Your Mix Fix: Cohnny Jazz

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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: Cohnny Jazz

MIXTAPE: Cohnny Cumbia Vinyl Mixtape

You don’t find too many mixtapes like this one nowadays. Yes, there’re plenty of cumbia mixtapes bouncing around the blogosphere, so many that it’s hard to keep track of them. But the vast majority of them are done digitally, with the help of mixing software. This one instead is all analog, the way mixtapes used to be done back in the day when the concept of mixtape was created: two turntables, a mixer and a box full of carefully selected vinyl records.

There’s a vinyl renaissance going on that’s been pretty much in parallel to the rise of ñu-cumbia, so a lot of cumbia is currently available on that format; most of it pressed in Europe and the US. DJ and record collector Cohnny Jazz, from Copenhagen, Denmark, skipped all those current releases to focus on classic wax records pressed in Latin America (most of them Colombian) from the golden age of cumbia — before vinyl was foolishly declared defunct by the record industry in the late ’80s/early ’90s.

Not much more is known about this DJ other than a possible connection to the Viking cumbia pioneers of Copia Doble Systema who introduced him to the international audience by hosting his mixtape on their soundcloud. So here you have it, almost an hour-long set without fancy effects, tricky transitions or exclusive mash-ups, just straight-up Afro-Colombian heat back-to-back in its purest form.