Afro-Colombian influenced dub technique
An electronic exercise deeply rooted in world folklore, and the Electronic Dance Music sounds of the last decades.
Dragao’s most recent work sounds closer to Dub and other Electronic Music expressions such as Techno and Breakbeat, taking them unto a field of extensive experimentation where rhythms of the Colombian Caribbean and Pacific regions are woven with oscillating textures and broken rhythms.
Synthesizers, beat boxes and acoustic instruments complement each other creating the characteristic sound of this new stage, which is heavily influenced by the research on folklore and digital music production technologies this Producer has made within the last 15 years.
Born and raised in Bogota, Juan Pablo Valencia Aka Dragao is one of those gifted Colombian musicians that learned how to use his multi-instrumental skills and multiple backgrounds to produce some forward thinking, innovative musical pieces.
Dragao learned how to play the piano at a very early age, in his grand fathers mantion in Bogota, listening to classical music that his folks where playing on an old 78 rpm rockolla, and vallenato classics from the people working at the house.
In the early 90’s, he formed his owned gothic post punk band called “Los Hermanos Del Muerto”. Then with another band called “Perro” he started to blend his trip-hop influences with hints of cumbia.
After spreading his love for Dubstep, techno and UK breaks as a Dj in the underground electronic Bogota scene, Dragao formed Papaya Republik in 2009. The band travelled the world to play their unique blend of punk and cumbia. He also played the keyboards in numerous Colombian bands from the new popping scene, such as La Makina Del Karibe.
For his new “Camino” project, released mid December on Galletas Calientes Records, Dragao started exploring his afro-colombian roots, fusing traditional Colombian sounds of the Pacific, Atlantic Coast, and the Llanos, with a reggae influenced dub technique, Incorporating guitars and keys of his own. The great Cumbia Lobina, featuring reknowned singer Nidia Gongora is an hommage to the Pacific coast of Colombia, while Dub Aguila and the voices of Macky Ruff of Cumbia Rockers All Stars and Javier Fonseca of Alerta Kamarada takes us to a cumbia-reggae party. Other great songs like Agua incorporates elements of dub, cumbia and the accordion of vallenato from the south-eastern prairies of the country.
Dragao performing “Dub Series” in Bogota Planetarium.
One of Dragao’s experiments fusing house and cumbia