In October, I spoke to Rolling Stone (always wanted to say that!) about how, in their words, “reggaeton, dancehall, baile funk, afrobeats and other diasporic styles are mixing faster than ever — without much help from the U.S. music industry.” The topic has been a sustained thesis on this blog and in my work, of

Ich kann ein bisschen Reggaeton verstehen

ila, a German magazine devoted to Latin America published a special issue on reggaeton this summer, including an interview with yours truly. If you kann ein bisschen Duetsch lesen (like those of us who studied vergleichende Musikwissenschaft in graduate school), then you can click on that link in the last sentence and read it there.

Música Negra to Pop Reggaeton

I think the jury’s still out on whether the so-called “Despacito effect” will translate into a sustained presence of Spanish-language hits in the Hot 100, in regular radio rotation, on top-level pop playlists (and not just reggaeton / Latin ones), and so forth. I’m sure the “YouTube factor” will continue to make these decisions increasingly

Legions of Book

As published in issue 377 of The Wire (July 2015), here’s my joint review of two recent books about soundsystem/DJ culture, each of them impressive efforts of deep documentation and deliberate framing even as each takes a rather different approach to the project. Together, they further round out our understanding of the soundsystem as global

Tropicalia: Ou Panis Et Circencis (review)

I reviewed Tropicalia: Ou Panis Et Circencis, a re-issue of the classic salvo in Brazil’s tropicalia movement, for Issue 367 of The Wire (September 2014). Happily, this one’s also a nice chunky review; nice to get a little leeway on the wordcount for a verbose dude like yours truly. Here’s a director’s cut of sorts,

Rolê – Novos Sons Do Brasil (review)

I reviewed Rolê – Novos Sons Do Brasil, a new compilation from Brazil’s Mais Um Discos, for Issue 365 of The Wire (July 2014). Given my prolix proclivities, I was glad to get a little longer leash (i.e., wordcount) for this one. Nice to be able to stretch out a bit — and dig in

Salvadora Robot (review)

I reviewed Salvadora Robot, the latest album from Colombia’s Meridian Brothers, for Issue 364 of The Wire (June 2014). Meridian Brothers Salvadora Robot Soundway CD/DL/2xLP Cutting their own odd swath though a tangle of urban musicians now embracing their country’s regional, grassroots popular traditions, Meridian Brothers’ newest offering is a genre-hopping, funhouse reflection of the

Dembow Complex

In case you missed it, I recently published a piece in RBMA mag about the history of the Dembow, a history I’ve been working to tease apart and put together for a looooong time now. If you’re not familiar with RBMA, it stands for Red Bull Music Academy. And I was pretty happy to be

Spectacular Copulative Writing

Allow me to point you over to, where I’ve just contributed an article that attempts a brief history of perreo and other “spectacular copulative” dances, including a glance at such recent instantiations as daggering, perreo chacalonero, and of course, choque. Longtime readers know I’ve been working to develop an analysis of such practices —

El Freaky Research

This Monday at Beat Research we’ve got a midsummernight’s dream of a bill — and how’s that for a flyer! (thx, fatsuggardaddy) El Freaky is a renowned DJ/VJ collective hailing from Bogotá. They’re up in these parts on part of a tour which brought them to NYC this past week for the LAMC, where, based

Straight Outta B/quilla

Tonight at Beat Research we’re happy to have Trizlam, a Dorchester native and crate-digging scholar interested in the circulation of musical media — he wrote an extensive essay on the importance of “yardtapes” in the Jamaican diaspora — who recently returned from a three-month tour of Colombia where he engaged in some serious picó peeping

Crashing Two Bumpy Dances

Yesterday Cluster Mag posted my second contribution to what we’re calling a “multimedia mash-up series.” (The first was my Lambada mega-mix.) As with my “Gasodoble” remix, this mashy montage sources related clips from YouTube — in this case drawing from Colombian (and a Dominican) choque vids and a variety of folk (mostly US-based) doing the

¡Qué Geko!

