Your Mix Fix: Mario Galeano (A.K.A. Frente Cumbiero)

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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: Mario Galeano (A.K.A. Frente Cumbiero)

MIXTAPE: A Mixtape Of Rare Colombian Music

We all know Colombia’s Mario Galeano as the producer behind the internationally successful Frente Cumbiero, and more recently as one half of Ondatrópica, the super-group he founded with Quantic. What some may not necessarily know is that before being a producer, Mario was an avid record collector, a full-time digger of rarities in vinyl format, and evidently he has a thing for golden-age Afro-Colombian sounds.

So, apparently Mr. Galeano was approached by Lulacruza (the Argentine/Colombian experimental ñu-cumbia dúo formerly based in the Bay Area, best known for contributing one track to the ZZK Sound Vol. 2) who commissioned this mixtape to be used as a promotional tool for their latest, most ambitious project yet: an album paired to a movie (more info here).

So, while we patiently wait for Ondatrópica‘s upcoming triple debut album (definitely the most hyped-up release of the year!) to drop sometime this summer, we can delight ourselves with the fine ear of Frente Cumbiero‘s Mario Galeano as a meticulous selector of über-rare Afro-Colombian tunes, with a clear emphasis on the percussion-heavy, more upbeat, side of the spectrum. It might be June, but this feels like carnaval in the Northern Coast all over again!