Your Mix Fix: Sonido Martines

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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: Sonido Martines

MIXTAPE: 1100 / 2200 V Sonido Martines 2013 Mixtape

Sonido Martines is the Argentine equivalent of Colombia’s Frente Cumbiero. Since way before it was cool, he’s been collecting old cumbia vinyl records and closely following the development of the genre throughout South America as a historian and musical archeologist. Without a steady place or residency, Martines is always moving around Bolivia, Colombia, and his home country. This constant traveling means he keeps digging through old record crates and expanding his collection while spreading the cumbia gospel with his DJ sets.

Still, he keeps a remarkably low profile, compared to other genre pioneers. Besides the 2009 ñu-cumbia compilation he curated (where he only produced one of the tracks), he doesn’t have any releases available online. This is especially strange considering he’s been involved in the scene since 2002.

Anyway, besides being an indefatigable collector, Martines is also a very accomplished DJ, as it’s evident on this new mixtape of his. It’s packed with super obscure Northern Colombian tracks, blended with perfectly smooth transitions.

If you happen to be anywhere near the DC area these days, and you dig this type of music, you’re in for a very special treat because Sonido Martines will be performing at Tropicalia next week.