The epic #CulturaDura tour might have wrapped for 2014, but the parties’ soundtracks are not yet forgotten. We know you’re probably hard at work looking for that perfect pre-party soundtrack before you take to the streets of your choosing for New Year’s Eve. To help you keep your eyes on the fiestón prize, we pulled together a list of our #CulturaDura exclusive mixtapes for your dancing pleasure.
We’ve got a nice little range of tastes covered, from Fiasco’s “mucho techno, poca salsa,” to María y José’s paranoid tribal, all the way to Afro-Pacific champeta mutations from Boom Full Meke– hit play on a mixtape to take you into 2015 with style.
DJ Melo out of Phoenix, Arizona dropped a custom mixtape that starts starts off with Grupo Soñador’s “El Paso del Gigante,” before quickly quickly detouring into the present-tense– signaling the shift with an airhorn trigger, we’re off into high-energy, hi-hat territory.
Melo’s been in the game for many a minute as a member of the Arizonaton DJ and production crew, and was early to join in the moombahton wave that was birthed around four years ago. He’s also a long-time collaborator with producers like Nadastrom, Sabo, and Munchi, and labels like Sol*Selectas, T&A REcords, Think 2wice, and Rhythm & Culture.
Meet Fiasco: DJ, writer, producer, and nightlife fixture between New York City and San Juan that can be best described as “a misfit and an alien that is all about going fucking hard behind decks.” Also known to some also as Lola Pistola, this hardworking artist can also be found on tour as part of AJ Dávila’s band Terror Amor, on the mic with Füete Billete (as spotted at Cultura Dura’s stop in New York), throwing her signature “Dark Matter” parties at beloved Brooklyn rave establishment Bossa Nova Civic Club, or even on a North American tour with Burger Records’ Caravan of the Stars. Listen to her mixtape that has “minimal vocals. Mucho techno, poca salsa.”
María y José
Ruidosón innovator María y José graced us with an exclusive mixtape to preview his appearance in San Diego on the #CulturaDura tour. The artist also known as Tony Gallardo transports us to his slow-rapped, apocalyptic club revelations with his very own “Plata ó Plomo” track off upcoming Hot Tropics EP, and goes on to splice socio-political anxieties in mixtape form to the beat of tribal, synthetic house, and violent techno rumblings.
Gracie Chavez delivered a #CulturaDura to give us a taste of the frenetic energy partygoers can expect at her acclaimed Houston-based parties Bombón. Chavez delivers a mixtape that doesn’t disappoint, swiftly weaving together a bass-heavy blend of cumbia, ranchera, tribal, kuduro, screwmbia, and bachata. She hasn’t failed to nod to her Houston home team, looping in tracks by Ape Drums, Buckamore, Sines of Svntv Mverte, Los Skarnales, and The Suffers.
Los Angeles’ own Canyon Cody takes us through one of signature sets that you can hear at global bass get-down Subsuelo, melding together selections depicting the always-evolving face of the city. Canyon’s journey began with Napster-powered digging for some particularly low-quality MP3s, and has expanded to being part of the crew running one of LA’s best parties, set regularly at Eastside Luv in Boyle Heights. Along with his fellow Subsuelo gente la Tigresa, Gozar, Gazoo, Ethos, photogragrapher Farah Sosa, and VJ Juxli, he brings together the city’s cross-section of hip-hop heads, cumbia lovers, electronic music devotees, and more under one roof.
Paying homage to Mexico’s cult of Holy Death with a Houston twist, Sines and Panchitron–a.k.a. Svntv Mverte–soak up and redeliver the sounds of the moment as they bubble up from the underground and intersect with urban Latin and Caribbean moments. The duo lay down melodic, metallic clangs that reverberate as a constant between Dj Spoko’s minimalist, darkwave Bacardi house, False Witness’ hyperactive hard house dembow, or fellow Tejano Ynfynyt Scroll’s contortion of urbano duo los Teke Teke after Kilbourne’s remix groundwork.
Boom Full Meke
Meet Boom Full Meke–a.k.a. the neo-picotero duo of Monosóniko Champetúo and Bclip–a pair of relatively recent transplants to the capital from their shared home city of Barranquilla, where they were raised as witnesses to and participants in the Caribbean picó soundsystem culture. Champeta, the style of music associated with picó soundsystems, was for years marginalized as a “low-class” culture, but has more recently found new levels of visibility thanks to migration from the coast to urban centers, as well as remix culture that draws heavily from the rich sample bank.
This is exactly where Boom Full Meke have found their place: as innovators of the sound register they’ve grown up with, while they themselves simultaneously encounter and mutate influences in their new homes. This sincerity has gained themselves an instant following, both for their nuanced production skills and also for their raucous live performances, which recently brought to the main stage at Barranquilla’s Berbetronik and Bogotá’s Más Bass parties.