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Uproot Andy's "Barrioteca" Is the Sound of New York's Immigrant Neighborhoods

Uproot Andy shares a new track ahead of the Que Bajo's tropical bass party at RBMA Festival.

by Michelle Lhooq
08 May 2015, 10:43am

Que Bajo is New York's best tropical bass party, and this weekend, the crew are throwing down for Red Bull Music Academy Festival in New York City. Ahead of the turn-up, Uproot Andy is sharing the track "Barrioteca," a word that means "neighborhood tech" or "discoteca del barrio," and is used to describe the different kinds of electronic music you hear in New York's immigrant neighborhoods.

Read: "Que Bajo is the Tropical Bass Party for Everyone Who Likes Mangoes on Their Ice Cream"

"It's music thats connected to local traditions but also to the global influences of hip hop and electronic music... usually within a single song," Uproot Andy tells THUMP. "We have dembow popping up in Mexican music and cumbia in Puerto Rican music. Genres born only a few years ago, like moombahton, are now used as structural elements in building a song."

"Barrioteca" contains elements of reggaeton, dembow, mambo de calle, dancehall, hip-hop, juke, trap, EDM, and moombahton (got that?). Uproot Andy says he was particularly looking towards the "DJ Playero era before it had a name," especially in the way the track switches between dembow rhythms and the hip-hop bap, "just as you would hear on a Playero mixtape, but amplified for today."

A Que Bajo party in New York City

"The classic tom tom reggaeton rhythm is exaggerated into a polyphonic juke, and the boom bap is almost verging on festival trap. The track contains elements of reggeaton... but it also has a B section that's melodically very Middle Eastern or Roma gypsy," he continues.

Saturday's party will be headlined eleven artists who pioneered the barrioteca genre, including the godfather of reggaeton DJ Playero, Latin bass and hip-hop lord DJ Laz, Erick Rincon and Pablito Mix (young pioneers of genres like cumbiaton and tribal guarachero), and DJs like Happy Colors and False Witness, who Uproot Andy commends as "perfect examples of how all these styles come together to form a sound."

"Its pretty much a dream lineup," he says.

Uproot Andy's Barrioteca EP will be released for free tomorrow here

Michelle Lhooq is THUMP's Features Editor. Follow her on Twitter

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