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Sunday, 10 April 2011 20:25

A History of Tropicália

Published in Music Written by Russ Slater
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Rise of the Counter-culture

It would be near impossible to recreate the circumstances that resulted in tropicália. In 1967, Brazil's repressive military government had been in charge for three years and Brazilian music was in status quo. The authorities were happy that samba was the favourite music of the nation – they saw it as the perfect marketing tool – and didn't see the need for change. This was a climate in which João Gilberto's beautiful hybridisation of samba into bossa nova drew stinging criticisms from those who thought it was un-Brazilian.


Sunday, 30 January 2011 21:23

A goodbye to Argentinean singer and poet María Elena Walsh

Published in Music Written by Tatei Montejo
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Argentinean writer and composer María Elena Walsh has died of heart failure aged 80 after a long career dedicated to the world of children. She will be remembered for entertaining generations with her quirky songs and endearing characters such as the adventurous turtle Manuelita and the goofy monkey Mono Liso.


Monday, 29 November 2010 20:19

Chicha – Psychedelic music from Peru

Published in Music Written by Russ Slater
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Chicha is a drink made from fermented corn. Its consumption can lead to you becoming very drunk. It is said that Chicha music is capable of doing the very same.

Chicha is Peru's equivalent of Tropicalía in Brazil or Afrobeat in Nigeria, a mix of traditional and Western styles. Chicha, which was generally referred to as Peruvian Cumbia until the 80s, is played in the 'rock band' format of guitar, bass and drums, though often with a multitude of Latin percussion instruments on hand, as well as keyboards (a practice which has grown due to their low costs and ability to create numerous sounds.)


Monday, 15 November 2010 01:15

Cumbia: its golden years as electro?

Published in Music Written by Paloma Granados
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Latin American Cumbia music has its roots in folklore, as is the case with many idiosyncratic musical styles across the world.  The Caribbean islands are particularly noted for their fusion of modern rhythms with old tales and traditional instruments, and musicologists can trace patterns of historical development in entire cultures from the ways in which their musical traditions have evolved to create a palimpsest of influences down the centuries.