Folcore 104 selected by Panther Panther!
Folcore Records' retrospective
Folcore 104 - Selected by Panther Panther! _ A retrospective Folcore's compilation including tracks by Tribilin Sound, Lucas Lead, Basher Toe, Lütt Matten, Pounda & NoModico, Op3rador, Villa Victoria Sound System, Stereobeaver, Caballo & TMFK and Michael Bruce _ Available on Bandcamp
About the commission
When Germán invited me to create this compilation he asked me to reflect on the “other side” of Folcore that perhaps is less known about. He didn’t give me more details but I understood this to be an invitation to dive into the catalogue looking for those gems that we don’t always hear on the dance floor, perhaps because they are a bit experimental, not meant for dancing or with a vibe that is meant more for introspection.
To be honest when I have looked into Folcore’s extensive releases I am usually looking for dance floor bangers that I can slip in at crucial moments in a DJ set. This is how I came across the label in the first place, looking for some of Tribilin Sound’s tracks I stumbled upon the Barrancore EP and the beautiful “Disco Viejo” track that I have never actually played out. Here’s a very soulful piece of music that should be heard but where?!
I have always loved how the label has been home for the cutting edge tropical Electronica that often straddles different categories, unable to fit within one specific sub-genre. It has definitely become the home of choice to some of the music I make as it shares this “in-between” nature.
I have always loved how the label has been home for the cutting edge tropical Electronica that often straddles different categories, unable to fit within one specific sub-genre. It has definitely become the home of choice to some of the music I make as it shares this “in-between” nature. My music has always been met with great enthusiasm, encouraging me to keep on writing whatever feels right and true rather than expecting me to produce chart-topping tunes. This is something I very much appreciate and has emboldened me to attempt maintain an original voice.
This is one of the main reasons why I continue to release music on this label, I know the work is appreciated and keeps similar company. Somewhere in the world, someone will be sifting through 9 years’ worth of underground music and they will find my music amongst similarly strange and wonderful tracks that would otherwise never be heard.
So, it’s not without irony that this compilation has led me to spend more time with the tracks I wouldn’t usually listen to because they didn’t fit my DJ set prep-work at the time. I wanted this selection of tracks to make listeners curious about other artists’ work and the generally hidden world within Folcore’s vaults. There are so many artists that I love on the label, many of which I included in the Mix I did to mark the 9th anniversary, but on this occasion I decided not to include any of the better-known artists here. Most of the artists I chose have only one release on the label and it’s not necessarily of a tropical vibe, it is just good music with great atmosphere and energy. Other tracks had to be omitted because of length restrictions on the compilation, whilst others were chosen to ensure the selection had a somewhat coherent flow. Either way, I hope you will enjoy the journey and come back to Folcore for more.
About the selection:
“Intro” as the name suggests is a perfect way to start a musical journey. I love the completely electronic flavour of this track and how it moves across different time signatures and cultural signifiers that root it within a futuristic Latin experience. The arpeggiators are magical to me and in this track they create a wonderful wall of sound that shifts like colours in a cumbia prism.
“Pelicula” feels like a nostalgic nod to early 2000s ambient electronica from Ninja Tunes but with a very distinct tropical feel. Yet the notes on the intertwining melody lines create a digitally textured drone that makes the track more meditative, like a film soundtrack as the title suggests. It toggles memories creating an emotional journey of sunrises and personal moments almost forgotten.
There’s something quite melancholic about the accordion and flute melody within “Disco Viejo”. The name of the track itself suggests a nostalgic storyline within the music, the vinyl crackle delineates an imaginary place for immigrants to slow dance with the loved ones we seldom see, forgotten mountains, cold mornings, tenderness lost.
The cumbia rhythm of “Pal-Celestial” lulls the listener into a false sense of security. The sounds are familiar within the scene but as the digital and sampled flute melodies float over the groove, the bass takes over and moves the track into a deeper space where it suddenly becomes dramatically sic-fi. Like a journey from soul to galaxy in four minutes, alien rituals in the afterlife.
Since we are in space already then “Flava EFX” will help us navigate the asteroid field through its beautifully textured low-fi glitch hop. This atmospheric track is great for daydreaming as you pilot your spacecraft, with bass pulses punctuating the beat, hip hop verse, abstracted, moving across the windshield like dreams.
Back on Earth, a lady joking in Spanish demonstrates some old-school Latin humour, improvised and inspired the words come from the sea, wet and salty as the waves crash. “Rompecolchon” has a very live, organic but futuristic feel, almost like a band recording, which is rare for the label so it had to be included here. The live and electronic elements are skilfully balanced into a rather tasty psychedelic trip.
“Salude” is bold and full of humour. It’s infectious rhythm is impossible to resist, transporting the listener to some strange video game set in a 2D MIDI border crossing tour in North Mexico. This is such a fun track! I hope it finds its way onto many dance floors worldwide.
With a similar energy “Rebound das Armas” explodes into the ears with pumping bass and ear-worm vocal melodies. I can’t recognise the language but it makes me smile. This is one of the earliest releases on the label and it needs an airing, this track is great for jumping around like no one is looking.
This track comes from a beautifully crafted, conscious EP, infused with natural sounds. “Gotas del Chamaleon” is a digitally-organic trip that flirts with the spiritual in music. The meditative drone is broken by the electronic percussion that bleeps into a swaying rhythm as natural and otherworldly textures come and go as part of the trance.
The final track, “Kokopelli” is a slow evolving epic, it requires a particular frame of mind as the musical ideas evolve over 9 minutes, but the journey is worth it. The rhythmic elements are subtle, whilst the textures used from found sounds and sampled vocals add to the atmosphere created. Distorted synth lines contrast with the organic but it never feels like a clash. It’s more like a dance into unknown territory, which ultimately is what Folcore is all about.
- basher toe caballo & tmfk compilado folcore records lucas lead lütt matten michael bruce op3rador panther panther! pounda & nomodico stereobeaver tribilin sound villa victoria sound system