Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bondi Blaster's "Cumbia Nena" (feat. Nes & Ephniko)

Here's a free promotional download for Bondi Blaster's "Cumbia Nena" in anticipation for the debut EP, ¡Lo Juimo! to be released on March 6th through Stronghold Sound.

(right click/option click to download)

A little bit of history behind this track:
It all started in late 2009. Dub Snakkr was working on building his own recording studio in his basement and invited me over to check it out. He then suggested that we should work on the production of some cumbia tracks together. Up to that point I wasn't really planning to turn into production because, honestly, I don't know shit about making music myself. But with my ideas and his equipment and know-how we could probably do something interesting, so we decided to give it a try.
I suggested we should join forces in doing a remix for "El Himno Del Cucumelo" a classic punk/cumbia from the '90s in Argentina. There was a tribute compilation in the works and my friends from Cabeza Netlabel invited me to participate with a remix. So we did that one remix that, unfortunately, we were not able to turn in in time for the release. It was never officially released, we only gave it away through this blog in early 2010, but to be honest I wasn't completely satisfied with the results.
Throughout 2010 with Dub Snakkr we started working in a handful of new tracks and thus came the idea of separating this new entity from the mercenary DJ Juan Data and we decided to call it Bondi Blaster. The name was actually chosen between myself and Tami, the girl singing on "Salchichón Primavera" the song that would become Bondi Blaster's introductory card.
Then one day at a party I was approached by rapper Nes (from the group R.A.P. Squad) who wanted to drop some verses over our tracks. But we didn't have anything to offer him at the moment. A few weeks later we've got a message that Miami's rapper Ephniko was coming to the Bay Area and he was coming recommended by Kinky Electric Noise. I've heard the stuff those two have done together mixing rap and ñu-cumbia and it was dope so I knew it'd be awesome if we could get him in the studio.
Still we didn't have any instrumental, so I called Dub Snakkr, last minute thing, and asked him to dust off that lost remix of the Cucumelo cumbia, remove the vocals and all the middle part with those weird abrupt changes and use that as a riddim for this session.
Nes and Ephniko didn't know each other prior to the recording of this song, they met that morning at the Stronghold Studios and it was magic. Nes brought his sixteen bars written and memorized but Ephniko had nothing so he sat down and wrote it on the spot. I got so inspired by this that I decided to join in and do a verse myself so I wrote my sixteen bars and recorded it as the last third of the track. I used to rap during most of the '90s but I haven't done it since 2001 (when I decided to become a DJ instead). So it was quite a challenge. Plus, I'm hella dyslexic so I can't really rap while I read words, I have to memorize the lyrics before hand and we didn't have much time, the whole thing had to be recorded in one day.
That song, along with "Salchichón Primavera" (Tami's version) were later included in Stronghold Sound's debut compilation The Audio Refuge, released last year. In the meantime we kept working on Bondi Blaster's own release but it was a very long process because in the middle of all this Dub Snakkr relocated the Middle East and, as I mentioned above, I can't do much on my own.
We finally got the tracks for Bondi Blaster's debut together by late 2011, thanks in big part to the help of Gabriel Navia who joined the project with his incredible multi-instrumentist talent. I wasn't satisfied with the sound of "Cumbia Nena" in the original Stronghold Sound compilation, so I decided if we were going to include it again in Bondi Blaster's release we had to mix it down again and remaster it. This new version sounds so much better than the original that I couldn't contain my urge to show it around to everybody, so I decided to use it as a promotional track for ¡Lo Juimo! That way, those who bought it last year on the Audio Refuge Comp can get it again for free with a lot better sound. Also, the instrumental version of this track will be available on ¡Lo Juimo! and there you can appreciate the amazing work Dub Snakkr did with the wobble bass!
I think "Cumbia Nena" represents very well the spirit of Bondi Blaster, even though the release is very diverse in styles and ways to approach cumbia (there's even some funky chicha and some bastard Andean folk) but in encompasses my love for the whole ñu-cumbia phenomenon, representing the four countries that  had been pushing forward the evolution of this movement the most: Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and the US.
Stay tuned for the release of Bondi Blaster's ¡Lo Juimo! coming up on March 6th, available on all your digital vendors.

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