Dutty Artz is proud to announce the release of a new compilation: Geko Jones and Atropolis present: Palenque Records Remixed. The compilation takes Afro-Colombian roots music from San Basilio de Palenque and re-imagines it in the hands of a host of global remixers.
San Basilio de Palenque is a small autonomous community in Northern Colombia on the outskirts of metropolitan Cartegena. The town was settled by African slaves who escaped bondage from Spanish masters in 1602, and is one of the oldest continually inhabited communities in the Americas. Its strategic geographic location has allowed it to be defended from attacks by outsiders throughout Colombiaʼs history. Its strong and unique local culture has forced subsequent governments to recognize the communityʼs continued contribution to Colombian national identity.
Like many maroon communities scattered throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the culture of San Basilio de Palenque has a mix of African, European, and Indigenous American influences. However, the strong political identity of the community and its diaspora is unmistakably African. So its no wonder that when contemporary Afropop music started to make its way to the Colombian coast through vinyl LPs in the 1970s, it was the Palenqueros who first took up this music as a mark of community pride. Soon, Palenqueros and other Atlantic coast residents made up their own versions of the Afropop and Afro- Caribbean sounds they were hearing, resulting in the popular music called Champeta Criolla. In recent years, various incarnations of Colombian popular music, like Cumbia or Vallenato, have been well- publicized and celebrated internationally. However, the cultural music of San Basilio de Palenque, with an unbroken 400 year-old history that stretches back to the founding of the settlement, remains more obscured.
For the past decade or so, Palenque Records founder Lucas Silva has done field recordings in the town of San Basilio de Palenque of musicians such as Batata, Son Palenque, and Sexteto Tabala. To introduce this music to a wider club-going audience, Silva teamed up with Dutty Artz ambassadors Atropolis and Geko Jones to curate a compilation of remixed works of Palenquero cultural music. The partnership was initiated when Atropolis met Silva, on a trip he took to San Basilio de Palenque with his New York DJ crew Cumba Mela, and the two of them decided to collaborate on a project. Geko Jones, a regular visitor to the Northern coast of Colombia and staunch advocate for Afro-Colombian music, came on board to help curate the compilation. Together, the two reached out to the Dutty Artz extended family for their remixes, with a host of talented producers such as Captain Planet who turns in a wobbly pop banger, So Shifty who are on a hype German-soca tip, Matt Shadetek on a pensive melodic 6/8 run, and DJs Thornato and Chief Boima highlight the Congolese flavor that so inspires the Palenquero community. Geko Jones and Atropolis also submit their own productions, for an ultimate result that is a reflection of a continued cultural exchange that exists between New York and Colombia.
01 Calabongo (Thornato Remix) – Son Palenque
02 Macaco Mata El Toro (So Shifty Remix) – Batata y Su Rumba Palenquera
03 Esto es Candela (Captain Planet Remix) – Sexteto Tabala
04 Un Solo Pie (Geko Jones & Atropolis Remix) – Sexteto Tabala
05 No Habla Na (Chief Boima Remix) – Colombiafrica The Mystic Orchestra
06 Chimbumbe (Atropolis Remix) – Son Palenque
07 Ataole (Matt Shadetek Remix) – Batata
08 Esto es Candela (Beat Laden Remix) – Sexteto Tabala
09 Yo No Puedo Mas (Rafi El Remix) – Son Palenque
10 Sambingo (Geko Jones Remix)” Estrellas del Caribe
11 Macaco Mata El Toro (Reaganomics Remix) – Batata y Su Rumba Palenquera
12 Adios Batata (Pyrotechnica Remix) – Son Palenque