Weekly Mezcolanza: Oscilador

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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 juxtapozed 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: Latin Bass Sound Tour
DJ: Oscilador

Nowadays most mixtapes are carefully put-together, home-studio recordings, but back in the day, the first mixtapes’ reproduction and distribution went hand in hand. They were nothing else than live DJ sets recorded straight out of the mixer while the party was going on. That’s exactly what we have here today, an hour-plus-change long DJ set recorded live during Oscilador’s European tour in 2009.

Hailing from Aguascalientes, Mexico, Oscilador started in the late ’90s as a DJ in his town’s electronic music scene and eventually started producing his own tracks incorporating a lot of old school Latin sounds, like cumbia, salsa, and traditional Mexican. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh great, another new cumbia mix.” But the Oscilador approach is peculiar enough, because instead of mixing it with hip-hop break beats, house or dub, he’s doing it with drum-n-bass, a style that never really caught on in the mainstream (this side of the Atlantic), especially not among Latinos. So his mix is quite refreshing and cliche-free.

Oscilador will be releasing an official album in April through a French record label. Hopefully it will be available, at least in digital format, in the U.S., too. In the meantime, listen to the live set that conquered the hearts of the viejo mundo dancers.