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The Sound of Cumbia

Cumbia is the most popular dance music in Mexico and booms out of the giant sound systems of the Sonidos. The Australian DJ and musician Moses Iten captivated the Cumbia's hypnotic, dragging rhythm in a podcast.

Jorge Solis in his record store in La Indepe (Photo © Moses Iten)

Cumbia came to Mexico as the folk music of Colombia in the 1950s but the Mexicans couldn’t dance to it, so they slowed it down and then gradually transformed it. This music is mostly played be The Sonideros, the DJs who mix the music and talk over it have now become famous right across Latin America but the roots of Mexican Cumbia are in the tough barrios where crime and poverty have inspired many of its lyrics.

As the australian DJ and musician Moses Iten [1] gained an international reputation as a pioneer in the creation of a style called Cumbia Digital, he was invited to perform in Mexico. This podcast is the story of his journey across Mexico and into the heart of Cumbia.

On his journey through the country Iten, also known as Saca La Mois DJ!! [2] – the DJ behind the Cumbia Cosmonauts [3] – got an insider’s view of the alternative electro-tropical community of Mexico. Consolidating their place as one of the most important acts in the global Nu-Cumbia and Tropical Bass scenes, the Cumbia Cosmonauts released an EP of remixes featuring a selection of the most representative exponents of this movement exploding all over Mexico: Sonido Satanas [4], The Ghost [5], Yelram Selectah [6], Bumb-Ay [7], Malacopa Bros and HNRY [8].

Mexico Remixes EP by Cumbia Cosmonauts [9]

The podcast was first published by ABC Radio National [10].