Ok, mis local locos, tonight’s the night! We’re kicking off the Together Festival 2011 with none other than Geko Jones, Dutty Artz bredrin and co-host of Que Bajo?!, NYC’s awesomest Afro-Latin dance party (& honestly, probably the best night I’ve ever had the pleasure to play at). Do come out and welcome Geko to town

Lambada Is a Feeling

I’m happy to report, just in time to soundtrack that new spring in your step, that I’ve cooked up a new mini-(mega)-mix! This one follows the circulation and permutation of a song I’ve tracked here before, “Llorando Se Fue” — better known to the world as “Lambada.” [audio:] You can get some sense of the

Best African Dance Ever

So, yeah. There’s rearing; and then there’s rearing — Slightly older kids, well enculturated & irrepressibly motivated, can tend to take things to the next level, bumping body parts with acrobatic abandon and lighting rooftops (and laptops) on fire — Devotees of dancehall reggae and reggaeton will no doubt recognize elements of perreo and daggering

Now That’s What I Call Enculturation 2011

via Dave Quam’s tumblr (sorta) ~~ which cannot be posted with out this kneejerk embed-again also: further reading: “¡pooh bear, yo le conozco apenas!” “Gwada Blondinettes Have More Fun” “Rearguard Opinion?”

New Lambada New Lambada New Lambada New Lambada

Thanks to DJ Effresh for putting me on to yet another interesting instantiation of the “Lambada.” Here’s Vakero, one of the DR’s fiercest MCs, jumping on a dembow-influenced reworking of a truly perennial tune, as hashed out here, way back when — Discussing this over at my/our Buzz, Birdseed pointed out that there’s a recent

El Gasodoble Magnífico

To assist with the launch of NWLA (New Weird Latin America — read all about it), a new curatorial effort by some friends in the DF, I cooked up a video mashup I’ve long been wanting to assemble. The piece stitches together 13 performances of “España Cañi,” as collected on YouTube. It pegs them all

A Country That Was In Another Country

Since we’re back to the topic of the wide and contested world of reggaeton, it felt fortuitous to find in my inbox this morning a link to a new interview with Renato, Panamanian pioneer of reggae en español. With the effective prodding of Peter Szok, a history professor from Texas, Renato helps to further flesh

Cumbia Worlds from Ol’ to Nu to You

a once-obscure music that enjoyed a fanatic embrace in the _______ slums of _______ has become a full-fledged global occasion – This could be the mantra of global ghettotech. Could hardly have written it better myself. But I didn’t. Nor was it written, despite what might be its commonplace connotations, about reggae, or funk carioca,

Musical Travels with Seymour and Bernice, pt. 2: Brazil

This is the second post in a sporadic series here at w&w, an ongoing excavation, digitization, and interpretation of my wife’s grandparents’ record collection — i.e., the historico-musical profile of Seymour & Bernice. See here for the previous entry, and here for a note remembering Seymour. Of the many delights I’ve come across in Seymour

DJ El Niño Presents: Dancehall Reggaespañol 2010

I first got in touch with DJ El Niño several years ago, dead in the middle of a little research project that would finish like this. (Incidentally, my co-editor Deborah Pacini Hernandez just publlished a new book which is well worth checking: a sweeping and deep synthesis of the history of Latin American popular music,

Watagataparatext (EL QUÉ?!)

In my recent post on “Watagatapitusberry” I wondered aloud, in so many words, where “the text” in question might reside, given that most people have been exposed to an intermediary “fan”/peer-produced text (a video) more popular than the original “text” (a recording), tho perhaps soon eclipsed by a new “official” video with potentially greater reach

Wata Gwaan?

