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Co-Founder of ZZK Records El G In Los Angeles This Week

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 13, 2013 10:08pm | Post a Comment
 
El G ZZK RecordsBack in 2008, after reading many blogs about a happening party in Buenos Aires, Argentina that played Electro-Cumbia music, one of the persons responsible for that party showed up at Amoeba Hollywood with CD copies of The ZZK Sound Vol. 1-Cumbia Digital. We were the first U.S. store to carry any of their product and it quickly became one of my favorite releases of that year. Since then, ZZK Records has released many great CD/LPS/Downloads from such artists as Chancha Via Circuito, Fauna, Tremor and last year's excellent compilation, The Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires, which was my favorite release of 2012. 

The sound of ZZK Records combines several electronic movements, such as Electro-Cumbia, Dubstep and other forms of experimental Electro with a sound that goes back to the folkloric groups of Argentina's past. If Atahualpa Yupanqui and Mercedes Sosa grew up listening to Dancehall Reggae, Cumbia Villera and Electro, maybe it would sound like this.

That person that came into the store back in 2008 is Grant C.Dull, also known as El G. He is currently on tour promoting The Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires and has three shows in the Los Angeles area. Be sure to check out one or all of them.

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The Future Sounds Of Buenos Aires-A Review By Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 19, 2012 08:04am | Post a Comment
Future Sounds Of Buenos AiresThere will always be an argument about where the whole “Digital Cumbia “ movement started. Did it arrive from German electronic composer Uwe Schmidt, (aka Señor Coconut) forays into tropical music that merge German electro-sensibilities with Latin American rhythms? Was it Toy Selectah’s production, mixing urban Hip-Hop with Sonidero that made Celso Piña’s massive hit, “Cumbia Sobre El Rio”? Was it British world travelers, Up Bustle & Out, whose journeys into Mexico led them to discover Sonidero, mixed with Reggae and Hip-Hop? Was it 2005 white label 12” release of Cumbia Mash-Ups made by Chico Sonido & Toy Selectah, mashing up Missy Elliot and Rick Ross acapellas with Cumbia Rebajada? One can argue it was ZZK’s landmark ZZK Sound Vol.1 Cumbia Digital, which received tons of international press which led every remixer who had an account of SoundCloud to add guacharaca on every insignificant remix they made.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is what is good and what isn’t. All those names mention above has its place in the creation of Nu Cumbia, Electro-Cumbia, Digital Cumbia, Moombaton and every-related sub-genre that was created to describe a new sound that mixed the barrios of Latin America and it’s counterparts from academia and entitlement. In the end, barrio kids and the college kids created a baby and that’s what we have now.

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Best Of The First Half Of 2011 BY Gomez Comes Alive!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 15, 2011 11:51am | Post a Comment
We have almost reached the halfway point of 2011 and once again time is just flying by. The rest of the year promises some great new World Music releases and live performances. Here are a few great moments and releases that have inspired me so far this year:

Chancha Via Circuito

Chancha Via Circuito
Rio Arriba

I got this release almost a year ago at a ZZK Records showcase. I wanted badly to write about it but this is a blog about what you can get at Amoeba, right? In March, the CD/LP release of Rio Arriba became available in the U.S. and I couldn't be happier. Chancha Via Circuito explores the world of South American folklore, blending his hypnotic beats with the revolutionary past of South America. The result could be considered another sub-genre of the digital Cumbia movement…perhaps Digital Nueva Trova?? Nevertheless, it is one of the most beautiful and organic electronic records released in some time.

Celso Piña Live At Amoeba Hollywood

When we usually get Latin artists to play at Amoeba, it usually fits into two categories: The Latin Alternative set: (The Nortec Collective, Ozomatli, Aterciopelados and pretty much anything on Nacional Records) or Salsa/Latin Jazz artist. Having Celso Piña play in the store was a big deal for me for two reasons. He is a Cumbia artist, a music that is more popular in Los Angeles than people in the Latin Music industry will have you believe. The second reason is Celso appeals to our many Mexican, Central and South American immigrant customers who frequent Amoeba Hollywood on a daily/weekly basis. Next up for Amoeba Hollywood? How about a legitimate Regional Mexican artist to play the Amoeba stage? Then a Bachata group? a Punta group…. Celso Pina Photo by Farah Sosa

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So How Do I Get Amoeba To Sell My CD?

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 17, 2011 10:05am | Post a Comment
Ceci Bastida
 
I get asked by local bands all the time, “So how do I get Amoeba to sell my CD?” Often, when I explain the process to them, I see their little eyes glaze over and I can imagine my voice turns into voice of the teacher from the Peanuts cartoon (whaa whaa whaa whaaaaaaa…). Truth is, with many musicians, if the process is not instantaneous, it is not worth it, and that’s a shame. Getting a release sold at Amoeba is a pretty easy process. I wrote something on one of my first blogs that Amoeba is the great equalizer; It’s a place where a Ska-Punk group from South Gate could outsell some big name pop star with thousands of dollars of promotion behind them. All you have to do is take that chance.

There are two ways we get CDs from local artists. The first is on consignment. Consignment means that we take anywhere from one to a few copies of your release and give it a three month trial. We do not pay up front. We issue a contract that stipulates that after the term is done, we pay you for what we sold and return the copies that haven’t sold. If all the CDs that we consign are sold before the term, we will call you before the term is up and pay you for what we sold and order more. It’s a way to take a chance on a group that maybe is not as known.

The second is usually for known artists. We call it OTC, short for “over the counter.” These are artists that have an established sales history or have a tremendous buzz and that our buyers know will sell, so we buy their products direct. Artists such as Matisyahu and Zoe sold their independent releases direct to the store before they were signed. Amoeba has done well in the past with international artists such as Inspector, Celso Pina, Ceci Bastida, Bocafloja, Troker, Tita Lima, Ricardo Lemvo and the artists on the ZZK label out of Argentina, all which have come into the store while on tour to sell their releases direct.

ZZK On Tour: An Interview with Grant C. Dull (El G)

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 4, 2010 07:25pm | Post a Comment

A few short years ago, a man came to the buy counter at Amoeba Hollywood to sell a new release to the store. It was ZZK Sound Vol. 1 - Cumbia Digital. Just before that I had been reading about a club in Buenos Aires, Argentina called Zizek Club, where deejays/producers were playing mash-ups of Cumbia, Reggae, Hip-Hop and Electronic Music. It sounded cool and I wished I could be in BA so I could check it out. Turned out the guy was Grant C. Dull, a former Texan now living Buenos Aires and one of the co-founders of the night as well as the label. That day, the ZZK crew was in town for a show and Amoeba Hollywood turned out to be the first store in the U.S. to carry their product!

We kept in touch and he sent the store releases by Fauna, El Remolon and Chancha Via Circuito before the label had U.S. distribution. The ZZK label and its artists soon became known worldwide, performing in Europe, Mexico, Canada and all over the U.S. The latest tour has dates in San Francisco, Echo Park and Hollywood. I caught up with Grant (Aka El G) over the phone and asked him a few questions about the tour and what is up with ZZK in general.

So how is the tour so far?

Grant: It's going really well. We started in New York and have been making our way west for the last two weeks. The reception has been great and this has been our best tour yet.

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