‘C’ is for Cumbia – Old School & New

‘C’ in the A-Z of Music Genres, Beaver Style (ie. ‘fusion’) goes to Cumbia – old school and new.

Older (But Still ‘New’) School Cumbia

In its original form Cumbia music developed around the Caribbean coast of Colombia during its period of colonization by the Spanish.  It became a fusion of music styles and instruments from the indigenous Colombian peoples of that region (the colonized), the Spanish (invading colonists) and African slaves bought to Colombia by those colonists to work.

A tragic history for Africans and Colombians yes…which brought about the awesome sounds of Cumbia that have since spread throughout the world and morphed into its many different forms.

 Cumbia Colombia

Here you can sample some older (but still ‘new’) school Colombian cumbia songs.  They’re the oldest I have in my collection anyway – cumbia goes way back a long, long time before this…

La Cumbia Colombiana - CD 2

La Cumbia Colombiana

‘La Zenaida’ – Armando Hernández – La Cumbia Colombiana

 

‘Yo Me Llamo Cumbia’ – La Integracion – La Cumbia Colombiana

 

New School Cumbia

Cumbia has come a long way since its origins.

Throughout history countless artists from around the world have taken cumbia and mixed it with their own regional music styles and/or modern ones like hip-hop, electro and jazz to create new and unique forms of music.

Here you can feast on the sounds of the newer school of cumbia music. Check out these sample (mp3 only) tracks by 10 current artists whose music I know and love from the USAFrance, England and of course Colombia.

Toto La Momposina (Colombia)

To my ears Toto La Momposina is the Queen of Contemporary Cumbia. She’s also on my ‘Live Music Experience Bucket List’.

Hailing from Talaigua Nuevo, a town in Northern Colombia, Toto La Momposina’s music draws heavily on traditional cumbia music and dance (amongst other Latin music styles like Cuban son, bullerengue, chalupa, rumba and guaracha).

Her music is celebrated in Colombia, the rest of Latin America and the wider world through which she has toured extensively in her long career.

Check out some sample tracks from some of Toto La Momposina’s albums, including her version of one of the older school sample tracks above…

Toto la Momposina - La Bodega (2009)

La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina

‘Yo Me Llamo Cumbia’ – La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina

 

‘Manita Uribe’ – La Bodega (2009) – Toto La Momposina

 

Carmelina (1995) - Toto la Momposina

 Carmelina (1995) – Toto La Momposina

‘La Sombra Negra’ – Carmelina (1995) – Toto La Momposina

 

La Candela Viva (1993) - Toto la Momposina

La Candela Viva (1993) – Toto La Momposina

‘El Pescador’ – La Candela Viva (1993) – Toto La Momposina

 

Ondatrópica (Colombia/England/Chile/ Peru+)

Ondatrópica - Ondatrópica (2012)

Ondatrópica (2012) – Ondatrópica

‘Cumbia Espacial’ – Ondatrópica (2012) – Ondatrópica

 

Read more about Ondatrópica and hear more Ondatrópica sample tracks here.

Ondatrópica

 

Bomba Estereo (Colombia)

Bomba Estereo - Elegancia Tropical (2012)

Elegancia Tropical (2012) – Bomba Estereo

‘Bailar Conmigo’ – Elegancia Tropical (2012) – Bomba Estereo

 

Kartel Pacifico (Colombia)

Coctel (2012) - Kartel Pacifico

Coctel (2012) – Kartel Pacifico

‘Care Cumbia’ – Coctel (2012) – Kartel Pacifico

 

Puerto Candelaria (Colombia)

Cumbia Rebelde (2011) - Puerto Candelaria

Cumbia Rebelde (2011) – Puerto Candelaria

‘Cumbia Veracruz’ – Cumbia Rebelde (2011) – Puerto Candelaria

 

Here you can check out more sample Puerto Candelaria tracks and a video of a live Puerto Candelaria show in Medellin last year.

