In 2008, Buenos Aires-based label and DJ collective ZZK shook up the dance music world with ZZK Sound Vol. 1, a compilation of sinister electronic cumbia from progressive producers in the local scene like Villa Diamante and Chancha Via Circuito. Looking back, it was a big moment, almost feeling like an official launch for the global “nu-cumbia” scene that was just starting to coalesce. It was the first real compilation of the genre, with a coherent sound and visual style. It took what was happening on the computers of isolated cumbia freaks and turned it into a physical object you could hold on to.
Today, five years later, ZZK releases the third installment in their influential series, ZZK Sound Vol. 3 though their partnership with Waxploitation Records, and are celebrating with a new mixtape that we’re proud to premiere on MTV Iggy. Officially titled, ZZK Mixtape Vol 15 – Especial ZZK Sound Vol.3 (DJ Nim Director´s Cut), it contains all the tracks off the album in the same order, but are mixed together as if spun live in a DJ set. Given ZZK’s roots as an experimental Buenos Aires club night, it’s a presentation that makes sense, arguably the way the music was originally meant to be listened to in the first place.
A few things about ZZK Vol. 3 strike the long-time listener right away. For one, it casts a wider net than ever before. Some familiar, Buenos Aires-based names are still on deck: Mati Zundel, Frikstailers and El Remolón, among others. But what started as an all-Argentina producer line-up now features a far-flung roster of DJs including New York City’s Thornato, Peruvian duo Animal Chuki, Paris-based Dembowski and Mexican beat wizard Javier Estrada.
The second thing that jumps out at you is that isn’t not purely about cumbia here, not in the traditional chh-ch-ch-chh sense at least. Sure, it’s there, but there’s a lot of other stuff happening as well: dembow rhythms, big bass, hip-hop backbeats and crazy acidic synth lines. It’s a more mature ZZK sound, comfortable in its own skin and less in need of defining its identity. And just as dark and sneaky as ever.
The third thing you notice is that you want to start dancing immediately. Listen up:
1 Mati Zundel – Vacilón 2 Brujjas Deejay – Zombie Dance 3 Animal Chuki – La Venenosa 4 Dembowsky – Orinoco 5 Nate Mars – Ziraffa 6 El Remolón – Paseo Epico 7 Los Reyes de la Milanga – Pupos Widow 8 Jairomendez – Sonido Galaxia 9 Chancha Via Circuito – Tarocchi 10 Frikstailers – Omeprazol 11 Sara Hebe – Tuve que quemar (Duo Calhambre remix) 12 Dubberman – Polvo Yukpa 13 Thornato – Gaita Gaita 14 Le Freak Selector ft. Zai – Ganja Coolture 15 Javier Estrada – Jungla Estela