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Various Artists

Guasa, Cununo Y Marimba

    Subtitled '21 songs of Afro-Colombian Music from the Pacific Coast' The music of the Colombian Pacific is one of the greatest treasures of Colombia and its African past, but not many people remember the songs recorded on anthologies, which are largely a forgotten chapter of Colombia’s musical history. It comprises genres such as currulao and chirimia and many others that are yet to be discovered by most Latin music lovers. Heavy drumming combines with hypnotic vocals and the sounds of the marimba, clarinet and euphonium in this selection of Afro-Colombian music from the Pacific Coast. This compilation includes recordings by artists like: Gertrudis Bonilla, Peregoyo y su Combo Vacan, Markitos Micolta, La Sonora del Pacifico de Cachito Vidal, Julian y su Combo, Buscaj in an outstanding selection of songs that covers the early 70s through the 00s and are reissued here for the first time. Compiled by Colombian music experts Lucas Silva and Philippe Noel. 

    First ever reissue of one of the most sought after titles in the catalogue of Peruvian's label MAG, in high demand not only among Latin music collectors but also among those interested in the most exotic and experimental psychedelic sounds around. It includes 'Astronautas a Mercurio', a cosmic descarga full of electronic effects, filtered voices and fierce guitars with wah wah and raw distortion, as well as guarachas, cumbias and descargas.

    This album digs deeper into the most experimental recordings in the archives of Nelson Records. The label was founded in 1970 by the musicians Maurizio Majorana, Antonello Vannucchi and Roberto Podio (who along with Carlo Pes would be known as I MARC 4), after establishing the Telecinesound studio, right where the New Italian Library Sound was created. They recorded with Armando Trovajoli, Piero Piccioni, Ennio Morricone, Piero Umiliani, Henry Mancini and many others, and created a special sound, mixing jazz, pop, rock and psychedelic music, to produce records aiming to be used by the programmers of the Italian RAI television.

    The music of "Thrilling Mortale" is mostly special effects, drum breaks, fast bongo rhythms and groovy Hammond background sounds inspired by cinema noise experts who did not use any musical instruments and had only a few objects to recreate the noises of the films; from horse rides to closing gates, everything was done in the traditional way. I MARC 4, instead, would recreate those sounds with bass, guitar, drums, piano and Hammond organ.

    Many musicians, record producers and film directors still like, look for, rediscover and re-use for their work, and the music on these albums recorded by I MARC 4 between 1970-1976 have reached cult status among library music collectors.


    12 Bombazos Bailables budget sampler album compiling 12 take-no-prisoners dancefloor tracks from the Discos Fuentes vast catalogue that turns 85 this year. Cumbia, hard salsa, descarga and more. A perfect introduction to the Discos Fuentes reissue series and a very convenient DJ tool, every track is a winner! Featuring names such as Los Supremos, Conjunto Miramar, Michi Sarmiento Y Su Combo Bravo, Fruko Y Sus Tesos, Peregoyo Y Su Combo Vacana, Adolfo Echeverria Y Su Orquesta.

    Roberto De La Barrera

    Se Formó La Salsa

    Pianist Roberto de la Barrera was arguably the first musician from Cartagena, Colombia to record music that would later be labeled "tropical" and "salsa" with his own group in the early to mid-1960s. He took the piano seat in the Discos Fuentes house orchestra and was also an arranger on several releases.

    In 1970 he recorded his third album for the label, "Se formó la salsa", featuring an irresistible mix of Colombian and Cuban flavors, sometimes within the same tune, and often with that wonderful raw, loose, improvisational quality associated with the "descarga" jam sessions of Cachao and others a decade before.

    Roberto de la Barrera was a pioneer in introducing modern Latin sounds from Havana, New York and San Juan. Sadly, his contributions in bringing salsa to the Caribbean region of Colombia and hence the rest of the country have gone largely unheralded, but hopefully this reissue will help set things straight.

    Presented in facsimile artwork and pressed on 180g vinyl.

