Weekly Mezcolanza: Gameboy

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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: Electropical
DJ: Gameboy

We’ve posted quite a few nu-cumbia mixtapes, I know, but this one right here has a couple of peculiarities that make it stand out. For instance, it comes from Canada, and so far we’ve never posted a Mezcolanza from a Canadian DJ. Surprised that cumbia made it all the way up there? Well, the current boom of cumbia’s globalization has taken the formerly just Afro-Colombian genre to the most unexpected corners of the planet. Sometimes, like in this case, turning up the tropical heat in the coldest latitudes.

What really makes Gameboy stand out as a DJ is not the fact that he’s a Canadian spinning cumbia, but the fact that he uses a custom-modified Gameboy console as a music-mixing devise. Which reminds me…remember when laptop DJs first came out and people used to wonder “what if he’s playing solitaire on his computer while running a pre-recorded mix?” I guess with this new trend of DJs using toys, that fear would be even more realistic.

In this 30-minute mix, Gameboy uses cumbia as an excuse to blend in a lot of hip-hop, dubstep, and other bass-heavy sounds, with plenty of exclusive remixes of his own and a few surprises. If you like his style, make sure to visit Cabeza Netlabel’s site and pick up his FREE EP.

Download Gameboy’s  8-bit-produced Electropical below.