Battles in Perú: Matraca releases Lima Footwork


Transculturalization is, indeed, a marvelous thing. Footwork had its inception in some anonymous place of the ‘90s, when R.P. Boo went bodyboarding in the cataracts of Juke with a 30-second-tops Akai Sampler and a clunky, 16 bit Roland drum machine. A joyous decade without hype passed until, little by little, embarrassing videos in 2007 and the collaborations of music pioneers as fleeting as a shotgun blast – *cough cough* DJ Rashad – set it in the spotlight, to the point that not even the Japanese could help themselves against the allure.


As it turns out, Perú has taken the genre’s vanguard in Latin America, thanks to the trendsetting contributions of a new cohort of producers willing to exploit the genre’s expressive (and monetary) possibilities. Getting ahead on these new territories, Matraca netlabel has just published Lima Footwork, a compilation album presenting a very refined take on the genre in a diversity of voices. The masterminds behind it are Dr. 100, Mijail Mtrovic, Lukrø and Mono con $uerte – the label’s founding members – and their collaborators Rashid From Lima (Tribilin Sound’s alter ego), Deltatron (Terror Negro), Zufu (from DDD!), 7 Trips and Quechuaboy (Piura Bass Culture).


The tracks atmosphere goes from the effervescent, nostalgic and strangely relaxed, like drinking three beers and having a punch-out with sea waves after being gloomy, ending with just a slight bittersweet tinge spread among laughter. Taking distance from electrocumbia’s sound palette, the producers have chosen to stay within the genre’s original repertoires: we find staples like 303ish basslines and kicks, synths, a dash of sub-bass, acoustic and electric piano chords, diced and julienne’d samples (R&B, raps and a mischievous brit going ‘do you want to fuck tonight?’) with generous amounts of digital clap and hi-hat. Certainly, DJ Rashad’s publicity stunt, going for a walk in Elysium, has given sprouts. This one’s right there, in Lima.