Summer Isn’t Over! (Music from Warmer Climates)

A musician’s ability to incorporate many styles while evolving and developing over time is essential to the musician’s career. The fusion of Cuban and African jazz styles with the world of hip-hop mentally stimulates listeners and transports them to different world. The following are some fusion-jazz beats and hip-hop sounds from the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

DJ Farrapo & Yanez — Alien Na Favela

In this album, you’ll find quite a diverse mix of musical genres that create a hip-hop mash-up of Cubano-swing, dub, reggae, and gypsy jazz across the 31 tracks (some remixes) of this two-disc release. It’s an upbeat record with a complexity to the beats created by a talented duo.

The album will be released on Agogo Records out of Hannover, Germany on September 28 this year. These well-traveled musicians have created a fusion record that is replayable and exciting. The singer, Yanez, was born in Bologna, Italy, but was raised on a boat off the coast of Brazil. DJ Farrapo is also quite worldy. Starting as a keyboardist in bands in Bologna since the late ’80s, he has developed into quite a proficient beat-maker, fusing genres from all corners of the earth. Together they have been most active in Italy, Morroco, Spain, and Brazil–all countries will sounds that come clear in the music.

Together, this duo has created something refreshing and new. It’s an enjoyable way to relax and enjoy the cooler nights this fall. Take a tour around the world of sound with Alien Ne Favela.

AUditors DOmination Palace of Light

There are numerous groups making fusion beats that tend to be more on the soulful side. One stand-alone act is the trio AUditors DOmination, a strong group that will hopefully collaborate with more hip-hop artists in the future, broadening their sound further.

Palace of Light again offers a wide range of sounds from all corners of the world. It is wonderfully pieced together. The large variety fo aural action provides the listener with a sense of entering a world that is open and accepting of diversity. According to the band’s biography on bandcamp, this is exactly what they are going for.

Released in early spring of this year, Palace of Light is a wonderfully crafted 12-track album. Hailing from Thessaloniki, Greece, AUditors DOmination brings us strong ethnic beats with solid bass lines.


Speaking of the universality of music, the realm of digital music can be lauded for its ability to break down the walls of trade embargos. Ogguere is an example of Cuban music breaking out. And it’s about time, because the music is phenomenal.

Funky Cubano-jazz backs the beats of Ogguere’s album Solar, adding a complexity to the beats and a freeing feeling from the strict structure of a hook, which hip-hop acts generally rely on. Ogguere gives us songs that have more of a funk structure. Listeners can expect instrumental solos on various horns, drum solos with up lifting breakdowns, and funky guitar riffs provide an overwhelming enjoyable auditory experience.

The band name is a West African word meaning “soul of the earth,” which is certainly provided in this release. Led by Edrey Riveri, Ogguere has chosen to drop the overdone raggaeton island beats and open the music up to “use all the Cuban rhythm,” combining the mambo, son, chachacha, and the ramba. Riveri has done just that, giving us a funky, Afro-Cubano, hip-hop fusion.

The endless possibilities of fusing genres to create new ones are thrilling. Very comparable to the nuiazz and electro-swing that is gaining popularity in Europe, artists are reaching back to their more folk, or ancestral, roots in music and reimagining them with a modern and exhilarating approach. New, warm sounds from the Mediterranean and the Caribbean? Yes, please.

–Mike Joyce

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