In this, my first ever blog, I hope to put down thoughts which might be of relative interest to someone. It is an attempt to give insights into my life and other such boring things. Perhaps I should begin by way of introduction. Probably better to get this out of the way at an early stage: 22 year old currently living in London, soon to be made redundant, and wondering what on earth to do next. If anyone has any suggestions please do let me know.
In the meantime, until events make themselves clearer, I will mainly be posting links and my subsequent thoughts on them. Accordingly, we begin with Champeta. As I am half-English and half-Colombian, I thought I would begin by giving a shout out to that wholly Colombian hybrid of musical styles. Champeta is both an indigenous and contemporary musical form that hails from the black neighborhoods of Cartagena De Indias and Palenque on Colombia's Caribbean coast. A cross between the African influences of the ex-Colombian slave community, and the salsa, merengue and reggaeton of the area, champeta is a full on assault on the eyes and ears. It has recently been receiving shout outs from that litmus paper of global fads, Diplo (alongside Cumbia of which more to come later), and expect to hear plenty more about it in 2009 before it is unceremoniously dumped in favour of the next post-Apocalyptic trance movement from Laos or some other such crap. Not that those who live and breathe champeta would really give much of a shit. It is perhaps the most derided of musical forms in Colombia, and has been a laughing stock for as long as I can remember it. Nonetheless, it without doubt seems to get the party started and should be commended simply for being played through some of the most insanely huge soundsystems south of Kingston. Rey De Rocha seems to pretty much the boss the scene and El Pulpo has to be the most accomplished beatsman en la costa Caribe.
Also check out some of the mad Perreo productions coming out from these fertile shores. Perreo is primarily a dance move associated with reggaeton (formed from the root of the word perro meaning dog, the translation is associated mostly in the UK with consensual sex between two people in empty late night Tesco car parks), but it seems in Colombia at least it is being adapted to the needs of the Champeteros who are producing a more techy and less distinctly African sound.