Weekly Mezcolanza: Sonido Tiburón

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A mixtape can be many things, but one thing is for sure, a mixtape is more than just random songs put in a particular order. It’s about recontextualizing sounds, giving them a new meaning (sometimes very different from the original) by setting them side by side, or juxtaposed in ingenious ways with others. Best thing about mixtapes, most of them are FREE (!), and they’re a great way to discover new music. In this column, Juan Data gives you a worthy one every week.

DJ: Sonido Tiburón

MIXTAPE: Quilombo Kumbia

In South America, Quilombo originally was used to refer to a settlement of freed or runaway slaves. It still carries similar connotations in Brazil (there’s a great Brazilian cult movie called Quilombo, Netflix it) but in other countries it means several different things. For example, I’m from Argentina, and over there quilombo means big mess, something that’s completely out of control. However, for my grandfather’s generation it used to mean whorehouse (I think you can trail this linguistic involution and its implicit racism).

Anyway, I have no idea what quilombo means in Mexico, where this mixtape was manufactured by the great Sonido Tiburón, but I assume it has probably something to do with rebellious Afro-Latinos. I mean, there’s no references to whoredom and we’ve seen lots of messy mixtapes here, and this one certainly isn’t one of them. Quite the opposite in fact, Tiburón manages to achieve really neat transitions during his 46 minute set of digital cumbias.

I know we’ve featured quite a few ñu-cumbia mixtapes on this weekly column, they’re run-of-the-mill on the blogosphere these days but this one has one particularity that makes it stand out–at least for me: it includes a mash-up that I made a while ago with a Control Machete acapella. Still, regardless of my selfish motives, you should download this mix because it has everything you would ever expect from a great cumbia set, including Mexican sonideras, Peruvian chichas, classic Colombian costeñas remixadas and of course Argentine villeras. The whole array of cumbia’s diversity in peaceful coexistence with no quilombo at all.

Quilombo kumbia by Sonido Tiburón