Carolina Gonzalez on merengue de la calle, aka mambo
on merengue de calle, aka street merengue, aka mambo: “The tracks are stripped-down merengue rhythms (most sound right off a Casioâ€™s â€œLatinâ€ presets), with high tempos, dirty rapped lyrics, and an occasional reggaeton rhythm thrown in for good measure.”
another blog flogging the new world / nu whirled
another blog flogging the new world / nu whirled, part 2
my man derrick ashong brings the “specifics” to a skeptical, somewhat aggressive interviewer :: gwaan, derrick! dude picked the wrong guy to challenge on his “emotional” support of obama
not just inspiring, but inspiring b/c of its concrete proposals and principled policies; for real, can we stop rehearsing the “all rhetoric, no substance” myth?
he loves to _____ things :: a hilariously simple (if, yes, sophomoric) remix of sesame street’s the count :: i guess this is what we get when we censor
on walter gibbons: detailing the disco DJ/producer/remixer’s significance
“Vincentian re-fix(?) of a classic zouk tune by Kassav” (via Danish, via email) :: there go those ravey presets again
7 thoughts on “linkthink #4354626”
Thanks for the links. Without being able to travel to DR I am doing my best to keep up with the latest merengue de la calle developments. Do you (or anyone reading) have any websites I can order from to recommend? I’m not having much luck finding anything.
In terms of ordering, I can’t really say, IK. I’m just getting into the genre myself, thx to the blogs linked above. Just today, though, unfashionably late (where I see you’ve been commenting) linked to a treasure trove of mp3s and other media over @ technorumba. Not a bad place to start. I’m really not sure how much of this stuff is available for purchase, but it sure ricochets around the nets.
Unfortunately , very unfortunately, in fact disastrously, for someone fixated on nu-whirled music like myself, I haven’t been able to make the leap from buying music to trawling mp3 sites. So, I am lucky, for instance, that a friend of mine just came back from Angola with dozens of kuduro (although actually none of them say “kuduro,” instead utilizing the word “batida” on their covers) CDs for me, because otherwise I would be S.O.L. on that front. Despite how “globalized” our world allegedly is, there are many highly-popular local musics that I find impossible to buy online. Not one site anywhere. This is my problem with musics as diverse as: Panjabi bhangra (made in India, not the diaspora), funk carioca, kuduro, and merengue de la calle. If you are not travelling, or hooked up with a diasporic community that imports their music, illegal mp3s are your only choice. It’s a choice I’ve refused to make, but unless I start traveling a lot more, one day a straw will probably break the camel’s back. Thanks, as always, for your informative posts.
Not sure why you so hamstring yourself, IK. For one, not all mp3s are necessarily illegal. If you can’t buy some of these tracks, it’s because they’re not for sale. You’re letting the music industry get in the way of your participation in music industry. I think we risk constraining music too too much by holding too tightly to a particular techno-historical model for exchange. (Actually, I think we just constrain ourselves, as you attest; music nuh stop.) A lot of the nu whirled music that grabs me is bedroom FruityLoopery that I’m never gonna find in a store — even in Chicago or Luanda. A lot of this music we’re talking about is actually “underground” in an economic sense (not just a cultural / aesthetic / ideological sense), and it circulates according to all kinds of logics, forms of capital, social networks, and information technologies.
Moreover, I find the distinction between obtaining (copying, right?) a CD from someone else who went abroad (or buying one in a stall on a street somewhere) vs. downloading an mp3 in such a context-rich place as a media-rich social network downright negotiable. Especially since that CD itself may have come from a pirate — or perhaps more commonly (tho I’m not so sure at this point): a shitty record deal (i.e., a straight-up rip-off). Arcangel doesn’t really have music for sale — except for always-already shady mixtapes — which actually serves, as one reggaeton producer recently remarked to me, to hurt producers without hurting himself: Arcangel makes $$ thru performances; bootlegged mixtapes are good 4 hype. There’s nothing a conscientious consumer like you can do about that.
Things are changing. I’m riding the wave. & the water’s fine. Like John said —
WE ARE SWIMMING IN AN OCEAN OF FREE MUSIC, and the ocean is getting bigger and deeper all the time.
& that seems, to me, like an undeniable good.
Your dollar only goes so far.
I actually paid for those Angolan CDs, and didn’t copy them, but my traveling friend ended up buying a fair amount of DJ remix pirates for me, because the selection was much better than the few legitimate CDs in the store, natch. I have only ever been able to barely contain my music obsession by placing artificial limitations for myself. At one point that meant only used cassettes, at one point only vinyl, now I stay away from downloading. Yes, I miss out (A LOT), but once I start the mp3 hunt, I may never come up for air again from that ocean of free music. My friends and loved ones might not be too keen on that. However, as you attest, I am really hamstringing myself, and it will only get worse. I’ll probably break down sooner rather than later.
Ah, I see. Perhaps I jumped the gun then in assuming your avoidance of mp3s was an ethical issue. (RIAA on the brain?) I totally understand your reasons from a social standpoint. One can perhaps drown in these oceans.
From another perspective, my downloading practices have radically changed my listening practices, and not necessarily in a good way. Whereas I used to listen to things I liked over and over and over again, I’m lucky to listen to anything these days — whether or not I like it — more than once or twice. Music glut, y’know. So, sure, I hear a lot more, which is great for my imagination, but I also know I’m missing out on the wonders of repeated listening. Fortunately, my DJ guise helps me to come back to favorite tracks. But the days of literally wearing out songs I like b/c the casette tape degraded are over.
You are not entirely off base on the ethical issue. As a DJ who gets paid to play other people’s music, I have no problem paying for the music. In fact I want to compensate the artists whose music excites me. Of course as you mention, buying a “legitimate” music release doesn’t guarantee that any money is actually making it to the artist.
I only entertain the idea of downloading when it comes to local musics that can’t be found outside of their respective areas of production, except in the form of mp3s online. There are so many times when I am hunting for some obscure (at least in the USA) artist from Africa or South America, India, you name it, and I can find plenty of shady download sites offering mp3s, but not an actual record or CD for sale anywhere. So far I have avoided using these sites, but as you point out, if there is no other way to get the music, I am not depriving the artist of any money, I am just depriving myself of the music.
Funny that DJing is what brings you back to your favorite tracks, since DJing is the number one contributor to “music glut” in my life. I always feel like I have to keep up with every new thing coming out, so the things I know I like get neglected in a rush for new hypothetical wonders. I’m sure mp3 trawling would only make that situation worse.
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