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Sidestepper: Richard Blair's Timeless Great Idea33:38

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Richard Blair recently re-formed Sidestepper with a new generation of Colombian musicians. (Courtesy of the artist)closemore
Richard Blair recently re-formed Sidestepper with a new generation of Colombian musicians. (Courtesy of the artist)

Richard Blair is from Britain, but his heart is in Colombia. Blair went from producing albums for Peter Gabriel to immersing himself in the music and culture of Colombia — itself a country with deep African roots.

He chased a sound he'd heard in his head; one that mixed the burgeoning electronic music scene of Britain with the Afro-Colombian sounds he'd heard in the streets and clubs of Bogota, the Colombian capital.

Toto La Momposina, La Candela Viva (Courtesy of the artist)
Toto La Momposina, La Candela Viva (Courtesy of the artist)

The result, formed in 1996, was the band Sidestepper, which released four albums that left a huge impression on the Colombian music scene. Current Colombian bands like Bomba Estereo and Choc Quib Town have spoken at length about the influence of Sidestepper on their music.

Blair recently assembled a new generation of Colombian musicians to re-form Sidestepper and release an album (Supernatural Love) with a sound that looks forward and backward at the same time. It's rich with tradition, and with the sounds of clubs around the world.

This week on Alt.Latino, Blair joins us to discuss Sidestepper's history, his own musical influences, and what we've determined to be the ultimate truth. (Listen in to find out what I mean.)

Copyright NPR 2016.

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