Monday, August 19, 2013

Sistema Local Mashups

Back in 2004, I had the pleasure of opening up for Toy Selectah here in Austin. This was before the era of Serato and laptop DJs, so most of the music played that night was vinyl, although I do recall bringing my Pioneer CDJ and playing a few tracks off CD. It was a fun night, as Toy had picked up some crazy vinyl finds on a recent trip to Peru and the crowd dug every bit of it.

At the end of the night, he hit me off with this--a cd full of mashups--from Cumbia and Reggae to Funk and Hiphop. I listened to it quite a bit and even played a few tracks out from time to time. A week or two ago, I came across it for the first time in years and decided to post it as one of those nostalgic throwback things folks do on occasion. So, heres a few tracks I've uploaded for your listening pleasure. Shout out to KEN (Kinky Electric Noise) for encouraging me to post these up.

~A Cumbia mashup, sounds familiar but cant place the original. Nice tune!

 ~some Funky Cold Medina vs. Babe Ruth's the Mexican with some James Brown sprinkled on top--classic B-boy Funk!

~this is that G-Unit beat if Im not mistaken. Some Control Machete bizness. Dig it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

April 19th Latin Music Night Austin Texas

 ~Hey, Really pleased to be a part of this great night happening in downtown Austin at La Zona Rosa on April 19th.  There will be some terrific live music courtesy of Del Castillo as well as a Salsa Dance performance. Of course, some great food as well from El Sol y La Luna. Its gonna be a fun night! Tickets on sale now. Get them here.

Also, glad to announce that the MasCultura Music website is up and running again. This new look is an improvement over the older site, I think. Thanks to for making it so easy to make my own site. It is still a work in progress, as I need to add some pictures and various details. But, its up and thats what matters...for now. Check it out!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Unity: Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson

~Like most kids in the 80's, my life goal was to be able to sing and dance like Michael Jackson. I have fond memories of practicing moonwalking up and down the schoolyard, never quite getting it just right, going home and practicing until my feet gave out from under me. In the 80s, MJ was king. So, I was both curious and intrigued when I first heard of Tony Succar's Latin tribute to MJ. As a fan of the explosive rhythms and intense percussive qualities of Latin music as well as the soulful and dance-friendly pop sensibilities of MJ, I knew right away this was something I wanted to hear. 

Fortunately, Tony was good enough to take the time and provide a brief background on the project, the artists involved, and the difficulties one faces when seeking to gain access to a catalog as guarded as MJ's. 

"So, how did this project come about?"

I came up with the concept over two years ago. It was a series of events that lead me on to creating this project. When Michael passed away three years ago, just many MJ fans around the world, I sat in disbelief, dumbfounded, experiencing one of the saddest moments in my life. A couple of months after his passing, I felt an unquenchable urge to pay homage to Michael’s legacy. I had no idea what I was going to do, or how I was going to do it; I simply knew I needed to follow my heart. Happens to be that in October of 2009 I got a call from an agent that hires my band, his name is Randy Singer, wanted to put together a Halloween party for a local club on South Beach. He had the idea of making a THRILLER theme costume party, everyone looking like zombies and all… Make a long story short, the band I had at the time was a strict salsa band, we played some other styles, but very few, mainly salsa. Randy wanted to me to perform THRILLER for that night… so I went ahead and got the idea of making a salsa arrangement to THRILLER so we can perform it live. When I sat down and wrote that arrangement, performed it, and saw how much the people went crazy for it… that’s when it all began…

I finally discovered what I could do for Michael, his legacy, his music, and his messages. My goal with paying tribute was to embody Michael’s essence by focusing this Tribute on his message of UNITY. UNITY is something that I saw in his lyrics, his music, in his dance, and his way of being. He always looked out to unite people, unite cultures, and unite talent. I wanted to expand on his message by interpreting his music in a new way; in a way where I express myself fully, because expression is in my Latin DNA. This way it would result into something new, hoping that I could continue the legacy and show the world how he influenced me and how important he still is to all of us.

