Weekly Mezcolanza: DJ Slim Jenkins

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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: Descargando
DJ: Slim Jenkins

Last week we were focusing on the newest trends in Latin dance music (moombahwhat?). This week we’re going back, way back. We’re gonna get our hands dirty in dusty crates of old vinyl records, or more accurately, we’re gonna let a real expert do so. We just have to tune in and enjoy.

Bay Area’s own DJ Slim Jenkins is a renowned digger of old-school Latin funky beats and hosts the amazing blog Música Del Alma (as in soul music, get it?), where he shares many of his lucky finds with the blogosphere. He recently released this great mixtape called Descargando, in which, as the title suggests, the main focus is on descarga, the percussion-heavy freestyle jamming style popularized during the mambo craze.

During its 47 minutes, Descargando manages to sound like one long-ass descarga session, even though it includes recordings from many different countries and moments in history. There are few vocals, if any, and the beat is so contagious that it makes you wonder why we need all the current electronic paraphernalia. If you thought your grandparents were lame, just imagine them dancing to this back in their early 20s!