By now you all must be totally aware that I absolutely have a major non-homosexual crush on Toy Selectah. You are even probably annoyed by the fact that I write so fucking much about him on this blog that could easily be re-titled Data Gets Hard Every Time He Receives A New Toy Selectah Remix. It's true, I mention him a lot and I mix a lot of his tracks into all my sets. I owe him big time.
You know, back in the mid-90's when I was a fundamentalist hip-hop fan I used to think that Control Machete sucked. Then I interviewed them personally and they ended up being really nice guys... but they still sucked. With time I learned to appreciate Toy's talent in the production while avoiding paying much attention to the two MC's and all of a sudden Toy became one of my all time favorite Latin hip-hop producers (along with Argentina's Kox-T and Spain's Griffi).
But way before that happened, I landed a job in a US-based music magazine that made me move to California, and guess what? It was Toy who recommended me for that gig. So to some extent he's the one to blame for me being where I am now.
Since then we haven't ran into each other much but we kept in touch and I always followed his prolific career from close. He was the first hip-hop head who ever talked to me seriously about incorporating cumbia elements into his music; something that has been in the collective subconscious of all Latin American hip-hop heads since forever. But he was the first one to do it right with his combo Sonidero Nacional, back in the early years of this decade.
I started spinning neo-cumbia right before the end of 2006 and this drastic move of direction was very much influenced by Toy's visionary improvements to this genre. When I first heard Sonidero Nacional's remix of "Eres Para Mí" by Julieta Venegas and the love of my life Anita Tijoux, I said to myself "That's it! This is gonna be the next big Latin music thing" and I've been repeating that same asseveration since then to everyone who wanted to listen or read.
I was happy to find out last year that Toy had joined the Mad Decent family and that he would eventually release some music through that prestigious label. This morning at 5am I got an e-mail from him (yes I was up that early... watching zombie movies) saying that the album was out and free to be downloaded from the label's site and right away I posted it here knowing I would love it, even before listening to it.
Half of the songs I already had them (maybe not in the exact same mastered versions) and I've been playing them for a while (two of them were included in Linyerismo Vol.I), so there were not too many surprises there. What did surprise me is that the rest of the songs, the new ones, are very up-tempo, leaving behind the ubiquitous 90BPM average of the cumbia beat. It's like, now that the rest of the world is finally catching up with the hybrid sub-genre that he pioneered, he's moving on to the next thing. And this next thing he named it "raverton" (rave + reggaetón, get it?). I can't help it, once again I'm in love with his new sound because even while being futuristic, it has an obvious early-nineties kinda hip-house feel to it. And for guys our generation (by our I mean Toy and myself who are about the same age) hip-house was a big part of our foundation. Long live KLF!
Anyway, like I said earlier, you can download it for free, so go ahead and do it right now:
Download free here.