Keeping on today’s Colombia theme… The sound system, or PicÃ³ cultureÂ of the Caribbean coast of Colombia is very close to my heart. Not only is there a strong relationship between it and the popular musicÂ of 1970’s and 80’s West and Central Africa, but the propensity towards innovation via digital production (something that I’m near obsessed with as a DJ) is very strong in this part of the world as well. As I’ve highlighted in previous writing, Atlantic costeÃ±oÂ audiences and producersÂ will consume and reproduceÂ everything from soca to zouk to mbaqangaÂ to vallenato to salsa to dancehall to soukous to contemporary Nigerian Pop – incorporating their own indigenous African rhythms, language, and cultural understandings intoÂ the diverseÂ musical stew.Â Throw in the Spanglish-patois influence of the Caribbean islands of San Andres and Providencia, and you have the makings for my Black AtlanticÂ musical mecca.
I’ve now taken two pilgrimagesÂ to this part of ColombiaÂ (while neglecting other, equally fascinating,Â parts of the country) in order to see, interact, and learn in this environment. EachÂ time I’ve been there I end up lamenting the lack of attention the scenes get outside of ColombiaÂ and a small circle of international DJs.Â Well, Native Instruments – the German music software and hardware company – has taken a step in the right directionÂ by financing the belowÂ documentary. Directed by Luis Antonio Delgado, itÂ follows Colombian music producer Mauricio Alvarez around the region asÂ he encounters some of the key players in the PicÃ³ scenes ofÂ Cartagena and Barranquilla. Check it out below:
cross-posted at Africa is a Country