Paperhouse: On ZZK Records

The future of music is blasting out of the sound system at Zizek Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina. DJs and producers are mashing up cumbia (a popular Colombian genre), reggae, hip-hop, and electronic music, creating a space in which musicians can work with new ideas and giving them the chance to show what they’re doing in the current music scene.

Zizek Club — arguably the epicenter of the borderline avant-garde transformation of the Latin American sound of cumbia — has created a whirlwind of energy in just a few years, spawning the acclaimed record label ZZK Records.

Established in 2008 by producer Grant Dull, ZZK Records now manages 11 “new cumbia” groups. ZZK belongs to a new movement of rhythms born out of cities that are being reinterpreted using electronic music to create something new, fresh, and fun. Baile Funk from Brazil and Kuduro from Angola were popularized by M.I.A. and Buraka Som Sistema, respectively, evidencing the rise of this global movement of sonic reinterpretation.

The movement is exemplified by Tremor, an Argentine trio on ZZK Records. Tremor bridges generations, genres, and geography through technology to produce its signature style. The group’s sound is equal parts electronic music and native drum. It owes as much to anthropology as it does to popular music.

Today, ZZK is home to the psychedelic cumbia of Fauna, the experimental beats of Chancha Via Circuito, and the hard-hitting cumbia hypnotics of El Remolon, among other artists. To experience the ZZK sound, the best place to start is its newest release Amazonico Gravitante by Argentinian artist Mati Zundel.