Wednesday, October 30, 2013

CHICO TRUJILLO-Gran Pecador (Barbes Records, 2013)

I love Chico Trujillo. I've said it many times and I'll say it again, they give the best live show in the whole cumbia universe so I'll never get tire of going to their concerts.
That being said, I have mixed feelings about this new album. I mainly bought it because it's released on vinyl and I wanted to support, but to be honest, the best two tracks were already released on vinyl in 7'' format a year ago and I could do with just those two.
Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of decent moments that deserve a spin, the whole A side falls under this category. The B side, however, with the exception of the track they did in collaboration with Chile's cumbia legend La Sonora Palacios, was rather disappointing. First they try to do some Mexican ranchera or something (a major no-no in my book) and then they go into even muddier territory with some folkloric zamba. Their cover of "Linda Secretaria" is ok, but unnecessary, I rather play Mike Laure's version.
Overall, aside from the title track, the album doesn't provide any other of those classic Chico Trujillo anthemic moments that drive the crowds wild in their shows. I wish Barbes had released their previous album on vinyl instead of this one, that one included all the classics that are mandatory in any Chilean party and are, unfortunately, unavailable on vinyl. Still, like I said, it has my support and if you haven't done so yet, I suggest you buy your copy HERE.

Friday, October 25, 2013

CONJUNTO PAPA UPA-Camuri Chico/Vintage Voudou (Music With Soul, 2013)

I've only played this one just once but I instantly knew that it'll remain as a mandatory visit in all my future playlists forever. I wasn't familiar with the artist (apparently he's from Venezuela but lives in Amsterdam) so I didn't have any expectations of preconceived notions, all I know is that I'm not a big fan of traditional Venezuelan music, the way I am of Colombian music. But man, this blew my mind and made me wonder if there's more music like this hiding in dusty records in some basement in Caracas. It definitely has some cumbia elements in the rhythm, and chicha influences in the psychedelic guitar and an overall 70's tropicalia feel, but it's none of the above, it's its on thing. Plus, there're some monumental percussion breaks. So, even if you gotta pay for international shipping, you really can't afford to miss this one. Buy it HERE.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

SETENTA-Latin Piece of Soul (Hot Casa Records, 2013)

I liked their first album a lot so I had big expectations for this one. Setenta is a French band of retro-Latin Soul formed by several musicians from different bands as a side-project and together they play some amazing music, but I always leave with the feeling that there's something missing that I can't quite point out. They definitely have skills and put their soul in the music, the arrangements are top-notch and the lyrics are basic, but not bad. Still, I don't know, sometimes they sound too soft to me, too dangerously close to background music. I wish they put more power into their recordings, more balls, they sound too delicate and elegant but fail in rushing people to the dance floor the way this music is meant to. I play it while I cook and it's perfect. I always carry their records with my in my bag and I rarely play them in my set, unless it's for warmup. I don't know, maybe that's just what they're aiming for. This new double LP includes a couple of odd covers, one of Nirvana's "Smell Like Teen Spirit" that will definitely get some chuckles form the crowd and one of Busta Rhymes that barely resembles the original, which in this case is a good thing. You can buy it HERE.