot of really great opportunities to work with really talented artists and I wanted to take advantage of that and have a little more creative freedom for myself.”  So, with his connections he started Cumbancha Records to focus on the development of these featured artists. 

With so many musicians in the world, and so much music to search through, how does Mr. Edgar choose his musicians?  “We’re looking for universal artists,” says Jacob.  “And that means they strike a chord in a wide group of people, but have a very strong connection to their own cultural heritage.  We’re not looking for just plain old pop music.”  Music that seems to speak to you, though its in Arabic, or French, or an ancient Creole, but the rhythms lead you to an emotion that you can feel and share with the artist.

Let me share with you just one of the many talented artists on this label, so you can understand what I mean.  Her name is Luísa Maita.  Have a listen to her newest album featured below and read about her on the link…

http://www.cumbancha.com/albums/lerolero/LuisaMaita_CMB-CD-17_DigitalBooklet.pdf

How about another to warm the soul.  His name – Andy Palacio.  Have a listen and enlighten yourself about the Garuifuna people that populate the Carribean coast of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Belize…

http://www.cumbancha.com/albums/watina/andy_tribute_booklet.pdf

But not all come from exotic countries.  Some are right in front of us in the United States, but are undiscovered because they don’t fit the mold of the “American Idol.”  From San Francisco, this is Rupa & The April Fishes…

http://www.cumbancha.com/albums/estemundo/Rupa&theAprilFishes%20EsteMundo%20Booklet.pdf

Jacob’s study mixed anthropology with musicology, and his work transcends the two, in a way that may be reviving the music industry.  Many would advise that starting a music label now, when the industry is so unsure is not the best idea.  Jacob believes the opposite, in that people are still consuming music, but they are doing it in different ways.  Distributing the music through their own digital store, working the social media outlets, and backing their artists on tour with merchandise and physical copies are ways in which Cumbancha are taking strides to advance the music.

Though the future of the music industry in uncertain, Jacob Edgar has a vision for his label.  He is providing the outlet for international artists to share their music and culture with fans and supporters around the globe…

"I believe exposure to music from different parts of the world can help open a doorway to other cultures.  Listening to music is an excellent way to make a connection with people who are very different from yourself, and it can create a common ground that overcomes some of the barriers that separate people of different walks of life.”  - Jacob Edgar

More information about Jacob and Cumbancha can be found at http://www.cumbancha.com/welcome.php and you can check out a .B-EZ. mix of some of my favorite “Cumbancheros” on the track below:

Cumbancha by .B-EZ.



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