Putumayo has received critical acclaim for its “irresistible anthologies [drawn] from a global menu of possibilities” (The Chicago Tribune). The World Beat series continues Putumayo’s exploration of diverse multicultural sounds, with rising stars of African and Latin music taking center stage.
“We feel that the time is right to expand our contemporary music offerings and begin releasing many of our new releases digitally. We’ve become known for our themed CD collections and will continue to create unique physical packages with extensive multilingual liner notes, photos and more even as we move into digital distribution.” Dan Storper, Putumayo Founder and CEO
On African Beat, Putumayo features artists who are as likely to have traditional African drumming, soukous and mbaqanga on their iPods as they are the latest European dubstep and US hip-hop. These tracks reveal that even in this globalized, hi-tech world, the divide between the past and the future is not as great as it may seem. Songs by musicians with deep connections to their roots, including Vieux Farka Touré and Les Barons, are remixed and reworked by Western DJs.
The music of South Africa’s Busi Mhlongo, Senegal’s Lëk Sèn and Malian/French group Donso reveals how hip-hop, electronica and other urban musical styles have been incorporated into traditional African music, taking it in surprising new directions.
The physical albums will continue to be sold through Putumayo’s network of thousands of non-traditional retailers and record stores.