Your Mix Fix: Alex Figueira

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The word mixtape has plenty of different interpretations. It used to be that mixtapes were actually DJ sets recorded on cassette tapes, but with the coming of the digital music age, the name remained the same, but the definition expanded. Nowadays, people call mixtapes many different things, some of which are not necessarily mixed and most of which were never taped. Here we try to cover them all. In this column, Juan Data gives you a worthy one every week.

DJ: Alex Figueira

Who’s down for some serious musical archeology? Let’s take a trip back to the ’70s in search of long-forgotten gems of Afro-Venezuelan music, which, in turn, refer to much older musical traditions that go all the way back to the 16th century.

Alex Figueira is a Venezuelan/Portuguese record digger and Afro-Latin drumming connoisseur living in Amsterdam, where he runs a boutique label, Music With Soul, that releases exclusively on 7” vinyl format. He’s on a mission to excavate the African roots in Venezuelan music, which had been unfairly left out of the mainstream for over three decades. Tambor! is the result of many years of digging for vintage Venezuelan vinyl, focusing, as the title implies, on the drums. It’s also being released at the same time his label drops its newest 7” single, signed by Conjunto Papa Upa, a delightful reenactment of those old-school, soulful drums, mixed with some psychedelic chicha guitar, resulting in a unique piece of Afro-Venezuelan tropicalia from an alternative timeline.

(Photo Credit: Pixolar)