Ok, so I guess this needs (and deserves) an explanation. Since October 2015 I have been hosting a weekly radio show on Radio Luz in Wrocław, Poland which is called Basy Tropikalne and is all about tropical music. The name of the show means – at least more or less – tropical bass but at the same time it is a kind of wordplay in Polish as by exchanging only one letter you obtain lasy tropikalne – and that means tropical forests. The reason I am mentioning this is because the name of the show can be in fact somehow misleading as it may suggest that a genre called tropical bass is in the centre of my attention. But it is not. Of course it may appear and most certainly has appeared few times in the tracklist of some of the shows but Basy Tropikalne brings definitely many more sounds.
What is tropical music for me then? Well, I have not come up with any elaborate definitions. Instead of that I am just looking for music which has been either produced in Latin America or Africa (or any other tropical region) or which contains traditional elements of cultures from that areas or whose authors come from those distant parts of the world. In fact, if there is any decent connection between the sound itself or its producers and a particular tropical region – such composition may make it to the show.
The list you can see below is a very brief summary of what happened in 2016 in tropical music from my perspective. Since I am very much a single person this list is brutally limited and without any doubts incomplete but it contains almost everything that I think is worth mentioning – it can be a song, an album or something else. There are no specific places as you simply cannot compare gqom to digital cumbia. The order is also completely random, just to make it fair (for the eagle-eyed among you – yes, it’s a little bit chronological). Enjoy and have a tropical 2017.