Weekly Mezcolanza: DJ Santero

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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 new column, we’ll give you a worthy one every week.

MIXTAPE: Cumbia Bass
DJ: Santero

For this week’s edition of the Weekly Mezcolanza we’ve got DJ Santero from Bay Area, California, doing a neo-cumbia set. Santero is one of the main players in the Latin alternative music scene in his area, not only as a DJ, promoter, and host for many events, but also as a musician himself. His musical education started early during his childhood, touring with his father throughout Central America with a salsa band. He then discovered reggae music and adopted Yoruba Santería in Cuba. These are noticeable influences in his mixes, even when he’s mixing cumbia.

This 37 minute-long mixtape seems to be recorded live in one shot and it represents very accurately a typical DJ set by Santero in any given night. It’s characterized by fast mixes with more abrupt cuts than subtle blends, with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. Very energetic. Unlike many other DJs who would start their set in a down-tempo note and slowly build up to a dance nirvana, Santero throws you straight to the dance-floor from the very beginning. Thanks to his constant fast changes, he manages to keep your attention until the end.