Coastal Colombia seems to be a place that calls me. Whether the Caribbean or Pacific side, the coastal melting pot's Afro-Indian influenced folk and contemporary sounds make Colombia one of the most exciting musical countries in the world. One of my favorite musical stories in the Americas is the history of Colombian Champeta. It's a story of contemporary African Pop, finding a home in African communities far removed in time and distance from their ancestral homelands. Compare the sound and visual aesthetic of these two videos, the first by Colombia's Hernan Hernandez, and the second by Congo's Koffi Olomide.
There's growing attention in the English speaking world to the sounds of contemporary urban music out of Colombia through DJ's like Uproot Andy, Geko Jones, and Eddie Stats. In the Colombia owned Caribbean islands San Andrés y Providencia, an English-Spanish Creole culture thrives, and the current music of choice is Dancehall Reggae with Cumbia, Champeta, Zouk and Reggaeton influences.
The following song is a track by DJ Buxxi, one of the big producers from the islands, with the help of some friends, on a Champeta-Chutney influenced rhythm I can't quite seem to get out of my bones.DJ Buxxi & DJ Buñuelo-Rumba Loca feat. Eddy Jey & el Michel
For more information on Colombian music with plenty of samples to go around, be sure to check the blog Africolombia run by Fabian Altahona out of Baranquilla.