Your Mix Fix: El Hijo de la Cumbia

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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: El Hijo de la Cumbia

MIXTAPE: Water vs. Oil

In Spanish we have the expression “el agua y el aceite” (water and oil) for two things that don’t quite match and can’t really be mixed together. El Hijo de la Cumbia used the expression to title his latest mixtape, Water vs. Oil. He explains, “It features tracks that you wouldn’t expect to find blended in the same set.”

Usually, with a premise like that, the end result tends to be very uneven. That, however, doesn’t happen on this super short mixtape (just over 15 minutes) that’s more like a portfolio of the latest remixes and reedits done by this Argentine ñu-cumbia pioneer. They might all be from disparate sources, but filtered through the mixing console of El Hijo de la Cumbia, they all suddenly match perfectly, like water and more water.

If you don’t know him yet, El Hijo de la Cumbia had his international debut about four years ago with the stand-out track on ZZK Records first Cumbia Digital compilation. Since then, he released a split-EP on Bersa Discos, an LP on DJ Rupture‘s label Soot and another EP on Gotan Project‘s Ya Basta Records.

And if you think he’s just one more of these new hipster kids who got into cumbia because it suddenly became cool, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, the nickname El Hijo De La Cumbia was given to him because he was touring through Argentina and Mexico with actual cumbia bands since his pubescent years. So yeah, he knows a thing or two about this genre.