Archive for the ‘Venezuela’ Category

TOP 5 LATIN FUNK TRACKS: #1 !!!

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Y’all know the deal by now.  Here is my #1 pick!

1.)  Phirpo y sus Caribes: “Comencemos” (Philips, Colombia, 197?)

“Comencemos” is my top pick without question.  Phirpo y sus Caribes were a mysterious band formed in either Colombia or Venezuela during the early to mid-seventies, and were fronted by master Venezolano trombonist Porfi Jimenez (for those who have any doubts about this, just flip the first and last syllables in Porfi’s name around the “r” and you get “Phirpo”).  His trombone takes center stage in this cover of Fela Kuti’s classic “Let’s Start”, along with some fire-breathing trumpeters, a skilled guitarist and two energetic drummers.

Primarily known for his legendary salsa recordings, Parilla Caliente (hot grill/barbeque) was Porfi’s wild funk record that he presented to humanity.  While I dig pretty much the entire LP, “Comencemos” stands out as one of the most incendiary instrumental funk tracks of all time (Latin or otherwise).  It’s like a bright orange habanero pepper surrounded by green bells that look on in envy of its potency!

Special thanks to Oliver Wang and Roberto Ernesto Gyemant for help figuring out that Phirpo = Porfi Jimenez!

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I hope you enjoyed my top 5 Latin funk tracks!  I also wanted to include a few honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the cut:

La Kabala: “Cumbanchero” & “Miami Beach”
Ray Barretto: “Together”
Los Sobrinos del Juez (Judge’s Nephews): “Harina de Maiz”

Soul Fantastics: “El Mismo (Sere)”
Nico Gomez: “Ritual” & “Lupita” & “Baila Chibiquiban”
Raoul Zequeira: “Maraca y Bongo”

Guest mix for SOFRITO

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Make sure to check out my latest Heavy Latin & Caribbean Mix, which the kind folks at Sofrito have posted to their great site.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MIX!

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Back from Vacation = Latin Funk Fire

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Back in action after a long break of working and traveling in Colombia, an absolutely mind-blowing country! I managed to find some cool records during my time down there, so stay tuned for a heavy mix or dedicated Colombian music post!

For now, I wanted to return to form with some hard-as-fuck Latin Funk for everybody. Porfi Jimenez is no stranger to Musica Del Alma, as I’ve already featured one of his songs here before. Here’s yet another solid album from this heavyweight Latin musician. Not only does contain one of the hardest Latin Funk songs out there, it’s also a snapshot of Porfi and his orchestra playing some of the best Salsa Dura Venezolana of their careers.

“Coro” is one of those impossible-to-deny heavy funk tracks. A beautiful Spanish colonial city in western Venezuela, Coro’s prolific music scene in the 1970s undoubtedly inspired Porfi to dedicate a bass guitar-heavy funk burner of a track.  I finally tracked down a copy of this LP for $10 a couple months back after having it elude me for years.

As with many great Salsas, wait for things to really heat up about halfway through “Mi Consentida”.  This is a highly recommended salsa track that lives up to the high standards Venezuelan bands set for the genre in the 70s and 80s.

**Stay tuned to the blog: I’ve got a number of nice posts lined up for the next couple weeks!!**

Porfi Jimenez y su Orquesta: “Coro” y “Mi Consentida”
From the La Machaca LP (Velvet, 1972)

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HERMANOS

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Vytas Brenner, whose family originally emigrated from Germany to Venezuela after the fallout of WWII, has taken a long musical journey.  From Caracas to Spain to Tennessee, Brenner soaked up a diverse assemblage of musical styles before cementing his craft onto vinyl for the first few times.  His 1974 album entitled Hermanos (the second in his discography) is an experimental tour de force, with a couple highlights.

Today, I’m only focusing only on one of these: the spaced out heat of “Gavilan”.  What sounds like an early-80s proto-disco-rap track layed out by Pumpkin and Friends, shortly gives way to some of the finest epic fusion to come out of South America.

Big ups as always to the homie Spelunk for the heads up on this LP!

Vytas Brenner: “Gavilan”
From the Hermanos LP (Gaviland, Venezuela, 1974)

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LOS KENYA: A LATIN FUNK MIX PREVIEW

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

In anticipation of a new Heavy Latin Funk Mix that I will be releasing soon, I offer you a quick taste of what lays in store for that release.  The first song here will be prominently featured in the mix along with 60 minutes of some of the world’s rarest and heaviest Latin Funk jams.  Please stay tuned!

Here’s an excellent LP from Venezuela featuring Los Kenya, a popular Latin combo hailing from the coastal region of that country. Fronting the group was Ray Perez, a charismatic pianist and vocalist who also led the amazing Los Dementes. Click here to check out an excellent interview of Ray Perez by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant.

What originally attracted me to the LP was the track “Esa Mujer”, a frenetic combination of piano & horns atop funky Latin breakbeats. The song is termed a “Guajira Surf” on the LP’s back cover, and is about the coolest Latin song description I’ve come across. However, the raw boogaloo funk rhythms emanating from this track argue for a different title entirely!

But wait, this album has something else in store for the unsuspecting pair of ears. Beginning with a corny piano refrain, the monster “Al Trigueño” soon shoots off into the realm of jazzy salsa bliss; just the right environment for Señor Perez and his 88 keys to shine. The shear mastery of the Salsa being played on this track sons just about anything coming from New York City in this period, and strongly signifies the true salsa capital of the world resides further South! It builds up into an epic explosion of rhythm and horns that has far outweighed much of the music I have come across recently.

LOS KENYA: “Esa Mujer” & “Al Trigueño”
From the Volumen 2 LP (Discomoda, Colombia, 197?)

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Porfi Jimenez- Venezuelan Heavyweight

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Walking through the scenic Spanish architecture of the old section of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, during the summer of 2007 I noticed an aging  metal sign entitled “Bazaar” hanging over a short, sunken doorway.  Upon entering the dark and gloomy room filled mostly with shoes and clothes I noticed an elderly woman sitting on a bench entranced in the making of a colorful handmade textile.  “Tiene algo discos, senorita?” I asked in my then poor Spanish.  “Si, si, si” was the reply I got and she popped up from her bench and pointed beneath the antique wooden object she had been sitting on only to reveal thick stacks of the objects I had been madly trying to track down all morning.   I began to sift through the diverse collection of music, confused at how I could pull out an Alpha Blondy LP, an Eric B. and Rakim 12″, and some random cuban records from the same pile.  Eventually I came across this gem of an album by Venezuela’s Porfi Jimenez, along with some other excellent salsa records.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Jimenez eventually found himself performing and recording in Caracas, Venezuela, where he was a strong advocate of a newly emerging brand of Latin music called Salsa.  Here we focus on his excursion into a funky brand of psychedelic Salsa, with a song called “Echate Pa Ca”.  Love the guitar on this one!

Porfi Jimenez y Su Orquesta: “Echate Pa Ca”
From the El Rico Sabor de Porfi Jimenez LP (Velvet, Ecuador Press, 1973)

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