Mil gracias a Marisol LeBron, who not only first brought to my attn the wonderful nueva-media phenom of “Watagatapitusberry,” but who has offered some interesting thoughts on its homosocial joi de vivre (check her initial round-up of home videos) and has kept up on the latest developments around the song. Most recently, the launch of

Panamanian Reggae Rabbit Holes

Boima’s post about a Panamanian/Nigerian jerk-off made me wonder about this Suku Castro character calling out “TODO MUNDO JERKEANDO!” So I did a quick googlywuzzit on his name and landed on this page, which not only hosts yet another interesting example of jerk practice in Panama (a mix containing no Spanish verses but cut’n’pasting several

Making the World Safe

I suspect some dear readers out there, much as they like me, are getting sick of seeing my bristly face when they load the page, so I figured I’d get something else up here at the top, though I don’t have time for a proper post right now. One thing about those beard shots —

dem bow legacies (riddim meth0d repost)

[Since we’re talking about reggaeton again, and about the absence/return of dembow, it seems like a good moment to repatriate the following riddimmeth0d post from early 2006. The post, a complement to an article on reggaeton I wrote for the Boston Phoenix, features a mix which uses the dembow drumloop to string the songs together,

Hurban Renewal

Ok, back to reggaeton. So, once again, back to questions of vitality and vocality. Or, how it’s doing and for whom & from whence it speaks. one way of looking at the “reggaeton” “crash” (and recovery?) I was tickled to see Birdseed name reggaeton genre of the year for 2009, fully contra Gavin’s provocative post

Independent Riddim

Thanks again to Tom, our man in Panama, who recently pointed me to an additional, and interesting, instantiation of the Miss Independent riddim. As we heard previously, the Ne-Yo instrumental — most famously reappropriated in Vybz&Spice’s “Rampin Shop” — has become a veritable version in Panama, supporting no fewer than a dozen local voicings (and

Se Llama Sonido

Tonight at Beat Research: the one-and-only Sonido Martines ! For those who don’t know, Sonido has been a driving force in the recent (re)surgence in cumbia interest outside of its longtime hotspots. He co-authors La Congona New Cumbia with Sñr Rupture, and he’s largely responsible — at least by my ears — for brokering the

Pass the Pod (Like They Used to Say)

I’ve been working on a talk/chapter called “Skinny Jeans and Fruity Loops” and while part of that has involved tracking floggers and tecktonik across Latin America, another part has required that I dig into LA’s similarly day-glo/geeky youthtube dance scene: i.e., jerkin. More on all of this research later. Meantime, I just want to share

¿Como Se Dice “Talking Head” en Español?

I’m excited to announce, for a couple reasons, that next week PBS will begin airing the 4-part series, “Latin Music USA.” Episode 1 (Latin Jazz, Mambo) and Episode 2 (Salsa) will air on Monday, October 12; Episode 3 (Chicano Rock, Tejano, Norteño) and Episode 4 (Latin Pop, Reggaeton) will air the following Monday, October 19.

Reggaeton Roundup

pa que tu lo sepa / pero lo sabía If you haven’t heard it yet, I want to recommend that you check out Afropop’s recent show re: reggaeton, Reggaeton Roundup: New Moves in Latin Youth Music. Here’s their blurb — When Daddy Yankee released his hit single “Gasolina” in 2005, nobody suspected what was about

Wordle Up

Raquel, mi querida co-editor, was recently in Puerto Rico to talk Reggaeton. Among a variety of venues, she also ended up on video — While watching I was surprised to see, suddenly in the mix, a wordle I made from my chapter in the book. A fitting backdrop, sin duda — Have you read it

Reggaeton Radio

If you missed me & Raquel on /Rupture’s radio show last Wednesday, you can still hear it here. Update! If the audio is no longer available at WFMU, you can stream it below, but see the link above for tracklist, etc. [audio:] Thx to all who came to the NYC book launch events! The Hunter

¡Que Libro! ¡Que Bajo!