 

Papaya Republik (Colombia)

Vol. 1 - Papaya Republik

Vol. 1 (2010) – Papaya Republik

´Cumbia Del Pescaito´ – Vol 1 (2010) – Papaya Republik

 

Read more about Papaya Republik & listen to other Papaya Republik tracks here.

Papaya Republik live

Papaya Republik

 

Monareta (Colombia)

Monareta - Fried Speakers (2010)

Fried Speakers (2010) – Monareta

‘Cumbia de la Sierra’ – Fried Speakers (2010) – Monareta

 

The Quantic Soul Orchestra

(aka Will Holland – England – + his global music collaborators)

Tropidelico - The Quantic Soul Orchestra - Tropidelico

Tropidelico (2007) – The Quantic Soul Orchestra

‘Los Olvidados’ – Tropidelico (2007) – The Quantic Soul Orchestra

 

Check out more sample tracks from The Quantic Soul Orchestra + other Will Holland albums here.

You can also find these Quantic cumbia fusion albums

 

Here you can also check out a video of a DJ set by Will Holland (aka Quantic) at WOMADelaide Festival 2014

Sergent Garcia (France)

Mascaras (2006) - Sergent Garcia

Mascaras (2006) – Sergent Garcia

‘Yo Me Yoy Pa’ La Cumbia’ – Mascaras (2006) – Sergent Garcia

 

Hear more sample tracks from Mascaras + Sergent Garcia’s other albums here.

 

 

Ozomatli (USA)

Ozomatli (1998) - Ozomatli

Ozomatli (1998) – Ozomatli

‘Cumbia De Los Muertos’ – Ozomatli (1998) – Ozomatli

 

Cumbia certainly has made an incredibly profound musical mark all through Latin America and the rest of our big wide world.

I love cumbia in all its many diverse forms, old school and new.  Don’t you?

I Love Cumbia

 

‘C’ is for Chutney & More

Along with Cumbia, ‘C’ is for so many other music genres from around the world, fusion Beaver style.  Here are a few of the ones I like the sound of…

Candombe – fusion of African and Uruguayan styles developed by African-Uruguayan slaves in the 19th century.

Chicken scratch – fusion of Native American, White American, Mexican, and European styles, performed by the Native American Tohono O’odham people.

Chutney – Caribbean pop music that fuses calypso and cadence with several Indian styles.

Conjunto – fusion of Mexican and German styles developed by Mexican-Americans who had bought German instruments in Texas; it also introduced elements of Caribbean and Cuban music.

Crunk – fusion of hip hop and EDM, known for its heavy basslines and shouted, call-and-response vocals; often used incorrectly as an umbrella term for Southern hip hop.

Crunk&B – fusion of crunk and contemporary R&B.

Crunkcore – fusion of crunk and scream.

Anyone got some Chutney or Candombe music to share?  

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Circolombia Brings Urban Cali to Brisbane

“I’m gonna tell you about my life. Real life.

When I was 15 my life was very different.

I lived in one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods of Cali, Colombia, known as 13-13.

And you just can’t imagine some of the things I’ve seen…

Circolombia - Urban - www.beaveronthebeats.com

But my life changed when I discovered ***circus*** …”

Circolombia - Urban - Brisbane-2013- www.beaveronthebeats.com

Circolombia - Urban - Brisbane-2013- www.beaveronthebeats.com

x

The scene is set there for Circolombia’s current stage show Urban: in the real (and challenging) lives of  Circolombia artists growing up in urban Cali, Colombia.

Circolombia - Urban - www.beaveronthebeats.com

It is being performed in these days at South Bank Piazza as part of the Brisbane Festival 2013.

Caleno Dance

Urban is like watching a gritty and raw Colombian stage version of the dance drama movies I love so much (from Shirley Temple to Flashdance to Street Dance). There is some cheesiness in all of them, but I love them anyway.  I loved that Urban was full of dance (with some salsa flavours), and that it told real life stories.

Circolombia - Urban - www.beaveronthebeats.com

Circo 

On top of the dance this Circolombia stage movie has non-stop phenomenal acrobatic and circus acts by incredibly talented artists.