"How difficult was it getting the rights to MJ's catalog?"

OMG… this was the most difficult task I’ve ever come across with in the music business. The publishers treat the Michael Jackson catalog like their gems, they don’t give those rights out  like that… I was a process that lasted over 2 years… Lots of work, lots of praying. Imagine, you go through all the work or arranging, producing, recording, mixing, mastering, etc. etc. etc… and once you have track ready  to rock n roll, you then go to the publisher and they just say “no, we cannot grant you the license” … how would you feel?  This is the risk that I ran into with every single song, and some did get denied, but we kept our heads up and kept fighting for them. Right now we’re still working on wrapping up one more that keeps getting denied, and its one of the strongest songs on the album… hopefully it goes through… if not, I’ll have to start an online petition! Would you help!? J Trying to do something positive here with this project, paying tribute at the upmost quality. That’s what we’re about, staying true to the legacy and MJ.

"How did you go about selecting the artists for this project?"

There are more than 90 musicians on board along with 8 artists. I recorded in many different studios pretty scattered over the map actually, starting with my hometown Miami, to Peru, to New York, to Texas… etc… So a lot of the musicians that came on board I didn’t know personally, but I did know of them. I chose them wisely, according to the styles that they play, how they play… in order to get the sound that I was looking for. Each musician has his or her own unique sound and feel, that’s what makes producing so interesting. I had very specific sounds that I would hear in my head, so I had choose the right studio musicians that could execute them. It was a whole lot of research J That’s why I had to travel so much as well… they weren’t all located here in Miami. Most of them were though, and they are my buddies! There’s nothing like recording with friends, it’s always a blast!

The aritsts on the other hand, that was a surprise… I had no contact with the artists at first, had no way in getting contact with them. I actually would write weekly emails to artist managers to see if the artists would be interested in a project like this, I would never get a response. The first response I received was from Kevin Ceballo, that was a true blessing. After him, the word kept spreading, and it got to Michael Stuart and Tito Nieves.. then after that it was a domino effect. True blessing from God… Most of the artists say that they were skeptical about this MJ project, because they couldn’t imagine covering Michael’s tunes, especially with this latin feel… but they said once they heard the music, that was what sold it.

Again, Working with these artists has been a true blessing from God. First of all, I am a fan of their music and their talent. I’ve always looked up to them, and I still do. I grew up listening to their music, each and everyone of them influenced my musical career during my upbringing. I never thought I’d be able to collaborate with them, especially at such a young age.

Recording in the studio with them was a thrilling experience. Not only is their talent above and beyond, but most importantly, the passion and emotion they put towards their profession is what makes them unique. I learned a whole lot from them.

The most amazing part of working with these artists is that I could get to know them personally and become their friends. All of them are wonderful human beings, they are extremely humble… that’s the beauty about this project. We are all humble, we all share that same passion for Michael Jackson, for his message, for his legacy. We never thought selfishly about ourselves, this was all about the music, all about working as a team, all about giving and delivering the best of our abilities to make this amazing project come to life.

"And lastly, any other upcoming projects you'd care to share with the public?"

I have many ideas and projects that I’d like to deliver to the world tomorrow… but everything takes time, and I like to always deliver the highest quality possible. I always choose quality over quantity. It’s just the way I am. I know for a fact that this project will be going on for a long time, I have many plans. It’s not going to be just an album, I like to describe it more like an experience. This is all a part of the surprise, so I won’t share that with you just yet ☺ but yeah, stay in tune for those updates!!

Thanks Tony! Check the website and support the Unity project!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some mixes to get thru the day

~I usually make it a point to put together an end of summer mix. Not for any reason in particular, but simply because the idea seems logical. Its a time of transition, and what better way to mark it than with a mix of fresh music to nod your head to in the least thats how I see it.

Well this year, I'm gonna take a break and, instead, jam out to some mixes from some djs who have been puttin in some work.

