People wonder why I haven't been posting much lately and why I haven't yet released a new mixtape. Well, I was mainly busy working on this project right here, The Audio Refuge Compilation by a new Bay Area collective of artists and record label called Stronghold Sound.
The label's debut album dropped officially today and it's available at all your usual digital music vendors. It was entirely recorded and produced by my buddy Dub Snakkr at his studio in San Francisco and it involves the talents of plenty of other artists with roots all over the world that converge in this cosmopolitan city. We have people from Syria, Guinea, Morocco, Palestine, Colombia, Mexico and of course myself (and my friend Tami) from Argentina collaborating in these culture-bending, border-crossing sonic experiments.
For this compilation I decided to sign my work with my new collective moniker, Bondi Blaster, because I'm far from being the only creative force behind those tracks, which were all done in collaboration with several other people. Bondi is Argentine slang for bus and buses are arguably the main disseminators of cumbia music in Latin America, whenever you get on a public transportation bus in Buenos Aires, La Paz, Santiago or Mexico City, you'll most probably listen to the driver's own stereo blasting out the latest cumbias. But buses are also called colectivos (collective) in Argentina and other places, and I wanted to make it clear that those tracks are not DJ Juan Data productions but the result of a collective effort.
This is just the beginning. I'm currently working on Bondi Blaster's own release, to drop later this year, which will include new original tracks and many remexies of the ones included here (some done by international ñu-cumbia luminaries, I can't wait to tell you who!). At the same time, Stronghold Sound will also be releasing a lot more music from around the globe, including a double compilation of underground West-African artists that it's almost ready to drop, so make sure you follow us on facebook or whatever.
But that's the future. Right now, we have The Audio Refuge Compilation. A collection of 17 tracks representing different styles of music from reggae, to hip-hop, to dub, to cumbia, to a variety of traditional and innovative African and Middle Eastern styles. The digital release also includes as a bonus track a very special collaboration by Bay Area's underground hip-hop legend Gift Of Gab from the group Blackalicious.