Circolombia - Urban - www.beaveronthebeats.com

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Circolombia - Urban - www.beaveronthebeats.com

La Musica

Urban also has live vocals & raps  – with a backing soundtrack of music mixing mostly hip hop & reggaeton, some electronica and a tiny dash of salsa.  I didn’t even mind the reggaeton music in Urban – the visual show was too amazing to care.

I’ve yapped about reggaeton a lot but never given a sample of it. 🙂 . Here’s one reggaeton track from the Urban SoundTrack…

‘Noche Adrenalina’ – Circolombia – Urban Soundtrack

x

+ 1 non-reggaeton track…

‘Mano a Mano’ – Circolombia – Urban Soundtrack

Dance + Circus + Drama + Music.  All of that (+ 1 more thing) for me made Urban a very cool show to watch from start to finish.  I was either smiling for the dance; or my body was moved to move to the music; or I was on the edge of my seat making “wow’ and “oooohh” noises for the Circolombia artists performing their insanely great but risky pieces.

from the ground to the top along a rope yes

From the ground to the top along a rope yes

Visual Cali

The ‘1 more thing’ was the visual arts.  For me they were an absolutely integral and beautiful part of the Urban experience.

The pre-show visuals took us on a journey of a Colombian boy travelling through the streets of Cali on the back of a collective bus.

Those moving images put me in the streets of Cali before the performers even graced the stage.

Screen visuals shown throughout the actual performance of Urban then kept me in the streets of Cali with the artists as they narrated real Caleno life through music, dance and circus.

Circolombia - Urban - www.beaveronthebeats.com

“Cali es Cali”

Circolombia - Urban - www.beaveronthebeats.comCircolombia - Urban - www.beaveronthebeats.com

Check out videos from the Urban show here…

x

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Circolombia bought urban Cali into Brisbane. Since ya all know by now how much I love Colombia, that made me extra happy.  I could keep going back to see Urban again and again – the same as I can keep watching Flashdance over and over again 🙂 .

Circolombia - Urban - www.beaveronthebeats.com

Urban is on in Brisbane until this Friday, 27 September.  Get there if you can.

Supporting Arts for the Disadvantaged

All of the Urban artists were students of Circo Para Todas – a non-profit, professional circus school in Cali for disadvantaged Colombian youth.  Circo Para Todas is currently running an important campaign to raise much needed funds to erect a new big top tent, install a floor and seating and run an opening show at the new venue. To learn more about the program and to make a donation, visit the site.  Spread the word to all your friends!

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CONECTADOS – Connected in Innovative Electronic Music

Every Friday night during 3 seasons per year, you can find a peaceful musical space in a charming colonial building in Bogota’s oldest and most gorgeous neighbourhood La Candelaria. There you’ll find people wanting to listen to, and appreciate music. And all of you will probably experience cool, innovative electronic music by (mostly) Colombian and (some) international artists. That space is called CONECTADOS (CONNECTED).

Mercury

Mercury

Diana Yanive Torres, Director of Fundacion Cultural Arca in Bogota, explains here what the Fundacion’s CONECTADOS project is all about:

CONECTADOS (‘CONNECTED’) is an electronic music program that facilitates through live concerts, artistic exchanges and creative workshops, an opening for Colombian artists to develop and share their distinct and diverse electronic music projects drawn from synthesizers, sequencers, computers and other digital tools.

The program was created by Daniel Casas C (Colombian journalist and music critic) and Fundacion Cultural Arca (Cultural Ark Foundation) in August 2010, in association with Bogota’s Fundación Gilberto Alzate Avendaño (‘FUGA’).

The CONECTADOS concert series are open to the public and free.  They are presented 3 seasons per year at the Escenario Muelle de la Alzate (FUGA) (Calle 10 # 3-16).  During the season the concerts run every Friday from 6.00 to 7.00 pm.

CONECTADOS orientates the public to the electronic music genre and its various sub-genres.  The program provides an exchange space for the many diverse participating Colombian and international electronic music artists

So far CONECTADOS has run 9 seasons running for 2 months each, showcasing a total of more than 70 artists. 

