Your Mix Fix: José Márquez

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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: José Márquez

MIXTAPE: Tropikalism

Don’t let first impressions mislead you. José Márquez‘ latest mixtape, Tropikalism, opens up like an earthquake on the dance-floor pushing everybody to stand up and start dancing to one of the craziest Afro-Colombian clásicos palenqueros in a delicately re-edited version by Márquez himself. But this is not your average electropical mixtape full of ñu-cumbias and bass-centric sounds.

Soon after that magnanimous opening, the almost-hour-long set moves into the area where Márquez is the most comfortable in; that is deep house, refined house grooves from the chill side of the spectrum. However, he masterfully manages to keep up with the theme and lets the soulful Afro-Latin drums blend in and out smoothly throughout the set.

In his hometown, Los Angeles, José Márquez is very well known in the underground house music scene for his parties Inspiration and Tumbé, but he’s also recognized for his production work doing housey remixes of classics by Celia Cruz and Totó La Momposina, keeping it true to his cultural roots.