First off is Don Bustamante's "Palmas Vol.4". I recently had the pleasure of djing along side Senor Bustamante at his Tropicana Night in San Fran. It was a great night, the house was jam packed with sweaty bodies and I went home realizing I need to step up my Salsa and Merengue game. Check out his mix here via mixcloud and be sure to check out the Cumbia group he moderates as well.

~the next mix is by Indianapolis resident soon-to-be Austin Tx resident K. Sabroso. The selection on here is right down my alley with a nod to jazz-flavored b-boy hip hop in the vein of Naughty, Crown City Rockers, and Bahamadia with some Bomba Estereo and Bole 2 Harlem thrown in for good measure. Int'l b-boy style.

~Rafranga has been posting to the Global Bass group page on Mixcloud for some time and he never disappoints. Take a listen and d'load via mediafire link. 

~The first Soul Boulders mix was something of legend. This one continues in that tradition. Makes me want to get out and dig in some dusty, dimly-lit backroom in some soon-to-be gentrified neighborhood in East Austin. RIP Matthew Africa.

~Juan Data drops a mix consisting exclusively of 7" records. I have to admit, I checked his playlist and added a few new searches to my Ebay saved search list (I almost refuse to pay int'l shipping-so anyone stateside got a copy of that first joint--holler). This is a dope mix that features some truly great tracks, most of which were released within the last few years. Cop it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

An Afro-Moombah beat

~I've been working on this beat for a while going nowhere as sometimes is the case. Then I got a hold of some moombah sample pack, dropped it in the mix and voila, it came to life. If anyone out there on the interwebs has access to another moombah sample pack replete with drum loops and such, do share. Thanks!
In other news, the flyer for next weeks Tropicana in San Fran was sent to me. Really looking forward to spending a few days in the Bay Area and escaping the infernal conditions of Central Texas...not to mention dropping some Tropical beats. I've got a few cumbia edits I've been working on that may get posted to SC once I get back...we'll see. One in particular, I'm hoping, should get the party jumping.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Esoteric Sunshine

~So I've finally managed to finish my latest project entitled "Esoteric Sunshine". Five tracks in all with a bonus track included with purchase ($3 minimum, feel free to pay more if you so desire). Here is the link where you can listen. and my Soundcloud page can be found here for comments, big uppage, and general blabbery: If you're in the Bay Area, mark your calendars. I will be djing at Tropicana alongside DJ Don Bustamante at Madrone Art Bar on Divisadero on Aug 16th. This will be my first appearance in San Francisco, so it goes without saying that I'm looking forward to it. I will be in SF through the weekend, so please feel free to hit me up with possible dj opportunities. Thanks for listening/visiting.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Its Been a Long Time...

...I shouldn't have left you...

I've been neglecting this little corner of cyber space for a few months. Not for lack of content, just haven't managed to get around to it. Like some squeaky door that needs a shot of WD-40, and you keep reminding yourself you'll get to it, but just never do...until you do.

Anyhow, heres a few tracks I'm feelin these days...

Eric B & Rakim Dont Sweat The Technique WDRE & Freqnik Blue Label Remix by Freqnik & WDRE

~nice remix of an Eric B and Rakim classic here by Freqnik and WDRE...I remember the video for this one was dope too, kickin it in the mansion surronded by a legion of dimes...check it.

Katy On A Mission (Captain Planet Remix) by DJ Captain Planet

~killer remix on the reggae tip here by Captain Planet...looks like the d'loads are gone, but still worth a listen.

The Doors-Soul Kitchen-Shimi Sonic Remix by Shimi Sonic

~I've been rockin the DJ Spooky edit of this track for years and its always been a killer tune...but now this, damn...gonna hafta give put this in the rotation for a bit...lovely mix!

My style cumbiero - Luigi Sound Selectah by luigisoundselectah

~I like this, the mixture of cumbia and reggae is just so damn good...solid mix here, grab it!