Friday, March 16, 2012

DIGGING: Even more 45's for y'all!

Like I promised, here's the second batch of 45's, trying to catch up with my avid collecting. Unlike many other jealous DJs and collectors I rather share my finds with the world, specially since most of this is rare, hard to find and/or out of print music that you'll probably won't find very easily on the internet. I do it out of genuine love and respect, but also, as usual, making fun of the bizarre aspects of it. Unfortunately I'm not a connoisseur when it comes to most of these artists, so most of my writing is bullshit and speculation. And as I always say, if somebody with the right knowledge about these tunes is out there reading, please feel free to correct my ignorant rants and illuminate us all.

AFROSOUND-"La Gozadera"/"Pa Ti Mami" (Discos Fuentes, 1974): I'm pretty sure Afrosound will always and forever be my favorite cumbia act to ever come out of Colombia. And they are definitely the funkiest of them all. They took note from the Peruvian chicha guitar, and added to it some major groove and better percussion and goddammit shit's funky! If you're only gonna save one of the 7'''s  out of this batch, make it this one. "La Gozadera" starts up with a funky beat at 108BPM  while there's a bunch of people laughing in the room and then all of a sudden changes gears and shifts to 117BPM with some addictive cumbia beat and it's all dance frenzy until the end. The flip-side is also quite funky, has some interesting breaks and the beat is pretty much locked in 101 throughout the track. No filler here, all killer.

PAPI BRANDAO Y SU CONJUNTO-"Margarita Vargas"/"Tiempo de Cometas" (Brandao, date unknown): Some old-school Panamanian cumbias here by Papi Brandao, who some of you may know from the Panama! compilations by Soundway (at least that where I know him from). Side A is an odd cumbia with a female singer doing some really strange super-high pitch unintelligible singing. On the flip-side we have Mr. Brandao himself getting on the mic for a mellow, nostalgic accordion driven paseo. Both have a very distinctive country-side folklore feeling, characteristic of that era before cumbia migrated to the cities.

CHICO CHE Y LA CRISIS-"El Mundial De Chico Che" (Ariola, 1986): 1986 was the year Mexico hosted the World Cup (won by Argentina, by the way) so I bet there were plenty of commercial recordings that year talking about football and the cup and this one was just one of them. Chico Che was the first artist I ever featured on a digging-related post on this blog, I didn't know much about him back then. Apparently he was a lovable character in Mexican pop culture throughout the '80s and cumbia was the main style in his repertoire, but not the only one. I personally wouldn't dare label this one here under cumbia and I'd never play it in my sets, but still, it's pretty funny, in a kitsch, bizarre way. I specially like the last half with the announcer talking over the music and introducing the band as a football team. The b-side was just flat out horrible, so I'll spare you the pain and skip it.

LA ALONDRA INTERIORANA-"La Jorobaita" (Artelec, date unknown): Another countryside cumbia from Panama. Very little info on this one, sorry, and the recording sounds pretty crappy too. It must be really old. The lyrics (again with a hight pitch female voice) are really hard to understand but from what I can make out, and the title, the song is about an old humpback woman who comes and goes flying so I don't know if it's a figurative speech, or some farmer's legend, or they're just tripping they balls off. The b-side (not included here because of the extreme poor quality of the recording) is a very strange rhythm described as mejorana zapateada, with the beat done with shoe tapping and it's titled "The Diabolical." I guess this must be some voodoo macumba witchcraft shit.

PEDRO LAZA Y SUS PELAYEROS-"El Chicharrón"/"La Panadera"(Discos Fuentes, date unknown): Feeling hungry? Here you have two golden-age Colombian cumbias about food. One is about fried pork skins with hair. Yeah, pretty gross. But he doesn't dive into the subject until the second half of the song, the first half is all instrumental beauty. The other one a lot more upbeat and it about the bread that this one specific woman makes that everybody loves, even the kids. I'm like, dude, all kids love bread! When was the last time you tried to feed a kid something other than cheese or bread? Anyway, I was secretly hopping there was some hidden meaning, you know, like maybe in Colombia bread was slang for pussy or something, but I'm pretty sure he's very much literal and is actually talking about mundane bread.

TERESIN JAEN Y SU CONJUNTO-"Cariñito Verdadero"/"Virgen Del Carmen" (Discoteca Kathia, date Unknown): Back to Panama and the countryside cumbias with colorful record labels. This one says El Rey (The King) and I don't know if that's the artist, the label or what. Anyway both cumbias here are very up-tempo and heavy on the accordion, but the vocals are recorded with a lot or reverb with make them really annoying and hard to understand. Once again, I have little to no idea what the fuck they're talking about, but I don't think it matters, it's Teresin's accordion here who takes all the spotlight and the vocals are just one instrument more in the mix.

LIBERACION-"La Burbuja" (Disa, date unknown): Why the fuck is this called "La Burbuja" I have no idea. Doesn't make any sense, but who cares the track sucks anyway. I once gave away on this blog another track by Liberación that was the absolute dopeness, a cumbia version they did of "The Pink Panther Theme," a record that I play at pretty much all my sets. So I bought this hopping it was equally great and now I'm wondering if it's even the same band, or maybe somebody else with the same name. Oh well, at least they don't sing much, that's the only plus. The flip-side was seriously damaged so couldn't be ripped, but don't worry, it was probably worst than this one.
LOS LIDERES-"La Lira"/"Taka Taka" (Peerless, 1973): Al Verlane's "Taka Takatá" was a hit in the summer of 1972 in Europe and many places of Latin America and it was covered numerous times in different music styles, from symphonic to flamenco to cumbia. I don't know much about the original song or the author, but I do have a couple of covers of it from different places in Latin America and saw there's a lot more on youtube. Don't bother, they all suck (there's a version by Irakere in that Cuban Funk Experience compilation that's pretty dope though), and so does this version here, by Los Líderes, who renamed the song "Taka Taka." On the flip-side you have "La Lira," and as far as I know, with my basic Spanish knowledge (after, you know, going to school and college and living most of my life down there) lira is Spanish for Lyre, that instrument that they played in Ancient Greece and  you see in Irish coins and stuff. So when I hear a guy singing a cumbia about a lyre that he has in his soul and doesn't let him rest and that lyre was born on a river shore, I'm like dude what the fuck are you talking about? Seriously, can you be a little less cryptic? Sure, "Taka Taka" doesn't mean anything in Spanish either, but it's pretty obvious the song is about having fun at the beach in the summer.  I sometimes wonder if back then people did free association of random words to come up with the titles and themes of songs and then I remind myself I have a song called "Salchichón Primavera."


Juan Data said...

grab them while you can:

Gnawledge said...

love it, thanks juan

hsq5 said...

thanks, man. his introduction said many truths about Colombian music scene on the internet today.