About El Hijo De la Cumbia
Crisscrossing Latin American rhythms with African traditions, dancehall reggae, hip-hop, steamy dub, and sonidero, musician, producer, and musical anthropologist El Hijo de La Cumbia is one of the pioneers of the 21st century Nu-Cumbia movement. In his own words, his mission is to create a music that will "unite all the ghettos of the world." Now based in Malmo, Sweden, he spends as much time in research as he does making music in his studio, playing festival stages, and producing others. His quaking 2008 debut album, Freestyle de Ritmos, provided an early distillation of his crush collision that integrated a seemingly incompatible array of musical styles from Middle Eastern music, beat-crazy American hip-hop, modern and vintage cumbia, vallenato, and serpentine dancehall. With samples drawn from ferociously rhythmic legacy recordings from the '50s and '60s, El Hijo de La Cumbia utilizes live instrumentation: accordions, claves, bells, charangos, rumbling basslines, and many drums underscore his vision of a polyrhythmic groove attack. Likewise, his productions of video singles for Akila, Princess, the Sparkles, Gotan Project, Pablo Fierro, and Watcha Clan, to name a few, add force, dimension, and a large array of atmospheric colors and textures.
Born Emiliano Gonzalez in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at 12 he discovered cumbia on an album in his father's record collection sandwiched between Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, and was instantly obsessed with cumbia's "...irresistible groove and that unstoppable energy." He started messing with both analog and digital keyboards, as well as organic rhythm instruments and loops created from his own playing and records. He began doing remixes from the various 12" DJ recordings he'd been accumulating, compiling samples, and creating his own aesthetic, albeit one heavily influenced by producers such as Mad Scientist, Lee Perry, and Adrian Sherwood, and posting them on the internet. An accomplished accordionist and multi-instrumentalist, he began playing in various cumbia bands. Over the next decade, circulating his mixes via social media, he was able to procure work as a remixer of various cumbia sonidero bands in Mexico and the United States. In 2008 he contributed the track "La Mara Tomasa" to historic compilation ZZK Sound, Vol. 1: Cumbia Digital. Based on that cut, he began to secure work as a producer and DJ. When Basta! issued Freestyle de Ritmos in 2008, his reputation spread seemingly overnight, drawing the attention of artists such as Mexican Institute of Sound (Camilo Lara), Toy Selectah, Sekreto (whose "Gota" he remixed for the compilation Cumbia! Bestial in 2010), and many others. El Hijo de La Cumbia traveled across South America, Mexico, and the United States, digging out rare cumbia sounds from vintage recordings and concerts by artists. He spent nearly ten years on the road, building an enormous library of samples and beats. In 2011, he worked with Gotan Project on the track "Una Música Brutal," that appeared on their New Cumbia remixes and La Revancha del Tango Remixes. Two years later he collaborated with the Binary Cumbia Orchestra on "Baika" (the Binary Cumbia Orchestra vs. El Hijo de la Diabla) and in 2014, joined Zona Norte and Punto Rojo for the album Conurbano. A year later, he delivered the mind-warping club hit "Queen of the Ghetto Version Dub" by Redub. In 2016, he delivered the compilation Riddim & Friends, Vol. 1 featuring singers and emcees from across the globe. Two years later, El Hijo de la Cumbia dropped "Che Revolution" (featuring Cuban flutist and dancehall emcee Dame Blanche on vocals) and a remix of Äl Jawala's "Cumbia Corazon" as pre-releases for his second full-length, Genero Genero. The album met with universal critical acclaim and charted on streaming electronic and dance music charts across the globe.
- Buenos Aires, Argentina