Your Mix Fix: DJ Stepwise

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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 Stepwise

MIXTAPE: Spanish Town Mixtape

Spanish Town is not about one specific town in Spain. It’s about many small towns, internationally, where Spanish is the preferred language used by reggae singers and dancehall toasters. In Latin America, the reggae en español scene has been well established, and keeps on growing, developing individual local identities, generating new styles.

The tour guide to this town is none other than Argentine-born DJ Stepwise. From a very young age, he moved to the US and grew up in the Bay Area, California without knowing much about what was going on in the Latin American underground. He started as a reggae selector, playing the good ol’ Jamaican stuff, but later on, he discovered many kids from his generation doing it in Spanish, all the way from Mexico to Chile and Spain.

Today, DJ Stepwise is an ambassador of sorts for the whole Latin reggae scene. He travels up and down the continent as a DJ/producer for Alika & Nueva Alianza, he books shows for Anglo-reggae artists in Latin America and brings Spanish reggae artist to the US. He also hosts a weekly radio show in a Colombian station that has a huge loyal online following.

If you wanna learn a thing or two about the state of reggae en español, this is the guy you need to listen to. On his latest mixtape, he selected over an hour of new reggae, dancehall and Panamanian plena tracks, many of them exclusive dubplates, in a comprehensive tour of the genre throughout Latin America.