Producers Quixosis & Mala Fama Reimagine Andean Music Traditions on New Mixes

Lead Photo: Courtesy of Malafama
Courtesy of Malafama
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Earlier this month, Native Instruments premiered the latest edition of their documentary series, Misho Taky: Tradition Meets Innovation in Ecuador. It dives into the practice of “cultural preservation through innovative use of technology,” as told through the stories of Ecuadorian producers Quixosis, Mala Fama, and EVHA. As an elaboration of these scenes, Quixosis and Mala Fama return with a mixtape exclusive delivered by each artist, representing Quito and Ibarra, respectively.

As an extension of his production practice, which has a critical ethnomusicologist’s insight, Quixosis notes that this mixtape was the culmination of cratedigging over the past month he’s spent in Europe, threaded together with “gems off tape, and tracks which have come to [him] by the hands of their makers.” Though the spacious mixtape weaves between a number of cultures and geographies, Quixosis ensures that the music doesn’t sacrifice its specificity. According to him, it traces the “jagged horizons and volcanoes that connects all of the Andes,” stretching throughout Bolivia, Perú, Ecuador, and eventually into Colombia’s Chocó coastal regions.

Mala Fama’s mixtape, which he’s dubbed Llaquiglla Killa (Triste Luna), centers on the emotional resonance of the music of the Ecuadorian Andes, especially that which “is full of feelings, representing all of the emotional states that human beings experience.” Llaquiglla Killa translates this heavy emotional versatility through the intersection of his signature ambient experimental productions, integrating samples from the genius of both Mariela Condo and Notorious B.I.G., and what he describes as the classic music of the Imbabura province where he hails from.

Mala Fama and Quixosis’ approaches are a balance between production and archival practice. Quixosis’ recording process includes restored tapes that he has direct access to, as well as anonymous source material pulled from ethnomusicologists of previous decades. Their transparency in the recording and production process is a direct challenge to ethnomusicologists’ practice of anonymity; these scholars showed a disregard for providing credit for the original recording artists, instead opting to “export them in silence, and publish them in French in a faraway land, where they were never heard again in their native land.” Mala Fama and Quixosis’ creations resuscitate the voices that were lost over the years, creating space for them to be the dominant elements in their revisiting remixes.

Stream both mixtapes below:

In addition to the mixtapes, Native Instruments is giving away a Maschine Jam with Komplete 11, a controller and software bundle. Enter to win below.