Music Worth Hearing

DIRTYMIX 003 – Palenke Soultribe


Each week, one of our invited guest producers and dj’s will create an exclusive one hour continuous mix, giving them the chance to break genre barriers, and giving you an opportunity to explore a unique soundtrack.

This week LA based Palenke Soultribe step up for a session of breakbeats, electro-dance grooves and touches of traditional Afro-Colombian rhythms.

[Tracklist to follow – please check back]

Critically-acclaimed LA-based Colombian , Palenke Soultribe, have taken electronic music to new heights by deconstructing Afro-Colombian rhythms and blending them with underground beats and exploratory synthesizer sounds. Palenke Soultribe (PST) represents the new generation of Colombian musicians ready to break all the rules.

Interview by Yannick Joubert

Y: First for the fan who were at the concert in Chicago last week. How did you like your experience in the city?

Juan: Chicago is an amazing city. We are happy to know that Palenke brought us here. We had a chance to look around and admire its architecture and public spaces.

Y. Palenke as mini tribe… what music would you listen growing up? Personal favorite.

Juan: One af the good things about being a band, is that you have a variety of influences merging together onto a musical proposal. So for example all us were exposed to old Colombian music like cumbias, porros, etc..when we were kids, but also we had music coming on the radio from Europe an USA. We have very different influences anyway they go from The Beatles, Pixies, Michael Jackson. Even if they don’t fit under the same genre. At the end it is all art. I remember a savvy music teacher saying : ” …There are just two types of music : the good one,and the bad one” More recently The Chemical Brothers, Underworld, FatBoy Slim and Soulwax have directed our sound.

Y. How did you guys meet up ?

Juan: Me (Insecto) and Popa met in 1999 at recording studio in Manizales, Colombia where we were doing projects for our bands. We started to talk about music and felt we had great coincidences and similar visions of the music wwe would like to do then. We started to work on the project under a different name.” Polaina Dinamita” we released 4-5 songs. Polaina started to explore the possibilities of mixing electronica wit latin stuff. years later after a 4-5 year gap we resumed production in a different city, Los angeles; a differnet name, Palenke, We incorporated the incredible sound of drummer Zuluaga who gave us that extra punch we were looking for.

Y. How is the studio life working as a team with guest vocalist, and working on scoring movie soundtrack, how to you balance it all.

Juan: We take every challenge as an opportunity to do something artistic and to learn more. After all it is about using your ears, the experiences you have collected and the tools available. Sometimes we feel we are involved in too many things which adds some stress but that is the way it is gotta be now when we still have some physical strength!

Y. Today’s technology offer so many possibility and you guys seem to embrace it a lot seeing you use multiple controller with Ableton Live. How is the recording process vs. playing live, do you compose directly in Ableton?

Juan: Ableton is a great tool for us. Different producers have their own babies and I am not saying it is the greatest tool ever ( unless Ableton pays me 1 zillion dollars to say it) but it is the one that fits our needs. Both Live and Studio. The main advantage is it lets you alter things without pressing the STOP button. That allows us to create things on the fly. Virtually on the fly. We recently created a remix on a plane between Chicago- LAX. Then you get to LA, open the session in your studio, mix it for a couple of hours and send it over. That simple. It is the workflow.

Y. One of the thing I quite enjoy on your album is the fact that there’s multiple guest vocalist on there and your use of vocoder, the fusion of it all make quite it quite diverse, was there a reason for this. Any guest vocalist you would love to collaborate with?

Juan: Well I think started form knowing that we are decent producers but necessarily great singers. You have to know your limitations and work around that. Luckly we are close friends with great people like Itagui from Locos Por Juan, Sr. Mendez, Toddy Ivy, Pollyanna, we are always experimenting with different colors. Also, Technology can help. That probably make our records more bearable. Would you imagine Karl Hyde singing an electro-cumbia? that would be sick!

Y. Travelling around and playing around the world, do you keep the recording process going even on the road ?

Juan: We try to do stuff between tour dates. We work ideas on our spare time in hotels etc..Then when we find two weeks off we try to mix in the studio and record the instruments.

Y. Something random, if there was such a thing as brain add-on to bring more possibility to the music production would you get surgery to have the lastest toy?

Juan: Ha, ha! probably not. We always forget to recharge our cellphones, I know we would forget to recharge our brains.

Y. Soundcloud and social media propagation / Youtube revenue sharing… it’s starting to feel like Google and the Itunes store are becoming the new labels of this age, how do you feel about this, do you think it open up more opportunities for band than being on a label.

Juan: Well a label it is not a bad thing. Depending on your deal. But generally if you get a decent deal you will also benefit from their reputation, contacts and history. But it is not a must. You can develop you own thing if you have the time, the will and a decent product . They are great tools out there for a band to become known.

Y. What’s in the future box for Palenke? Dream place to play ? Favorite festival ?

Juan: We are working on our next EP . titled MAR. We just released another one called WEPALENKE. WE like the idea of releasing short records every 3-4 months . Thats keeps our fans close and it is a good way to track our progress. We have a load of show ahead of us that include USA, Colombia and Mexico. We are pursuing Europe and Canada. We would also love to play in Coachella.

Y. We love to share music and would like it if you could share artists we and your fans should check out.

Juan: Speaking of sharing . Please download our latest EP for free. Also check Locos por Juana (Miami) , Sr. Mendez (Venezuela), Superlitio (Colombia) , Blanali (Bogota) great friends and artists.

Y. Bonus Q Palenke Buffet…knowing your music we would love to have you guys to cook us a meal, what would it be?

Juan: Hey you should try the Ajiaco ( Colombian food) . We don’t feel that strong with the knifes and pans but we would take you to Las Tablas in Chicago and pay for it!!! deal?

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