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Minimix 16: FFTANG! FFTANG!

October 19, 2011 by Synth Eastwood

We are very happy to present this mix put together by FFTANG! FFTANG! These guys gave us a shout and asked if they could submit a mix for our blog. We jumped for joi de vie. Their infectious selections are guaranteed to make you and everyone in your vicinity happier than a baby in a nappy advert. FFTANG! FFTANG! is a clubnight, blog and music collective based in London, specialising in global beats and tropical bass. This minimix has been put together by original founder, DJ and Cumbia fanatic: Huskiii. Allow himself to introduce himself…

“I began to do a mix of all the weirder productions that I never get to play out, but hearing them back to back made for quite uneasy listening (and what the hell mixes into this anyway?) so instead here’s a typical FFTANG! party set to give you an idea of our clubnight. It’s probably skewed more latin-wards than I initially intended but Cumbia’s an itch I just can’t leave alone.”

Track 1
Abel Digital:Climacool Sarmiento / Nicomedes Santa Cruz
I’ve got hundreds of tracks like this that I’ll never be able to spin without giving the dancefloor vertigo. It reminds me of Chicha, a psychedelic Peruvian style of Cumbia, although it was originally a Colombian tune. Abel Digital has taken Climaco Sarmiento’s El Tirabuzon, thrown in some Nicomedes Santa Cruz vocals and then smothered it with filters and reverb, making it sounds like a Latin American remake of Mars Attacks… on cough syrup.

Track 2
Miguel Escobedo: Twunbia
My two biggest influences are cumbia and hip-hop. So when someone slaps a Mr Tung Twista acapella over a sparse Cumbia beat, who am I to say no.

Track 3
Balkan Hotsteppers: Insane Kolomeika (Instru-mental)
Klezmer horns over a Cypress Hill beat. Okay, okay, it’s another lazy mash-up – it won’t win points for originality but it just works.

Track 4
Uproot Andy: Brooklyn Cumbia (odb mix)
This had to be included as it was the track that first sent me down this Cumbia rabbit hole. I’d never heard anything like it before – it just floored me. At the time I was playing a lot of records that had brought Latin samples to hip hop or break beats, but this flipped the script and brought the Wu to South America. Everything Uproot Andy touches is golden but this was my gateway drug to the whole nu-cumbia scene. That sped up piano sample gets me every time.

Track 5
Thornato: Rosie Work Song (cumbia edit)
A great example of the kind of global mash-up sound that gets us giddy. A Cumbia shuffle with Mississippi prison song vocals, Balkan horns and Cretan folk guitars.

Track 6
Alex Kenji vs 7A3: Tropical Chicks / Go Like Dis (audio1 moombahton edit)
Moombahton always has a tendency to sneak into my mixes, probably because it’s the optimum tempo (108bpm) but mainly because it contains breakdowns like the one in this.

Track 7
Daniel Haaksmaan: Puerto Rico (neki stranac mix – shepdog re-edit)
This is a re-edit of a remix of a tropical house track, which in itself is pretty much a remix of a remix (DJ Gregory’s ‘Damelo’). Every interpretation upping the party quota until you’re left with this sheer monster of a track. Sirens, crowd noises and Frankie Cutlass samples – all the ingredients for a block party rocker.

Track 8
Panjabi MC: Jogi
Forget that Knightrider one, this is THE b-boy bhangra anthem.

Track 9
Minimatic: The Medellin Bopper
On the FFTANG! blog earlier this year I rounded up a collection of Lito Barrientos’s ‘Cumbia En Do Menor’ remixes. This probably remains truest to the original but it’s also the oddest. It throws in swing drums and breakdowns that seem like they’ve always belonged. And for a remix that doubles the length of the original it also demands to be played in it’s entirety.

Track 10
George Danquah :Just for a Moment
Hot 70s funk from Ghana – not everything I play has been screwed with by the Soundcloud generation.

Track 11
Mighty Shadow: Dat Soca Boat
I first heard this when it was re-released on the Sofrito compilation last year but it’s a soca classic in Trinidad & Tobago. I’ve had people running up saying they haven’t heard it since their Caribbean childhood and one guy was dancing with his phone held up to the speakers so his mate could hear it being played in London (he wouldn’t have believed him otherwise). I think it also remains the only FFTANG! record that prompts rewind requests.

Track 12
Rodolfo Con Hispanos: Ni Cuerpo Ni Corazón
There must be an unwritten law that every Cumbia song must feature the word corazón (Spanish for ‘heart’) in the lyrics at least once. This track comes from a compilation CD that I bought from a market vendor in Cartagena, the cover of which featured a Wall of Sound logo. As a big-beat fan back in the day I was curious to see what link the label had to this album. Of course there was none – it was just slapped on there to add a bit of European cred. It’s a sad fact that Cumbia hadn’t really been embraced by the current Colombian generation until it received an overseas stamp of approval. Previously it was only thought of as that cheesy romantic music their parents listened to.

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    We started this blog in early 2011 to reflect the different events, ideas and projects that interest and influence Synth Eastwood. Please mail blog@syntheastwood.com with any content you think might interest Synth Eastwood. Everything is welcome.

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    For our Minimix Series we ask creatives of all disciplines to select 30 minutes of music for your listening pleasure. Music to dance to, music to work to, music to get hubba hubba to. So far we've had some amazing mixes from folk like Jape, Shit Robot, Conor & David and Toby Kaar. A lot more to follow too. Click above to tune in.