Michael Piggott runs Masstropicas, dedicated to the sounds and styles of Peruvian cumbia. He first came to my attention back when his label put out the Ranil’s Jungle Party in 2010, and we’ve been chatting off and on since then. My readers know that I’m a big fan of the surf-y style of Peruvian cumbia and Piggott has gone literally deep into the cities of the Peruvian Amazon to find artists to interview and record. His latest is a reissue of the Grupo 2000 album as well as a very cool Cantos Icaros cassette of Placido from Sensación Shipibo (which benefits the artist himself, after his house burned down).

The Sidebar #24: Michael Piggott of Masstropicas

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Music used in the podcast:

      (From Grupo 2000’s

El Destape

    unless *otherwise noted)

  • La Ronzapa
  • El Tinajón
  • El Destape A Los 2000
  • Flor Tarapotina
  • *Es Pumita Andy y su Geniales: Recuerdos
  • *Ranil: Cumbia Sin Nombre (from Ranil’s Jungle Party)
  • *Placido: El Ayahuasca (from Cantos Icaros)
  • Sombra Verde


This morning, Will Holland, aka Quantic, dropped by the studio and I couldn’t be more pleased since I’ve been a massive fan of his work for years and though we’ve corresponded via interweb and have some mutual friends, this is the first time I’ve met him in person.

Quantic has had a remarkably prolific and diverse career over the last decade, all now captured in the new 32-song double-CD anthology, Best of Quantic. With that in mind, I asked Will about his history as a producer, beginning in his early years, recording sample-based beats for TV licensing, up through the formation of the Quantic Soul Orchestra, with his collaborations with Alice Russell and Spanky Wilson, and into his major shift into Afro-Latin styles of the last five years.

The Sidebar #18: Quantic

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Music in this episode:

All from Best of Quantic unless *otherwise indicated


  • Time is the Enemy
  • Absence Heard, Presence Felt
  • Transatlantic
  • *Fresh Rhythm
  • Super 8
  • Pushin On
  • I’m Thankful
  • Enough Said
  • *Los Melodicos: La Murga
  • Mi Swing Es Tropical
  • *Ray Santos: La Costa Brava
  • Cumbia Clash
  • Step Into a World
  • *Cumbia De Dilla
  • Death of the Revolution

Update: Just saw that J-Rocc has an official “best of Quantic” mix.


Quantic Y Su Conjunto Los Miticos Del Ritmo: Get UR Freak On
They Reminisce Over You
From Hip Hop En Cumbia EP (Tru Thoughts 2011)

Been waiting for this one to come out for months now – Quantic and company take on a few hip-hop classics and run it through the cumbia-treatment. Quantic first started this a couple of years back with his “Cumbia De Dilla” and then followed that last year with “Dre En Cumbia.” Here’s the entire tracklisting:

A1. Step Into A World (Rapture’s Delight)
A2. Dre en Cumbia
A3. Cuarta Con Cuarta
A4. Miss Jackson (Interlude)
A5. Get Ur Freak On
A6. They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y )
A7. Cumbia De Dilla
B1. Serato Tone Control

Yup, flipside is a Serato tone record for DJs who can use an extra. If that’s not you, well, hey, you have 10 minutes of tone; scratch that up!

I still think “Cumbia De Dilla” is the best in the bunch but the take on “Get UR Freak On” is unexpected and catchy. And hey, for all those sick of “T.R.O.Y.” you can now try it in a new wrapper.

This is limited edition, 2000 units; once they’re gone…they’re gone so if you like, cop sooner than later!


Machuca Cumbia: Cumbia Alivianada
Cumbia De Los Bee Gees
From 7″ (Aries, 1979)

I first heard “Cumbia Alivianada” (aka “Staying Alive”) when B+ came to spin with me and it’s taken me two years to finally cop it on 7″ (I do love singles but I wouldn’t have minded getting the LP just for that great cover art but the 7″ does have the two Bee Gees joints on it). Not the best cumbia conversion I can imagine; it’s surprisingly flat rhythmically but still a fun, fun cut and one that dancefloor always respond to once they figure out what’s up.

