Many artists start record labels with a hidden premise of wanting to conquer their particular scene. Their stated approach to music is usually laced with utopian promises; all the while, they are only seeking to capture market share. Their message of love resonates, conveyed via LED screens with “hand hearts” but when their backstage rider is incorrect there is HELL to pay! 

Viva La Revolucion! In this case it is 100% musical, with vocalist/producer Alberto Caballero at the helm of a net label known as “Latino Resiste.” Caballero (or El Caballo) is a well-respected journalist and teacher. Hailing from Toronto via Colombia, he is currently a staff writer for Diplo’s Mad Decent blog, as well as Tropical Bass. He was also one of the earliest writers at Generation Bass.


Latino Resiste began with Caballero’s intention of highlighting “unknown producers who don’t have any possibility to make it to Mad Decent or Tropical Bass by themselves.” Their catalog is largely free downloads with the occasional BandCamp donation opportunity. They also have two sub labels. “The Rebel Records” is for more eclectic, rebellious music, and “Mal Dicen” focuses on dance tracks. Caballero states, “We don't pretend we’re doing Hype Music, or whatever sells more. We release music with real messages. We aren’t afraid of working with any artist who wants to push the limits.”

In the way of pushing limits, the label presents genres which are deeply rooted within the tumultuous struggles and conflicts of Latin America’s storied history. Cumbia, Bachata, Venezuelan Tuki, and Andean Bass are but a few of the sounds represented. You may not be familiar with these styles, but references to them can be found in many of your favorite dance tracks. Likewise, it is readily apparent how much influence pop culture can have on the underground, as they often combine their aesthetic with anything from Dubstep to Death Metal.

We live in the age of instant communication. Arguments over cultural appropriation are validated and summarily dismissed as we begin to realize the similarities we all share. Does this mean that we are any closer to seeing more diversity among the mainstream? Perhaps not, but within the thriving artist community there is progress being made. Because of labels like Latino Resiste, musicians from “third world” countries are being recognized for their contributions to the art form. This opens new windows of opportunity, not only for them, but for the astute DJ/Selecta/Presenter looking to stray off the beaten path into more exotic musical climes. 

Written by MC Zulu.

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