Hopping the Fung Wah this pm in order to make it down to NYC/FMU in time to join Sñr /Rupture, Sñr Fofana, y mi querida compi, Raquel Rivera, on MuddUp Radio to talk (and play) reggaeton. As Jace sez — From Panamanians to Playeros to post-DemBoleros, [we]’ll be spinning rarities alongside discussion of the genre’s

Beyond Perreo

I’m heading to Seattle tomorrow to attend EMP’s Pop Conference for the second time (the last time was back in 07). I think EMP might have the best vibes of any music conference I’ve attended (and I’ve attended a few). The reason is simple: it brings together people — generally academics and professional music writers

A La Plenísima

Plena is Spanish for ‘full.’ But it has other meanings too, depending where yr @ —                      In Puerto Rico, plena refers to street music played on panderetas (see, e.g., Sorongo‘s comments here). In Panama, plena refers to reggae — homegrown reggae en español in particular. The riddim method has been alive and well in

Cajas Pequeñas

thx again, lmgm Like I try to do with most fruits of my labors, I’m liberating some recent words of mine here (shhh!), composed last week for a relatively well-consulted (by music grad students?) music “dictionary.” It’s likely that none of you will read them otherwise, not that you’d necessarily want to. (I’ve received requests

Reggaeting o Reggaetang

Speaking of the difference between hip-hop and reggaeton, there’s been a heated discussion over at Raquel’s reggaetonica, redrawing yet again the lines in the sand between the two genres and rehashing lots of tropes about Puerto Rico, blackness, hip-hop, and so on. The debate was initiated by a polemic published last fall by a god

Nietzsche House

The N-Word Is Flourishing Among Generation Hip-Hop Latinos – Music – Village Voice "Somehow, the n-word has found its way back into hip-hop's critical zeitgeist: I'm interested in exploring, as a Dominican New Yorker, how we as a community have propagated it. Recently, due to the mounting criticism of Boricua rapper Fat Joe's use of

Pimp My Piragua

El Ganso Gris has a nice lil piece today (w/ video!) about Miguel Luciano‘s “Pimp My Piragua” project. I’ve talked about Miguel’s work here before. It’s stunning stuff, and I’m thrilled to report that a shot from his “Pure Plantainum” series is gonna grace the cover of our reggaeton book (due out this spring!)!

Linkthink #74943: The Future Is Later

todo mundo » Blog Archive » Is that Lil Twane on the keytar? great post by kevin linking lil wayne to coltrane, miles, george duke and other techno-musical visionaries :: including the great question, "Is not Auto-Tune the wah pedal of today’s Black pop?" :: and, to boot, he inserts his video-supported commentary into recent

Linkthink #1033: Oldies One Oh Three

TRANS #11 Revista Transcultural de Música – Transcultural Music Review new issue :: music & youth culture in argentina + zoomusicology (tags: academic journal argentina buenosaires youth identititity cumbia rock spanish) La cumbia villera y el fin de la cultura del trabajo en la Argentina de los 90 article (en español) on cumbia villera, youth

Linkthink #0443: New American Menschery

hawgblawg: gothic bellydance per recent discussions, ted swedenburg links to a fascinating “goth bellydance” video, which is set, interestingly, to a custom refix by enduser of some _bollywood breaks_ material (tags: bellydance video arab middleeast US goth breakcore orientalism blogpost dance) YouTube – The Story of Rapper’s Delight by Nile Rodgers chic’s nile rodgers offers

Linkthink #93877: We Want Easy

Jamaica Land We Lgbt “A tribute to and expression of Jamaica’s sexual minorities in the struggle to overcome prejudice and violence and to assume their rights as citizens, as full human beings” (tags: jamaica sexuality homophobia blog violence nation politics politricks) Jamaica Land We Lgbt: Kenneth Reeves speaks out my former (gay black) mayor is

