MIXTAPE: Adam McClellan, Cumbia for the Harvest


Our green coffee buyer Adam McClellan is an avid collector of cumbia vieja records, which he started listening to 10 years ago in Chile during a home stay in Santiago.  He’s drawn to the music’s signature key changes atop African rhythms, the call-and-response patterns, and the prosaic themes common to cumbia music.

He says, “I love how many of the songs are about fishing, birds and lost love. Here in Colombia, I’ve heard there are still places called viejotecas (instead of discotecas) where folks, usually of older generations, still gather to get down to this style of cumbia, rather than the reggaeton and salsa that is more popular with younger folks. Hopefully I come across one of these places someday!”

Inspired by his recent source trip to Colombia visiting Planadas, Tolima (EL Jordan), Pedregal, Cauca (Piramide), and various spots in Huila (Esperanza), he’s compiled for us this rumbling collection of coastal Colombian gems.