I’m feeling this cover of “More Than a Woman” too, partially because it’s just so difference from the original given the use of…what the hell is that? Some kind of ’70s analog synth?

This isn’t a cover (that I know of) but it came along with the Machuca 7″:

Grupo Nectar: Sueño Andino
From 7″ (Cobra, 197?)

Really lovin’ the smooth flow of this chicha song, especially how it opens; “Andean Dream” indeed!


I sat in for Michael Barnes on KPFK’s Melting Pot today. Included a few tracks I’ve had up here of late but a lot you haven’t heard from me yet. Enjoy!

The Melting Pot, 11-14-10

Quantic: Cumbia De Dilla
The East St. Louis Gospelettes: Have Mercy On Me
Kanye West: Devil in a New Dress
The Whatnauts: I’ll Erase the Pain
Golden Harmonettes: I Do Love You
Syl Johnson: Try Me (LP Version)
Syl Johnson: All I Need Is Someone Like You
Syl Johnson: Soul Heaven (All from The Complete Mythology)
Onuma SIngsiri: Mae Kha Som Tam
Plearn Promdan: Wan Maha Sanook (Both from The Sound of Siam)
Olguita: Hay Un Sentimiento
Dom Kennedy: Locals Only
Lee Dorsey: Give It Up
Numonics: You Lied
Ron Forella: Crystals (Both from Groove Merchant Turns 20)
Ozzie Dasilva: Zig Zag
Tammi Terrell: All I Do Is Think About You
Nottz: I Still Love You (feat. Mayer Hawthorne) (from You Need This Music)
Lito Barrientos: Para Que
Charles Bradley: Why Is It So Hard?
Since OUr Last Goodbye (Both from No Time For Dreaming)
N’ Goma Jazz: Mi Cantado Para Ti
Africa Tirmos: Pica O Dedo (Both from Angola Soundtrack)
Ramon Veloz: Comete Tu Pinol
Joe Bravo: Think It Over
Fitz and the Tantrums: Don’t Gotta Work It Out
Gladstone Anderson and the Mudies All-Stars: Mad Mad Ivy
Quadron: Baby Be Mine (Live on KPFK)
Finger 5: I Want You Back
Jackson 5: Walk On By/Love You Save
Please: Sing a Simple Song
Al Hirt: Harlem Hendoo
Timebox: Beggin’
Del-Tones: Rocking Chair
Sugar Pie DeSanto: I Don’t Wanna Fuss
Spider Harrison: Beautiful Day
Quantic: Cumbia En Dre


Michael Barnes, who hosts the new Melting Pot show on KPFK here in Los Angeles, was gracious enough to invite me to program a monthly, 20 minute segment on his show that we’re calling “Side Dishes” (yeah, I used the same name for my now defunct column but hey, it’s defunct!). The theme of the segment is on new releases (though not necessarily “new” music”) and it’ll reflect the kind of tunes you’ll always find here on Soul Sides.

Side Dishes airs live, every 3rd Sunday, and then we’ll post it up as a podcast after on both my and Barnes’ site. For this inaugural segment, I went with these tracks:

The Funkees: Breakthrough
Lijadu Sisters: Life’s Gone Down Low
From The World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia in 1970s Nigeria (Forthcoming on Soundway, 2010)

Cumbia Siglo XX: Naga Pedale
Wganda Kenya: Pim Pom
Both from Palenque, Palenque: Champeta Criolla and Afro Roots in coastal Colombia 1975–1985 (CD/LP) (Soundway, 2010)

Los Destellos: Guajira Sicodelica
From Cumbia Beat Vol 1 – Experimental Guitar-Driven Tropical Sounds From Peru 1966 to 1976 (VampiSoul, 2010)


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You can also here this past week’s Melting Pot in its entirety here.