Canada's Caballo does cumbia right

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One of the unexpected side effects of the new cumbia revolution was the sudden influx of international interest in Afro-Colombian music.

When DJs and bedroom producers started playing around with cumbia beats a few years ago, it was mostly as an inside joke, focusing mainly on the campy side of Mexican and Argentine cumbia. But eventually that lead to the source of this sound: Colombia. Once music bloggers, diggers, and record collectors discovered the vast uncharted richness of traditional Colombian music of African roots, it was like a revolution within a revolution. And it’s not all about cumbia anymore.

International record labels took note of the phenomenon. In the past few months Soundway (from the UK) released the compilation Palenque Palenque with plenty of champeta and classic Afro-Colombian music from the ’70s. Spain’s Vampi Soul put together The Afrosound of Colombia, rife with cumbia, salsa, afro-funk, and boogaloo from the same period. And in Germany the music archeologists of Analog Africa released Mambo Loco, a collection of Afro-Colombian accordionist Anibal Velazquez masterpieces.

Now it’s the turn of a Canadian resident of Colombian origin that goes by the name of Caballo. Earlier this year he started an online record label, Latino Resiste, releasing exclusively free music donated by the artists. LatinAfrica is the label’s newest release and it comes in a beautiful downloadable package, but more important is the content with 20 dance-floor packers provided by the likes of Uproot Andy and DJ Sabo (from New York), Locos Por Juana, Kinky Electric Noise (from Miami), and many more, including some genre pioneers like Luis Towers, The Mystic Orchestra, Faraon Bantu, and Petrona Martínez.

All this at the convenient price of zero dollars!

Download Caballo’s LatinAfrica for FREE right here and keep the cumbia going.