Your Mix Fix: DJ Beto

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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: DJ Beto

MIXTAPE: Sonic Diaspora Vol. 6

If you’re a Latino living in New York, you are probably already familiar with Beto Seplúveda, A.K.A. DJ Beto, from the infamous iBomba parties. For everybody else out there, let me tell you that this Chicago native (currently residing in Brooklyn) knows a thing or two when it comes to blowing up a dance floor. He specializes in cutting-edge bass-heavy afro-tropical music and wisely stays away from the classics and clichés on his sets, to focus more on the lesser known underground club bangers.

Sonic Diaspora Vol. 6 is his latest mixtape and it seamlessly merges dancehall and hip-hop with eclectic Latin beats by the likesof Buraka Som Systema, Bomba Estéreo, and Zuzuka Poderosa. But the golden nugget in this DJ set, for me at least, was the surprise of Ana Tijoux‘s unreleased “Metatarso,” a song that back in 2005 was at the very top of my personal top ten, but I had pretty much forgot about since then. This was Ana back then when she was still Anita (before her official solo debut, even before her crossover collaboration with Julieta Venegas) and she was a lot more adventurous, experimenting with different sounds and formats and way more playful with the lyrics (she had recently given birth to her baby and I guess she was rapping to him as her only audience). Don’t get me wrong, I still love the current hip-hop-centric conscious-rhymer Tijoux, but I miss the craziness of her transitional phase in between Makiza and her internationally successful solo career. Anyway, this is not about Ana Tijoux, but about DJ Beto who somehow managed to get ahold of that hard-to-find track.

Download or stream his almost-an-hour-long killer mix tape and try not to move your body while listening to it. And if you’re in New York, go check out his parties, I bet he has a lot more of those secret aces hiding up his sleeves to keep surprising us.