    Part of Vampisoul's reissue series of classic Fuentes LPs.

    La Cumbia Moderna De Soledad

    La Clavada

    Pedro "Ramayá" Beltrán, born in Patico, a small town in Colombia's Bolívar province, is a maestro of Colombian folkloric music known as the King of the 'caña de millo' flute, although he is also proficient in various percussion instruments as well as the reed instrument known as 'gaita'.

    He founded La Cumbia Moderna de Soledad in the early 1970s. With this group he set out to "modernize" the folkloric music of his people, adding electric bass and a brass section to fresh arrangements of cumbias, porros, fandangos, puyas and other costeño genres.

    "La Clavada" (1979) was La Cumbia Moderna de Soledad's sixth record and first for Codiscos' Costeño imprint. The LP has many excellent examples of Beltrán's inventive mix of the ancient and the modern, making for a collection of tunes brimming with tradition and yet fearlessly bristling with innovation, not the least of which is 'Crees que soy sexy', with its gaita refrain mimicking the main melody of Rod Stewart's international disco smash 'Da Ya Think I'm Sexy'. The album's title song was a massive hit in Colombia and has become a standard of the genre.

    Restored to its original glorious sound, this LP is poised to be rediscovered as an innovative yet rootsy gem.

    "Pan Con Salsa" (1971) was their excellent debut LP. Most of its cuts are in the salsa genre, but the album also includes Vicentini's native costeno rhythms like cumbia and porro, a funky boogaloo cover of Tito Puente's 'Oye como va', Puerto Rican style bomba, and the title track, composed by Vicentini, which is a frenetic descarga (jam session) with lots of tasty brass solos, in-the-pocket piano tumbaos (riffs) and break-neck percussion work-outs. Presented in facsimile artwork and pressed on 180g vinyl. Part of Vampisoul's reissue series of classic LPs from Colombia's Codiscos and its sublabels such as Zeida, Costeno and Famoso. 

    Adolfo Echeverria Y Su Orquesta

    Sabroso Bacalao

    First ever reissue of "Sabroso bacalao" by Adolfo Echeverria y su Orquesta, released on Colombia's Discos Fuentes in 1977. In addition to hot, driving hardcore salsa tunes, the LP includes some cumbia and porro plus cuts in the Afro-Cuban oriza rhythm and the cumbela style, which is a variant on the bomba, an Afro-Puerto Rican folkloric drum-based genre. The album yielded the hit 'Fantasia marina', but in recent years 'Noches de cumbia' and the title track have become tropical DJ dance floor standards across the globe, making this record a must-have for collectors, disk jockeys and aficionados of the classic Fuentes sound. Presented in facsimile artwork and pressed on 180g vinyl. Part of Vampisoul's reissue series of classic Fuentes LPs.

    By 1974, salsa was taking Colombia by storm and so the directors of the INS label decided to create a band that would appeal to salsa fanatics and be able to compete with labels such as Discos Fuentes and Codiscos. Thus was born Los Afroins, an obscure, short-lived combo that would release two LPs and six 45s. Their first album, "A gozar salsomanos", is a sought-after collector's item and contains ten brassy, heavy-duty salsa gems: covers of salsa hits by Ismael Rivera, Los Ahijados, Roberto De La Barrera, Cheo Marquetti and even the smash pop hit by the French modern classical and electronic music composer Saint-Preux (a great instrumental descarga version of 'Concierto para una sola voz'). In addition, there are two originals that are equally hot. Presented in facsimile artwork and pressed on 180g vinyl. Part of a new Vampisoul reissue series of classic LPs from Colombia's INS label.

    Lito Barrientos Y Su Orquesta

    Very Very Well

    "Very Very Well" was the first album for Discos Fuentes by Salvadorian Rafael "Lito" Barrientos and his tropical orchestra, recorded in 1965. While in Colombia in the mid-1960s, he found great success with his assimilation of styles like cumbia and porro but also included Cuban charanga, Puerto Rican bomba and Mexican corrido in his repertoire, making for a very diverse selection of moods and flavors. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: Presented in facsimile artwork and pressed on 180g vinyl.

