Free Download: Anita Tijoux "Elefant" Mixtape

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Right when she’s about to kickstart her new California tour, Anita—I mean Ana Tijoux—drops an explosive mixtape. Produced by DJ Tee and mixed by the skillful DJ Dacel, Elefant was a total surprise, even for myself, a long time fan of Mademoiselle Tijoux since her beginnings with Makiza in the ’90s.

I honestly didn’t know exactly what to expect from her first “official” mixtape. Maybe a bunch of unpolished demos for new tracks, I thought. Maybe some collabos with the many US artists she’s been meeting since her successful first US tour last year.

None of that. I don’t know for sure, but I get the feeling Elefant was conceived as an introduction card for the French/Chilean femcee aimed to her new international audience. On one hand, she’s showing off the top-notch level of production and turntablism in the Chilean underground scene, since she’s now finally able to tour with her own crew (unlike previous visits when she came on her own). On the other, she’s giving us a short version of her live show repertoire, which includes many new remixes of 1977’s hits and a couple of revamped versions of her early Makiza classics (“La Rosa de los Vientos“!!!), but no mention at all of her middle career and her flirtations with pop music. This is straight-out hip-hop for connoisseurs and this is how she wants us to remember her from now own, like as if this b-girl Tijoux is a completely different person from the one who sang along Julieta Venegas just a few years ago. And maybe she is.

Thing is, it totally makes sense and it’s working out for her because she’s getting more and more attention from the progressive Anglo hip-hop scene (she’s even performing with The Roots during Grammy weekend!) and I bet you her next album will be packed with high profile collabos.