Your Mix Fix: Gilles Peterson

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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: Gilles Peterson

MIXTAPE: The Havana Cultura Sound System / A Brownswood Mixtape

British DJ, producer and curator Gilles Peterson has been hoarding some of the best new Cuban music for a while now and amassed quite an impressive collection. Through his series of compilations, Havana Cultura (and their respective collections of remixes and spin-offs), he has been showcasing current Cuban talent to the rest of the world, which otherwise would remain sadly locked behind the blockade.

This new mixtape was recently released as a promotional tool to push the release of two new collections of remixes done by many different renown DJ/producers from around the world that are not necessarily Cuban nor do they specialize in Cuban music. The diversity of styles is outstanding, from house to acid jazz to electro to some crazy experimental stuff (there’s even a remix by ZZK’s Chancha Vía Circuito!), but it all makes sense as one cohesive piece masterfully mixed together, resulting in one of the highest quality mixtapes we’ve posted on this weekly column in a long time.

If you’re not familiar with the Havana Cultura project, I strongly suggest you visit the website, it’s full of information and video interviews with some incredibly talented people, not only musicians, but also visual artist, dancers, filmmakers, etc. Cuba is full of untapped talent, as many of us know, and the work Peterson has done to explore it and export it is certainly something to be thankful for; what’s sad is the fact that there’s still a need for a foreigner to do this and very few resources for those same Cuban artists to get their art out, and get the recognition they deserve on their own.

The Havana Cultura Sound System // A Brownswood Mixtape by Brownswood