Back when I did that silly 2009 predictions post in January, I should've totally guessed this one, but I didn't, which means as a psychic I suck. Big time.
Nacional Records, the best (and only decent) Latin music record label in the whole United States will be releasing Zizek Collective albums, starting with this one, and that, my friends, is the biggest piece of news of 2009, so far.
I actually wondered many times why Nacional wasn't jumping in the neo-cumbia craze and I sort of new that eventually they'd do it but never in a million years did I imagine they would associate with Argentina's ZZK Records and release their impressive catalogue for the US market (or at least some of it).
I found out about it through the guys of Fauna a couple of weeks ago, but only as a rumor and I confirmed it last night at Zizek's San Francisco show (the third one in two years!) when Zizek's founder and resident DJ El G gave me a copy of this new compilation CD (thanks!) in its Argentine edition which includes one track more than the US edition to be released by Nacional, hopefully soon.
ZZK Sound Vol. 1 was probably the best album of 2008 and the one I played the most at my DJ sets so I assume Vol. 2 will be at least equally relevant. I've only listened to it once so don't expect a very brainy review here, I don't do that type of shit on this site, you'll probably read one of those soon on one of the various sites that pay me. What I can point out as different from its predecesor is that this new volume does not have the subtitle Cumbia Digital, in fact it doesn't have any subtitle at all. Cumbia is still present, but in a much less obvious way. The sound in general is way more electronic and futuristic (can we already start talking about post-neo-cumbia?) and it also has less catchy hooks.
There's also less rap, which's a bummer because I really digged those Maestro and Princesa tracks from the first comp. There's however the Zonora Point rap which sounds Chilean, and I guess that's where they are from, and that's the only track I've been already playing previously to these release (it's actually included in my Linyerismo mix, hidden somewhere among all that mess).
All the rest are new stuff. Many by artists that I'm not familiar with like Lulacruza, Sonido del Príncipe, Arcade and Petrona Martínez. Some by artists that all neo-cumbia aficionados should be already familiar with like our local hero Oro11, Fauna, Frikstailers, Chancha Vía Circuito, Daleduro, Marcelo Fabián, Axel K. and El Trip Selector. The biggest absence here is El Hijo De La Cumbia who last year provided the neo-cumbia ultimate anthem, "La Mara Tomasa" but is now signed to DJ Rapture's label.
Anyway, like I said, I've only listened to it once so I still don't have any definitive opinion. What I can tell you is that all those 19 tracks are already loaded on my playlist and I'll probably be playing some of them tonight at the M.I.S. show. So come and check it out or go to Coachella and for your last chance to see Zizek Collective in the US before they go on tour to Mexico... or wait for the Nacional release. Your choice.