National Geographic Digital Media announced the release of the exclusive, digital-only GeoRemixed: Big Beats for a Small Planet through WorldMusic.NationalGeographic.com. The 13-song collection of previously unreleased tracks and remixes showcases sampled, dubbed-out, bass-thumping beats ranging from Gypsy brass to Maasai rap and Ethiopian hybrids, from Latino-Jewish rhymes to Mediterranean-meets-Caribbean surf rock and Brazilian hip hop. Since its launch last summer, MP3 Web site WorldMusic.NationalGeographic.com has emphasized the diversity of world music, inviting a plethora of hybrids and modern departures from tradition.“Musical cultures have been cross-pollinating since the earliest days of trade and border-crossing,” says WorldMusic.NationalGeographic.com editor Tom Pryor, who formerly edited the hip hop and world music sections at CD Now. “It would be a misrepresentation only to present recordings that preserve or recreate the world’s musical traditions. Traditions are always evolving. ‘GeoRemixed’ is a window into how hip hop and electronica are getting remixed into a spectrum of music across the globe.”
African hip hop makes a strong showing on “GeoRemixed.” Rap was created in the African diaspora, and many theorize direct connections back to the African motherland. The songs here are rooted in their specific cultures, from X-Plastaz’ Maasai influence to Bole 2 Harlem’s unique celebration of Ethiopian traditions. Dakar’s Pato demonstrates lyrical acrobatics in his Wolof language. Meanwhile, Mali’s African blues heir Vieux Farka Touré has been remixed by Israeli-Caribbean dub whiz Yossi Fine.
The Latino rap presence on “GeoRemixed” emphasizes hybrids. The German/Chilean Señor Coconut gets a reggaeton treatment. Closer to the home of hip hop comes new music from Pacha Massive, a bilingual mix of dub, cumbia, trip-hop and funk from the Bronx. The bi-coastal, bi-cultural Hip Hop Hoodios throw their post-ethnic mayhem into the mix. Meanwhile, Brazil’s Eli Efi and Laylo make their Portuguese-language entry with a call to action for blacks and poor people.
In recent years there has been an explosion of hip hop and electronica from Balkan, Eastern European and Mediterranean musicians. Ukrainian bagpipes, flute and jaw harp get a humorous electronic dose from OMFO. Beats and dub sounds come together with traditional Ursari (Gypsy bear-tamer) music at the hands of Romania’s Shukar Collective, who also remix a track of Balkan brass band Fanfare Savale. Tel Aviv’s Boom Pam throws in its surf-rock sound on its collaboration with the Jewish Monkeys. Brooklyn-based Slavic Soul Party! finds funkified Balkan brass remixed on its “Teknochek.”
Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central