After five years at the helm of ZZK Records, Buenos Aires-based expat DJ El G (Grant C. Dull) has announced production on an ambitious multi-part documentary project under the working title The New Latin American Sound / The Nu Latam Sound. As its name suggests, The Nu Latam Sound promises to continue Dull’s pioneering work as a global purveyor of independent Latin American music, taking the viewer through the thriving local scenes of Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Lima, Bogotá and Salvador while making time for detours through the small towns and rural landscapes that gave birth to the folkloric music from which they draw. It’s in these places where Cumbia, Chicha, Porro, Huayno, Chacarera, Sonidero, Salsa, Champeta, Coplas, Malambo, Vallenato, Tinku, Hip Hop, Reggaeton, Dancehall and more collide.
For those unfamiliar, Dull’s connection with the subject matter runs deeper than you would expect from an American expat. His reputation as a tastemaker grew out of Zizek, a weekly dance party he began throwing in Buenos Aires back in 2006. Thumbing his nose at the European rhythms that dominated porteño dance floors at the time, Dull dreamt of giving a space to Argentine artists who were beginning to experiment with the marriage of electronic instrumentation with folkloric genres. As the party grew, compilations followed and before long ZZK Records was releasing groundbreaking albums such as Chancha Vía Circuito’s Río Arriba, positioning Dull and ZZK at the forefront of the recent Nu Cumbia explosion.
As the next logical step in the growing ZZK empire, The New Latam Sound will explore the depth and breadth of this burgeoning cultural movement, featuring interviews and concert footage along with behind-the-scenes glimpses into rehearsals and recording sessions. For now, it’s unclear where funding will come from for the project, but with Argentine documentary filmmaker Pablo Mensi signed-on to direct, let’s hope Dull and Co. can get this promising series in the can sooner rather than later.