Between 2012 and 2013 CONECTADOS formalised an exchange between Canadian and Colombian artists through Quebec’s International Youth Offices (www.lojiq.org).  This  initiative allowed Fundacion Cultural Arca to establish cooperative procedures with other foreign cultural organisations – helping CONECTADOS to continue growing as a cooperative cultural exchange project for empirical artists and electronic music professionals – and continue facilitating the creation and expansion of their activities.

CIRCUITO CONECTADOS - Flyer

CONECTADOS - logoFor more CONECTADOS information:

http://conectadosmusicaelectronica.blogspot.com/

direccion@fundacionculturalarca.org / casascd@gmail.com

 For a few words from Diana about electronic fusion music check out the Fusion Music page.

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Is Bogota “The World Capital of Music”?

“Bogota is the world capital of music.”

That’s a big claim yeah? An even bigger one than being “the greatest reggae show on earth”.

This is what a non-native Colombian – living in Colombia (not in Bogota) – and playing music in a Colombian fusion band – recently told me in Bogota.

Is Bogota really “The World Capital”?

I’m not sure I agree with him that Bogota is the world capital. I’m not sure New Yorkers would agree. Or Berliners.  After recent experiences in Jamaica I think some Jamaicans might say that Jamaica is the world capital of music. Colombian musicians living in other Colombian cities might also disagree that Bogota is the world capital of music.

José Enrique Plata Manjarrés

I put the proposition to a Colombian, un Bogotona, José Enrique Plata Manjarrés. I consider José to be a living, walking encyclopedia of Bogota’s recent musical history, as well as Latin America more generally. Just 2 of his many musical projects, spanning a decade, included: 1.  collecting Bogota concert posters; 2. reviewing and/or collecting all music of all genres recorded in Bogota by Colombian and visiting international artists (some of them unreleased):  http://www.fotolog.com/owaihttp://www.last.fm/user/owai.

José responded “I don’t know that Bogota is the world capital of music. But it is certainly a reference point”.

Bogota is “a reference point”

A reference point it is.

The more I ask questions about Colombian fusion music, the more I find out just how many people outside of Colombia have been looking closely at what’s happening musically in Bogota (and the rest of Colombia) in recent years. I just found out about an awesome 2013 documentary called ‘Que Pasa Colombia’ (‘What happened Colombia’).  It’s whole focus is on contemporary Colombian fusion bands and how all the fusion music came to be: exactly what I’ve been going on about lately, and thinking about for years.

Que Mas?

“World capital of music” or not – the point is that in Bogota there is an incredibly rich, interesting & diverse tapestry of amazing contemporary music being created – including lots of fusion music mixing traditional and modern sounds.

And it’s not just in Bogota.  Maybe there’s more fusion bands based in Bogota because it’s the capital, but music artists are creating great fusion music all throughout Colombia.

Systema Solar - Caribbean Coast

Systema Solar – Caribbean Coast

Puerto Candelaria - Medellin

Puerto Candelaria – Medellin

Zalama Crew live @ Negra Noche - Parque Cultural Nocturno 2013 - Medellin - Beaver on the Beats

Zalama Crew – Cali

What Now for Beaver?

Six years after first discovering Colombian fusion music, I have only just started to scratch the surface of how much incredible music is actually in Colombia to be found (fusion and traditional kinds).

Sadly I have to say goodbye to Colombia for now. For the other side of the Pacific (el otro lado del Pacifico) – to put my feet in the sand there for a bit.Byron Bay Australia - Beaver on the Beats

But I will be back to Colombia again, and again, to keep scratching away and finding great musical experiences.

Until then I have lots of things to keep me entertained and dreaming of musical Colombia:

  • a heap of great Colombian fusion bands whose music I’ve been enjoying for a long time but haven’t had time to write about yet.
  • a bag of new Colombian fusion music CD’s to digest – and share what I find.

Music Stores for Independent Colombian Music CDs - Beaver on the Beats

  • a list of other Colombian fusion bands recommended to me by Colombians – whose CD’s I haven’t been able to get hold of.
  • a list of Colombian music festivals I will get back to Colombia for.