    Conjunto Miramar

    Cumbias Con El Miramar

    First ever reissue of "Cumbias con El Miramar", a very hard-to-find album released by Discos Fuentes in 1965. Full of excellent cumbias and gaitas for dancing, the record actually is a lot more diverse than the title leads one to believe, as there are lots of other hot rhythms and arrangements on it, taken from Cuban genres like guajira, guaracha, guaguanca, charanga and son montuno. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: Presented in facsimile artwork and pressed on 180g vinyl.

    Afro-Peruvian music, also known as 'música criolla', finds its roots in West African music, Spanish and European genres and native musical traditions from Peru. Flamenco-influenced sounds sit next to African tribal elements and a simple yet effective percussion instrument called cajón.

    After a long struggle to preserve música criolla through oral tradition over generations, actually resulting in much of the original music being lost, a renewed interest in those rhythms and melodies arose in the 1950s. Some years later the legendary Peruvian singer Chabuca Granda provided help to promote Perú Negro, a dance company that also incorporated percussion combined with música criolla. Ronaldo Campos, "Lalo" Izquierdo, Víctor Padilla, Rodolfo Arteaga and Caitro Soto, among others, played a key role in the foundation and early days of the company. Their shows celebrated and recreated black culture in Peru and they quickly became regulars at Lima's theatres.

    In 1969 they won the main award at the Festival Hispanoamericano de la Danza y la Canción in Argentina. The repertoire performed at the festival was later included in this album, originally released in 1973 in Peru and Spain only. The lyrics and music of these songs reflect the country's multicultural diversity, blending elements from the African tradition and echoes of Spanish-influenced melodies around stories of slavery days, rural labour and folklore.

    Although lesser known than music from other nearby countries, Peru Negro's recordings are reminiscent of Afro-Colombian or Afro-Cuban rhythms. If you have an interest in Cuban son or Colombian bambuco, this record will be an essential addition to your collection and the perfect introduction to the fascinating música criolla.


    Tulsa vocalist Paulette Parker joined the renowned vocal group The Ikettes in 1967, before meeting Andre Lewis, whom she would marry some time later, changing her name to Maxayn Lewis. Both of them, along with former colleagues of Andre in the group Buddy Miles Express, formed in 1970 a new band that would be baptized after the singer's own name: Maxayn.

    Their first recording was self-funded and easily achieved a contract with the company Capricorn Records to release it. It was in 1972 when that first album, self-titled, saw the light. The result is a superb record of soul and funk spiced up with a gospel vibe and also a distinctive rock sound. As a curiosity, two of the most soulful and deep songs by The Rolling Stones, 'Gimme Shelter' and 'You Can't Always Get What You Want', were chosen to be part of the album's repertoire and in both cases Maxayn's vocal performance manages to appropriate these two famous songs to the point that it seems that they were originally written for the singer herself. Facing two classics of such high caliber and successfully passing the test is a challenge that few would dare to try. Not in vain, Maxayn deserves to be placed in the same league as other better-known funk artists such as Betty Davis or Yvonne Fair.

    Along with the successful versions of the Stones, their own compositions include 'Trying For Days', 'Jam For Jack', 'Song' and 'Doing Nothing, Nothing Doing', in which the energetic tandem formed by Maxayn's voice and the solid support of the band's musicians achieves an electric and timeless result.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP Info: 180g vinyl, gatefold sleeve.

    Various Artists

    Czech Up! Vol 2: We'd Be Happy

      Second volume of Vampisoul's "Czech Up!" series, which compiles 60s and 70s gems from the vaults of Supraphon and Panton labels from the former Czechoslovakia. Freakbeat, soul, baroque pop, prog-funk, garage rock, psych-jazz... all that and more is contained within these 22 tracks, wonderfully produced and now carefully remastered, many of them never reissued before. 


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