Cal Jader’s Best of 2020 Mixtape + Top 10 Tunes

By Cal Jader 22 December, 2020

The inestimable Cal Jader (Lord of Movimientos) is back with another end-of-year showcase of everything that’s great about Latin American music… especially for those inclined to throw their limbs around from time to time. It’s a double-dose this one, with a 2-hour mix (that really does not let up!) and a list of his favourite ten tracks of the year. Until we can party together again, let’s do this…

Best of 2020 Mixtape

Top 10 Tunes

Lido Pimienta – Te Queria

Are there any more superlatives that still need to be said of Lido Pimienta’s masterpiece Miss Colombia album? My favourite track “Te Queria” manages to transcend it’s melancholic lyrical tone into an uplifting steel pan / sax driven explosion of musical joy. 

Ana Tijoux – Pa Que

A momentous year for the people of Chile for whom a year of protests against the government culminated in a vote to construct a new referendum. In the lead up Ana Tijoux dropped this Piñera-baiting song and video, a brass-fuelled cumbia anthem complete with a merengue finale blasting the Chilean leader into space along with his cronies. 

Çantamarta – Lluvia (Daniel Haaksman remix)

Daniel Haaksman adds a bossa-bass shuffle to the already infectious “Lluvia” by Malaga-based Çantamarta whose R’n’B / hip-hop sound draws on their singer’s Venezuelan/Colombian heritage. This one definitely had a wide appeal and seemed to judge the global COVID mood perfectly.   

La Mambanegra – Oilo 

Taster of the forthcoming second LP from Cali’s powerhouse break-salsa crew led by the irrepressible Jacobo Velez, is possibly one of their finest yet – ‘hands in the air’ feel good.

Dengue Dengue Dengue – Yaama

What a year for DDD. Not only have they performed various online streaming shows, launched their own label Kebrada alongside multiple releases like 3 EPs of edits, remixes & specials from their 10 years in the game, the DNGDNGDNG alter ego releases via On the Corner and, perhaps the pinnacle, Fiebre released through the experimental/electronic Mexican label N.A.A.F.I. Standout for me on that one is “Yaama”, a hypnotic futuristic stormer driven by rolling Afro-Peruvian rhythms.

Desta French – Aguante

Fast becoming the figurehead for London’s second generation Latin American musical community tapping into her Colombian identity whilst retaining her distinct London vibe. Her San Lazarus release pretty much epitomised this brilliant culture mix with her shimmering R’n’B blending soul, hip-op and jazz with trap beats and Latin rhythms interweaving English and Spanish lyrics throughout. 

Nina Dioz – Mezcal 

Classic mariachi horn samples, banging trap beats, 808s, cumbia, Niña Dioz and Hispana spitting fire, with Captain Planet on the production. What more do you need?

Caribombo – Cosa Buena ft OCM

Caribombo’s excellent album Cameleon ticked all the boxes of tropical bass, downtempo, Afro-Latin house, cumbia and, on this banger, a sort of baile funk mutation featuring Colombian vocalist OCM.

Raul Monsalve y Los Forajidos –  Pa Los Maestros 

One of the many brilliant things about the Bichos album is it’s (these days rare) sense of a well rounded album despite every track managing to provide a unique take on Afro-Venezuelan rhythms and deep Latin grooves. This one, “Pa’ Los Maestros” is Fania-era Ray Barreto meets 70s Venezuelan funk. 

Alma – De La Selva 

Another great release from Bogota’s Sello Indio label. A hip-hop beat tape vibe with jazz, Afro-Latin rhythms and chants. Alma’s De La Selva is sublime meditation headphone music from start to finish. 

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