I love and already miss the friendly, warm, happy, passionate and incredibly diverse looking, speaking & acting Colombian peoples.

And Dios Miya I will miss the rich, unique & diverse Colombian fusion music (and traditional too) being created, and played live all throughout Colombia.

 I love Colombian fusion music. Don’t you? Claro que siiiii you do

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Independent Colombian Music Stores for Independent Colombian Music

These are some of the exciting new Colombian sound pleasures I have ahead of me.

Music Stores for Independent Colombian Music CDs - Beaver on the Beats

All are Colombian fusion music CD’s.

All are original, real CD’s with good sound quality. I can listen to all the sounds of the original recorded music (unlike in MP3 or MP4 format). Real CD’s with the album artwork, artists names & track names in real print.

All CD’s bought from 2 music stores in Bogota:

1. Musiteca (Cra 8 # 18-81 Local 203-Tel 284 3263)

Music Stores with Independent Colombian Music Cds - Beaver on the Beats

2. W Records (Tel 247 4045) – in the same complex as Musiteca

Music Stores with Independent Colombian Music Cds - Beaver on the Beats

Musiteca & W Records are independent record stores.

Both music stores sell lots of independent Colombian music CD’s that can be hard to find elsewhere.

In both stores you can tell them what music you like, and they will put all the options in front of you to listen and choose from.

I love love love my visits to these Bogota music stores for all my Colombian music needs.  

I am really excited about my new Colombian fusion music goodies from Musiteca & W Records. I will let you know what I find.

Any independent music stores left where you live?

There aren’t enough of them left anywhere in the world.

I usually find the people running those independent music stores are passionate about music and about supporting music artists – including local and independent ones.

I think those independent music stores are worth supporting wherever you can so that they don’t all disappear from the world.  

If you’re in Bogota remember to find Musiteca and W Records for buying independent Colombian music.

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La Feria de las Flores – Musically a Great Time to Visit Medellin

La Feria de las Flores (Flower Fair) in August is a good time of the year to visit Medellin. If for no other reason, for the fantastic live music you can find at Parque Cultural Nocturno. 

Medellin With La Feria de las Flores

La Feria de las Flores is 10 days.  During that time you can if you want, find the national Trova competition (traditional music where singers duel in improvised verses) –Cabaret ReggaetonPop concerts – Orchestras – + so much more in lots of different locations/venues in and around Medellin.

I’m sure all of those things were great. But I went to none of them :).

I was mostly at Parque Cultural Nocturno (Cultural Night Park) – a program of free outdoor concerts at Parque de los Pies Descalzos.

Parque Cultural Nocturno 

Night 1 of Parque Cultural Nocturno is ‘Negra Noche’ (Black Night).

Night 2 is ‘Musicas del Mundo’ (World Music).

Troker & two awesome Emcees @ Musicas del Mundo whose names I unfortunately don't know - but if anyone else does, please let me know!

Troker (Mexico) with guest Emcees @ Musicas del Mundo

Night 3 is ‘Noche de Humor’ (Humour Night).

Night 4 is ‘Noche Tropical’ (Tropical Night).

Each of those Parque Cultural Nocturno events is a great environment for listening, dancing to, and appreciating live, and often incredible Colombian and international music.

  • It’s an open-air venue – under beautiful, clear Medellin night skies.
  • Stage visibility is good for the tiered venue layout.
  • Quality sound and lighting .
  • Lots of seating (granny am I).
  • Sensible program times 🙂 (granny I am I tell you) – 6.00 pm til midnight (finishing the same time Jamaican events start!).
  • Restaurants and basic bars to nourish yourself.
  • Family friendly – with a play area for kids. This venue is not a ‘punto libre’ (a location immune from police harassment for smoking a spliff:).

Most importantly at Parque Cultural Nocturno –  you are there amongst a friendly, music loving, artist appreciating group of people.

Emcees regularly remind the crowd about creating a secure, friendly, clean and respectful space for everyone to enjoy music in together.  All the people in the crowd agree. They create and enjoy that healthy space together – along with the emcees and artists on stage of course.

