Putumayo announces the launch of the Putumayo World Beat series with African Beat and Latin Beat. The series follows in the footsteps of Putumayo’s popular Groove series in its exploration of world music blended with contemporary styles such as hip-hop, soul, R&B, electronica and more. African Beat and Latin Beat also mark the launch of Putumayo’s digital music offerings and will be sold on iTunes, Amazon, 7digital and select other major digital music retailers worldwide, as well as the label’s website. The physical albums will continue to be sold through Putumayo’s network of thousands of non-traditional retailers and record stores. This Latin Beat re-release version features 3 new tracks.
Putumayo has received critical acclaim for its “irresistible anthologies [drawn] from a global menu of possibilities” (The Chicago Tribune). The World Beat series continues Putumayo’s exploration of diverse multicultural sounds, with rising stars of African and Latin music taking center stage. Dan Storper, Putumayo Founder and CEO, stated: “We feel that the time is right to expand our contemporary music offerings and begin releasing many of our new releases digitally. We’ve become known for our themed CD collections and will continue to create unique physical packages with extensive multilingual liner notes, photos and more even as we move into digital distribution.”
On African Beat, Putumayo features artists who are as likely to have traditional African drumming, soukous and mbaqanga on their iPods as they are the latest European dubstep and US hip-hop. These tracks reveal that even in this globalized, hi-tech world, the divide between the past and the future is not as great as it may seem. Songs by musicians with deep connections to their roots, including Vieux Farka Touré and Les Barons, are remixed and reworked by Western DJs. The music of South Africa's Busi Mhlongo, Senegal's Lëk Sèn and Malian/French group Donso reveals how hip-hop, electronica and other urban musical styles have been incorporated into traditional African music, taking it in surprising new directions.
On Latin Beat, the label explores funky new blends of Latin music, in which electronic beats, hip-hop flavors, DJ remixes and cutting-edge grooves are fused effortlessly with Colombian cumbia, Cuban son, Mexican banda, Spanish flamenco, Afro-Peruvian roots music and more. Contemporary Cuban bands Moneda Dura and Edesio add the voices of Cuban legends Ibrahim Ferrer (of Buena Vista Social Club fame) and Adriano Rodriguez to a catchy breakbeat sound. Colombians Jontre and Mariposa Solar demonstrate how effortlessly groundbreaking Latin musicians are using traditional rhythms in a contemporary pop context. Spain's Digitano takes Gypsy flamenco instrumentation and layers on electronic effects.