During my trip to New York the other week, tipped off by local resident /Rupture, I headed down to an area in Brooklyn close to Sunset Park in search of KKKumbia. On the outside, It seemed to be a prominently Mexican/Central american neighbourhood and I gotta say it was visually pretty incredible to me – London’s latino population, although sizable, is virtually invisible. Aside from the usual chain stores there were mostly Spanish named stores and businsses. It also highlighted to me how ethnicities can be alarmingly segragted in the states even in large apparently intergrated cities. I found a few sonidero stores. If you want to buy music in latin american – Banda, Durangese, Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue -its sold in markets or on the street. It was kind of odd seeing tonnes of cumbia cds racked up in proper stores. And original copies rather than bootlegs with photoshop copies sleeves. They were pricey too, some double cds going for $17.
I picked up a few things that I was after. Firstly, a recent cd recording of New York’s arguably biggest sondiero DJ, Sonido Kumbala playing live at a dance in NYC. Love this piano cumbia he’s dropping. Can anyone ID?
Here he is playing in Queens, dropping the standard sondiero combination of cheesey techno and cumbia, a blend that I can’t quite get my head around but still find awesome. It also confirms what Uproot Andy told me about these nights, after he went down to one with his mates; no one dances to the techno bits leaving a few couples do the cumbia when it drops, the crowd being almost exclusively latin american.
I was after Mexican sonidero stuff like Viento Calido and Super Potro and was recommended this amazing compilation called Cumbia Revention Vol.3, contains some bangers like this one from Puebla’s Los Daddys..
The next day, pre-Secousse I headed up to East Harlem’s Little Senegal area with Radioclit’s DJ Tron. Chief Boima told me about some record stores specializing in African music (W 116th st & Frederick Douglass Blvd). One in particular was pretty amazing with a crazy choice of music from what seemed every African country, mostly bootlegs along with DVDs, porn and luggage. I was after some new funana and found a couple of comps for $3 a piece. Sadly they turned out to be a bit old and underwhealming, however Chief Boima brought me some AMAZING funana back from the real Senegal. Literally every track, bar one, a banger- digital drums, accordeons and sweet vocals. Here’s a track off The Best of Funana Rapide. The name could be wrong though (edit – Think it is correct).