Negra Noche del Parque Cultura Nocturno 2013 - Medellin - Beaver on the Beats

Las Alegres Ambulancias-Negra Noche

If you get to Medellin when La Feria De Las Flores and Parque Cultural Nocturno are on in August, you’re pretty sure to find some incredible Colombian & international artists for your listening and dancing pleasure.  I did this year, and last year too.

Medellin Without Parque Cultural Nocturno

I don’t know what goes on musically in Medellin during the rest of the year when La Feria de las Flores isn’t on.

My time in Medellin looking for musical experiences away from Parque Cultural Nocturno wasn’t very fruitful:

  • visits to Medellin music stores turned up almost no contemporary local music;
  • my attempts to find cool nightlife I’m into failed;
  • asking lots of Medellin folk about where to find live music got me nowhere much.

There must be good stuff happening in the Medellin music scene during the rest of the year? Si? No? Maybe I spoke to the wrong people?  Went to the wrong places? Wasn’t looking hard enough because Parque Cultural Nocturno was there?

If someone knows about other good times to visit Medellin for live music and festivals, please let me know!  If not I’ll just keep my Medellin visits for La Feria De Las Flores where I know I’ll find live musical goodness at Parque Cultural Nocturno.

Troker @ Musicas del Mundo

Troker @ Musicas del Mundo

Quite apart from La Feria de las Flores and its music, there are lots of good reasons to visit Medellin at any time of year by the way. One is Los Paises – the super friendly & ever-so-proud-of-Medellin (especially over Bogota) people. Another is the glorious all-year-round Spring climate and the beautiful, vivid colours it creates in nature and people.

Medellin - La Feria de las Flores - Beaver on the Beats

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DJs With Bands = Musical Diversity +++

Many of the fusion bands I have heard live in Colombia (and/or have on CD), have a DJ in the musical mix.   Those DJ’s play a fundamental part in the diversity of sounds created by the band as a whole.

Live music is the ultimate musical experience for me.

A great DJ to dance or listen to is also an awesome musical experience.

The 2 combined: DJ + a band = musical diversity +++, live.

A DJ can create any and as many different sounds as he/she wants yesMusicians can’t do the same thing with instruments, can they?

Combine the musicians and the DJ’s (+ of course emcees & vocalists), and you have complete musical freedom to be as diverse as you want yes? The sound possibilities are endless.

Or no? 

Add a VJ into the mix and you have visual diversity with the auditory yes?

Official sites of these groupsBajo Fondo – Bambarabanda – ChocQuibTown – Dubioza Kolektiv – Mitu – Papaya Republik – Pulenta – Sidestepper – Systema Solar – Troker – Zalama Crew

 

Reviews of gigs, sample music & other info about these groups by Beaver on the Beats @Bajo Fondo –  Bambarabanda –  ChocQuibTown – Dubioza Kolektiv –  Mitu –  Papaya Republik –  Pulenta –  Sidestepper –  Systema Solar –  Troker –  Zalama Crew

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Colombian Fusion Music – A Different Perspective

Is Colombian fusion music being created for the purpose of making Colombian music edible for foreigners?

A couple of people in Bogota have recently expressed those sentiments to me.

One of them is Julian Mosquera Muñoz, Operations Manager at Fundacion Gilberto Alzate Avendano in Bogota.

He says that for him, fusion music is:

  • Like a cheap handicraft to sell on the street rather than a unique, one of a kind piece of art. 
  • Ignorance of, and a form of shame about one’s own traditional music, instruments, beats and rhythms. Maybe the use of non-original instruments in fusion music is because artists lack the ability to create those sounds with traditional instruments.
  • A desperate way of getting new audiences for one’s music – of making one’s music ‘listenable’ for those who don’t know it – especially for foreigners.

Is there truth in that cynicism?  I like to think not, but who am I to say?  I am just a foreigner who loves Colombian fusion music!

I will leave you to ponder this perspective on Colombian fusion music, while I leave Colombia for a bit to explore what’s happening in Jamaican music.  Kingston first, then on to Montego Bay for Reggae Sumfest 2013. 🙂

Caribbean Waters - Beaver on the Beats

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Reggaeton Plague Spreads to Australia!

