M.A.K.U. Soundsystem - The Mix - 12" Vinyl

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The Mix
M.A.K.U. Soundsystem
12" Vinyl


M.A.K.U. Soundsystem have captivated and mesmerized audiences around the world with their unique style and high-energy performances, and consequently, over the last half-decade, have earned their reputation as a must-see live band. With vocals by the male/female dynamic bass and drum duo of Juan Ospina and Liliana Conde, M.A.K.U. combines afrobeat, jazz, funk, punk and Afro-Indigenous Colombian roots into a heady cocktail that is equal parts city and jungle and could only come from New York by way of South America and the Atlantic Crossing.

Much of their infectious vibe and eclectic sound is captured here on their new EP The Mix, a mutual collaboration between M.A.K.U. and Peace & Rhythm. With seven choice cuts making their debut on vinyl for the first time, the collection features rarities, outtakes and versions sure to please long-time fans as well as introduce newcomers to a balanced overview of what this band is about. The label’s friendship with the group goes back several years, and this collection is the fruit of that relationship.

What sprung from a seed of an idea – to release a dance-floor-friendly 7- inch 45 – grew into a colored vinyl, limited press 12-inch EP – a whirlwind virtual global tour for listeners’ ears, hearts, and most of all, feet. As band member Felipe Quiroz puts it, this project is “a record you could drop at a party and get people dancing, that could be mixed in; we wanted to embrace the ‘soundsystem’ part of M.A.K.U.” Both sides of the EP reflect this idea, with eclectic and varied content, furthering the manifesto put forth in the lead tune “La Mezcla,” where the group declares: “Somos esa mezcla!” (We are that mix!).

For not only are the sources and vintages of the songs different and diverse (“La Mezcla” was originally recorded at Studio Longboard in Hamburg, Germany in 2015), the styles, textures, and emotions expressed also vary greatly. From the simple, sunny, unplugged folkloric cumbia of “Linda Haitiana” to the dark, tripped-out ‘Prince of Queens’ dub version of “La Mezcla,” this particular soundsystem is not only one to get the party started, it will carry you through the night and leave you sweaty, thirsty for more at daybreak. Since the emphasis was on bringing all these disparate sounds onto the vinyl with the consummate power and depth-of-groove needed to move dancers’ waistlines, the UKbased Frank Merritt (of Sofrito and Carvery Cuts fame) was brought in to master the sides and make the lacquers, and the extra effort shows.

As in previous M.A.K.U. outings these recordings manage to at once combine the electronic and the acoustic, the folkloric and the modern, the foreign and the familiar, raw and cooked, cosmic and earthly, party-oriented and thought-provoking. This is wrapped up in confidently executed packaging for an organic presentation that dovetails sublimely with the EP’s title: the colored vinyl, cover art, band photo and #immigrantbeat hash-tag handily noted on the back cover all make for a heady mix indeed!

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