Your Mix Fix: DJ Mafondo

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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 from DJ’s around the globe. In this column, Juan Data gives you a worthy one every week.

DJ: Mafondo

MIXTAPE: Palenkeando

DJ Mafondo is the record spinning alter-ego of Jorge Gonzalez, a self-defined “border hybrid”brought up between Tijuana and San Diego. Maybe that hybrid mentality is what sparked his anthropological interest in the Afro-Latin roots of our music, that mythical meeting point where the African slaves mixed with the natives and the conquerers to create our hybrid music.

Palenques, also called quilombos in some parts of the continent, were the first settlements of freed Africans in Latin America. In Palenkeando, DJ Mafondo connects, in bit over an hour of music, the different palenque communities of the Spanish-speaking part of the continent and their descendants. Everything from Colombian cumbia and champeta to Puerto Rican bomba and plena, passing through Mexico’s son jarocho, Caribbean reggae, soca and calypso and more. It’s only missing the Brazilian side of the story, but that’s so monumental that it’d take a whole other mixtape to cover it appropriately. By the way, that’s leader of the slave rebellion Gaspar Yanga in the artwork below, an AfroMexican from Veracruz. Download now and learn a history lesson rarely mentioned at school.

Palenkeando!!! by DJ Mafondo