The reggaeton plague has spread to Australia.  I couldn’t be more dismayed at stumbling across this ad.

"Road to Riches"

“Road to Riches”

I heard reggaeton for the first time in Colombia 6 years ago – coming out of cars, houses and nightclubs everywhere in Cartagena.  At very first listen it was a bit of a novelty. A fusion of sorts, put probably too simply, of reggae/dancehall and hip hop. Some of my favourite genres – “Great idea” I thought. It certainly was danceable.

My Colombian friend told me that once I learned some Spanish I wouldn’t like reggaeton at all, because the lyrics are all the things I despise – sexist and degrading of women, homophobic, materialistic, opportunistic etc etc.  As Batori from Papaya Republik puts well – “Reggaeton is for the uneducated. The lyrics neither tell a story, nor have a conscience”.

Mauricio ¨Batori¨ Pardo - Papaya Republik

Batori and my friend were right.   By the time I left Colombia I not only had a better understanding of the mindless lyrics, but more importantly realised that nearly all reggaeton is made with computers, with the same monotonous, generic beat.  It all sounds the same.

You can’t imagine my disappointment when I got to Cuba, where I went solely for the music, and found reggaeton blasting from bars, houses and cars everywhere there.  The musical plague was in Cuba too.

Six years on, reggaeton is stronger than ever in Latin American parts of the world.  It is a big part of popular mainstream music. It’s a musical and social travesty but unfortunately (I think), it is now part of history, and the present.

'I hate reggaeton'

‘I hate reggaeton’

But a reggaeton concert in Australia?  The other side of the world? The musical plague has travelled way too far.

“Road to Riches” is the tour name.  Gives you some idea of what you can expect to find on stage and in the crowd, if you were inclined to go to this concert.

There is only one quality exception in the reggaeton genre that I know of.  That is Puerto Rican band Calle 13.  Their lyrics are intelligent, satirical and have a social conscience. They also make and play interesting, eclectic music with real instruments.

Los de Atrás Vienen Conmigo (2008)

Los de Atrás Vienen Conmigo – Calle 13

Ven Y Critícame – Los De Atrás Vienen Conmigo (2008)-Calle 13

If you know of any other decent reggaeton music to recommend to try to change my perspective on reggaeton, let me know.

I will be beside myself if I hear any reggaeton in Jamaica these coming weeks!

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Street Music, Good or Bad, Makes People Happier

Music in the streets.  Whether the music is:~

Good…

ipiyam y Raspacanilla rehearsing in Bogota streets

Jipiyam y Raspacanilla, a Colombian dance and music troupe rehearsing on Bogota streets

Bad…

On La Septima, Bogota

La Septima, Bogota

Sweet…

On La Septima, Bogota

La Septima, Bogota

Nice…

Busker in Usaquen, Colombia

Usaquen, Colombia

Official and conservative….

Entertaining on the street, but not necessarily for consumption by me elsewhere…

Hormigas Negras-La Septima, Bogota

Hormigas Negras – La Septima, Bogota

Hormigas Negras-La Septima, Bogota

Hormigas Negras – La Septima, Bogota

Music I like. Music I don’t like.

Quality musicianship, or not.

No matter to me. No me importa.

Walking every day at the moment along the always busy and dirty, often sad, and at times dangerous road in Bogota called La Septima – I count my blessings for music of any type to make my journey along that road a little more pleasant.

I need and want music to be played and heard in the community in which I walk.  The sounds of music around me, especially in the cities, makes my life and my day better.

I am convinced that it must have the same effect on everyone, even if they aren’t aware of it.  I see people’s attention drawn to the music, it stopping them in their all too busy days and lives, even if for a brief moment.  That’s a good thing.

I am also convinced that music in the streets connects me to the people around me, and them to me, in a silent but positive way.

Buskers and street music of any sort should be allowed, encouraged and supported.  Music in public spaces makes people happier.

Don’t you think so too?

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