Saturday, May 7, 2011
JOAQUIN "JOE" CLAUSELL: Hammock House, Africa Caribe (Fania, 2011)
This new series of Fania releases called Hammock House goes beyond the basic remix and each one gives a DJ the opportunity to go through Fania's hidden gems and rework them into a mixtape of sorts, more like a conceptual long set. The first one was put together by Latin house legend Joaquin "Joe" Clausell and let me tell you, whoever has to mix the next one, will have an extremely hard act to follow.
Joaquin did a great selection of deep Afro-Latin jazzy soul, giving them respectful reedits and stretching out the percussion breaks and then mixed them together with some added live percussion arrangements on top. The house grooves are subtle and smooth and the salsa is almost completely absent, so I loved it.
Now the best part of this: the CD set comes with two discs, one with the aforementioned mix and another one with the "unmixed" tracks and that's where the real fun comes in, because you can play DJ and try to replicate the set with Clausell's reedits. Plus, remember when CD boxes used to come with carefully put together books filled with great photographs and complete liner notes? This one even included the story behind each selection written by the DJ himself. I know nobody buys CDs anymore, it's an obsolete format, but this one actually makes sense to own and even makes me wanna start collecting CDs again (but I'm putting all my hopes in Fania releasing the "unmixed" disc soon on vinyl, they must). Now if you're one of those who hasn't set foot on an actual record store in like a decade, well, it's not the ideal option, but you can go ahead and purchase the digital version here.