Doblando pa la Izquierda

I’ve been trying to get around to posting about Miti Miti, and since Geko Jones (notably, while making reference to the duo) and others have been wondering aloud again about the practice of global gobbledicrunk, while Kevin’s translating salsa songs & whatnot, today seems as good a day as any. Primero, I need to thank


now thats what i call enculturation — or as shatiie3456 says — AYY CO~OO PERO ESE Mii FUTURO MARiiDO HAHAHAH K LiiNDO BAiiLA ESE Nii~O TODO UN CUERiiTO MALOO BESHOO DiiOS LO BENDiiGA

linkthink #439: Edward James Almost – BIG CITY 101.3 FM BOSTON – BOSTON, Massachusetts – my favorite radio station in boston, hands-down (tags: radio boston caribbean reggae soca) todo mundo » Blog Archive » Throwback videogames, digital distro, and atavistic joy nice piece by kevin on the retro video game design trend in the wake of digital distribution

linkthink #9910: Participation Gap

Musical Tourism, Ethical Consumption and other blog resonances pinging through my mind « UNFASHIONABLY LATE “We try to shuck our inherited identity as tourists or consumers or Orientalists or neocolonialists, and build new identities in their places … that will assure us that our musical choices match up with our liberal politics” (tags: worldmusic global

linkthink #69377: Who Wants to Bet That Obama Becomes a Far More Common First Name Than Barack?

Berkman Center pioneers steer the course of cyberspace – gwaan charlie & co.! (tags: berkman harvard internet academia education activism charlie) DTLBASSTOWN.mp3 (audio/x-mpeg Object) crazed dance mix by dropthelime, as played recently @ basstown (tags: DJ mix mp3 house techno club remix boston) Energy Flash | Gas (director’s cut) simon reynolds on gas (wolfgang

Cumbow Combow Combo

As I linkthunk yesterday, I was gassed to hear (via /rupture) a reggaeton-inflected remix of some Mexican cumbia (video here). I was doubly gassed tho to see it labeled “cumbow,” which I took to mean cumbia + dembow or, perhaps, “with (dem)bow,” as in cum bow, to employ a little Latin, a la the Spanish

linkthink #3954: Areas of Excerptise

SSRC Books » Blog Archive » Structures of Participation in Digital Culture “Structures of Participation in Digital Culture, edited by SSRC Program Director Joe Karaganis, explores digital technologies that are engines of cultural innovation…” (tags: academic book pdf digital culture research tech web2.0) Day 2 of the R. Kelly trial: The “Little Man defense” and

linkthink #04676: ATCQ Has a Posse

The Cosmopolatino Map consuming cosmopolitanism en español en NYC (tags: cosmopolitanism newyork latinidad class) NYMosaico :: Profile Manager :: “Cosmopolatinos are young, urban, and bilingual, and are fusing aspects of Latin America with other global trends to create a unique cultural space in New York and other cities.” :: ocio cosmopolatino, eh? (tags: cosmopolitanism

linkthink #6953: Mate Rituals

rap represented in mathematical charts and graphs half math, half amazing (tags: hip-hop humor visualization charts awesome) Democracy in Dakar : Nomadic Wax documentary re: hip-hop (and democracy) in senegal (tags: hip-hop documentary senegal africa activism politics) We’re not racist, but … – In Depth – re: racism in contemporary australia (tags: race racism

Conversación Cumbia2.0 Continúa

thx to all for the continuing cumbia convo, esp those who have left comments and/or sent emails (is it telling that not all can be aired here?) i guess this stuff cuts close to the bone, but that’s how we like it here at w&w — jugando con fuego desde 2003! & thx to KG

Critical Distance, Por la Ventana?

¿Qué reflexiones? Tonight in San Fran, DJ /rupture — never one to let his critical eyelids slack — will be digging thru his kumbia krates alongside the Zizek gang. Yesterday, Carolina @ Sound Taste framed her excitement around the neo-cumbia thing (coming soon to NYC) by noting that her “critical distance has gone out the

linkthink #9449340: South American Jive

…My heart’s in Accra » Don’t stop believing filipino journey cover band singer becomes actual journey front man, leads thousands in stadium karaoke sessions :: awesome (tags: rock youtube blogpost awesome) YouTube – VIVA OBAMA 2008 barack obama hired a mariachi band for our wedding (tags: election08 obama texas US mexico latin youtube video) Poisonous