ZZK Records

ZZK Records is a homegrown record label and artist collective born out of the Zizek Club nights in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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“There’s really nothing like ZZK Records anywhere in the world: the avant Argentinian label releases experimental, digital cumbias and other unique interpretations traditional Latin genres; acts as a family, collective and nightclub in Buenos Aires; and, of course, travels the globe.” The Fader

ZZK Records recently turned 13 in 2021. What began as a weekly party in the underground Buenos Aires music scene has turned into nothing short of a musical revolution. The epicenter of the “Digital Cumbia” and “Folktronica” laboratories, ZZK Records is renowned for reviving South American sounds for the hyper connected 21st Century. With artists like Nicola Cruz, Chancha Via Circuito, La Yegros, Ghetto Kumbe, and King Coya, to name a few, nothing has been the same since ZZK decided to bring their sounds out of the sweaty club nights and showcase it for the world, in albums, tours, videos and more.

Buenos Aires may mean cosmopolitanism, tango and slabs of beef to most people, but this is a city whose cultural life extends way beyond the usual tourist signifiers. It has become the home for a group of musicians linking traditional South American styles with the digital instrumentation and global reach of modern dance artists, to create a raucous, boundary-pushing electronic music– and ZZK Records is at the heart of it all.

The label was founded in 2008 by American expat Grant C. Dull and two Argentines, Guillermo Canale and Diego Bulacio, after they started a club night together. Amid the vibrant mix of nightlife, intellectualism and art in Buenos Aires, the trio found young musicians who were starting to rail against the European dance music that dominated the city's clubs. This was happening at a time when the financial crash in Argentina had its people reflecting on their own identity: “Culturally” says Dull, “The crash created an interesting rejuvenation and reconnection with being South American – not just with Argentina, but also neighboring countries and indigenous cultures.”

The world quickly paid attention. The 3 founders were onto something and had a knack for packaging and sharing the stories together with a collective of artists that rallied around the label throughout Argentina’s talented underground. The music was new, seductive and different, the visuals were vibrant, the stories inspiring. The internet and music industry took notice. SXSW invitations soon followed, Coachella happened, USA and Japanese distribution were secured, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Pitchfork & The New York Times reported, LA management came knocking. Nearly 10 years blew by at an ambitious and break neck pace.

In recent years the label has been expanding in vision, depth and roster. What was once an Argentina centric label has branched out throughout the region, with the signings of Animal Chuki from Peru, Nicola Cruz from Ecuador and most recently Ghetto Kumbe & Montoya from Colombia. In 2016 ZZK launched the imprint AYA Records, which seeks to open up the doors even wider to sounds and bands from across Latin America. The first trio of artists on AYA were Mateo Kingman & EVHA from Ecuador, and the bi-national Marimba super group Rio Mira from Ecuador & Colombia. Newly signed Son Rompe Pera from Mexico has expanded AYA & ZZK’s roster to now 7 countries.

ZZK has also delved into documentary film making birthing ZZK Films with its 2nd documentary, Sonido Mestizo currently making the rounds at film festivals and shows around the world. Ritmos Bastardos, a short about the genesis of the club night and label, has recently been released online as well.

2021 is shaping up to be an epic year for the now experienced indie label. With new artists on the horizon, label compilations, documentaries and more, the ZZK team has their eyes set on continuing to supply the globe with some of the most innovative sounds and stories from around Latin America.

participating in

  • WOMEX 2021
  • WOMEX 2017
  • WOMEX 2016
  • WOMEX 2012
  • WOMEX 2011
  • WOMEX 2010
  • WOMEX 2009
  • WOMEX 2008

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