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Cumbia @ Buenos Aires (december 2010)
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Publish-date-icon January 8, 2011
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Hi friends!

I spent (Pedro) a few days in Buenos Aires for the end of 2010 and I want to tell you a little about the cumbia scene there.

My first experience was to look for some dirty cumbia villera from the city. For that my cousin told me to go to Retiro train station in donwtown to find some pirate cds.

Before getting there I have to share with you my love for Damas Gratis and Pibes Chorros. I discovered another cumbia villeras bands thanks to the excellent Cabeza Netlabel more in a mashup way.

Well let s go back to Retiro trainstation. This place is near to Villa 31 (villa is the argentinian version of favellas) one of the biggest villas in Buenos Aires. After a few minutes looking for a music shop I found my happyness in a small place where they were selling BOca Juniors t shirts. The guy who ran the music place was listening to some Bob Marley music and playing it really loud in a home made sound system.

In little boxes I started to digg some cumbia villera, cumbia colombiana, old school cumbia, reggeaton, merengue and guarachera. I must say that the cumbia villera was very trendy in the 90s with super stars like Damas Gratis and then it went down. Now the last trend is to make some cover versions and change the lyrics in a villa way (argentinian gansta: "palmas arriba, el que no salta maneja el patrullero...").

So after buying 17 cds full of tropical vibes (see the picture) I went back very statisfied to my place to listen to it. Some cumbia tunes are really amazing! Apart the completely kitch gangsta message and the classical 2nd degree latin american humour (strong use of delightful metaphores in cumbia villera!) the production is really dirty but very very stimulating. I was surprised with some version changing the pitch suddenly from a classic 85 cumbia bpm to some house stuff...

Well the best is to listen so check the mix of some cumbia villera: play button

My second experience with cumbia was during the "Fiesta Magica" with superstars "Damas Gratis"  and other argentinian bands like "Fantasma" and "Los Labios" . The party was in Club Palermo, in Palermo Viejo, a middle class neighbourhood that became trendy and alternative in th 00s with a lot of design shops and funny bars. The Club Palermo seemed to come from another time! When entering the place, an old man well dressed guides you to the dancefloor and there all the place looks like a 70s disco place!

After getting some fernets "Los Labios" starts the gig with a calm-lovefool cumbia. Classical cumbia lyrics telling about broken heart, rising love... well love under all it different possibilities! The band have some impulsion to the dancefloor after 5 songs. If you want to get their sound you can find it here

Then came to the scene "Fantasma". This band was crazy! It started with a fantasmagoric cumbia-dub with nice visuals (they have a VJ) launched by the DJ and then the complete band came to stage. They were about 8 people with an MC, 2 vocalists, the musicians and the DJ. Really fat sound, you should digg them!

Finally "Damas Gratis" went to the stage and the place becam totally insane! The dancefloor was on fire when the singer started to play his key-board guitar and incredible anthems like "Atrevida" or "Laura se te ve la tanga". This band knows how to do it. The singer was a big cumbia producer in the 90s for a lot of bands and became extremely popular in Argentina with "Damas Gratis"

well my friends I hope this post created an interest about cumbia and you will listen to it in our future mixes!


the jacasseurs

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