Exclusive Weekly Mezcolanza: Mattioli

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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.

MIXTAPE: Makina Suelta Cordero Atado
DJ: Mattioli

We had too many mixtapes from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and Brazil, and of course a lot done by Latino DJs in the U.S. I thought it was time to give a chance to the smaller countries in Latin America, places we don’t hear too much about, like Uruguay.

That’s where my old friend DJ Mattioli is from. He’s not a mixtape DJ specifically, not even a club DJ, but he is the scratching DJ for a legendary local hip-hop group called La Teja Pride. Scratching DJs, or turntablists as they prefer to be called, are used to having very limited time to express themselves in between the verses of the spotlight-monopolizing rappers. So when I asked Mattioli to make a mixtape to share with Remezcla’s followers, he got really excited and put this great work together in just a couple of days.

Makina Suelta Cordero Atado (the title reminds me of a classic by Patricio Rey y Sus Redonditos de Ricota, a cult rock band from Argentina) is definitely not your average rap mixtape. In its 35 minutes it manages to blend cohesively Spanish-language rap with equal parts of Anglo hip-hop, post-hip-hop and beyond, and the balance achieved is notorious.

On the Latin side there’s, of course, a track by his crew, La Teja Pride, and other Uruguayans like Contra Las Cuerdas and Martín Buscaglia, but there are also hip-hoppers from Spain (Tremendo, Elphomega) and Chile (Zonora Point, DJ Raff). In between those you’ll hear some Outkast, Roots Manuva, and Thievery Corporation, and to seal the transitions, Mattioli scratched some vocal drops by the likes of Maradona, Subcomandante Marcos, and Julio Cortázar. Now if that’s not interesting enough for you, I don’t know what could be.