I have no hard data to back this up, but I suspect that EPs play a larger role in the world of cover songs than they do elsewhere. In the wider world, EPs tend to be an afterthought, a set of rejects or remixes that may or may not be worthwhile. People pay little attention to EPs, and artists act accordingly, saving their real statements for the full-lengths. In our world, though, we see as many EPs as we do proper albums, and they’re every bit as good. An artist may hesitate to put out a “cover album” – still a loaded term in some circles – but in the age of Garageband and Bandcamp, it’s only too easy to record a half dozen covers and toss ‘em out between albums. Therefore, in honor of the EP’s prominence in our world, we present our favorite EPs of 2011 (with an MP3 from each).
Quantic, a British-born producer, DJ and musician, has devoted his career to the Colombian musical tradition of “cumbia.” Cumbia is a popular strain of Latin dance music that originated in Colombia and incorporates African drumming, standard Latin claves, as well as European instruments like accordions, guitars, bass and flute for melody. Quantic brings the South American genre up north on his new EP Hip Hop En Cumbia, which translates classic hip-hop tracks by the likes of KRS-One, Missy Elliot, Outkast, Dr. Dre and more into the style.