Archive for the ‘Latin Rock’ Category

Rock Bogotano: La Banda Nueva

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Sifting through shelves of moldy records on a recent digging excursion in coastal Colombia, I came across a unique rock album amidst a sea of salsa LPs. The colorful cover of La Banda Nueva‘s lone LP, La Gran Feria, immediately caught my attention, and was a welcomed bonus to all of the Cumbia and Salsa LPs I had purchased up until that point. I immediately threw it on my portable turntable and was blown away with the sounds that met my ears.

Simply put, rock is not the genre of music that Colombia is best known for. Only a handful of rock bands existed there in the 1960s and 70s, the vast majority of which could be found in the three cities of Bogotá, Medellin and Cali. What originally started as La Nueva Ola movement during the 1960s which looked to American and British popular rock groups for inspiration, soon blossomed into a creative space where rock bands drew inspiration from many sources, both external and internal, by the early 1970s. Perhaps one of the best outfits from this period was La Banda Nueva, comprised of one member from a major early Nueva Ola group called Los Flippers alongside 3 session musicians from Bogotá, who released their La Gran Feria LP on Discos Bambuco with the full support of label owner Eduardo Calle.

Their music could lazily be described as “Progressive Rock”, or Prog, but that umbrella term does this music a disservice. La Gran Feria mixes a pretty startling variety of musical influences into its gamut, including jazz, psych, blues, and funk. “Emiliano Pinilla” starts the LP off with a bang, letting keyboardist Orlando Betancur unleash a devastating key pattern over a funky drum beat. The lyrics on this particular track are also great and firmly press political boundaries of the era. “Rumba Uno” is probably the stand out track for me on the LP, though, with an ingenious jazzy backbone with Orlando Betancur again taking center stage with some incredible improvisation. A total gem of a record from Bogotá that has me wanting more!

Banda Nueva: “Emiliano Pinilla” & “Rumba Uno”
From the La Gran Feria LP (Bambuco, Colombia, 1974)

 

GUEST POST FOR SUPER SONIDO! Los Vampiros!

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Yo yo. Just did a guest post for my homie Joseph Franko’s blog, Super Sonido, featuring some of the finest Latin Funk ever recorded!  Franko is putting up a 45 (or three) each day during the full month of February, so make sure to tune in every day! Los Vampiros!

Click here to check out the post!

GUEST POST: DJ Sport Casual

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

This week DJ Sport Casual, a well renowned DJ from Brooklyn, hits us with some heavy Central American Latin Funk Rock! Make sure to check out his website and listen to all the killer mixes he’s posted.

-Slim Jenkins
———————————

Picked this LP up sometime over the summer from a New York area flea, just another long shot that ended up in the yes pile. It is one of the many Latin American party records where side a is one long medley of covers and/or general happy tunes that even abuelita can get down with. I think Central American countries did this the most, even with their rock bands, as we have here. Not sure how it happens, maybe the label, maybe the manager, or even abuelita putting pressure on the band to make something commercially viable/she can dance to. Then the band gets to put some heavy stuff on the other side. So I was more interested in side b, and it turned out to be a pretty killer side b. Warning: this LP sits quite close to Malo S/T in my LP boxes… if Santana-style fusion jams make you angry you may want to look away now. But if you like the idea of something that sounds like Los Dug Dugs going Descarga, then hit play! PS: I made it into a medley :)

- Sport Casual

Crema Purpura – “Pa’ Vacila”

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Diverse stuff from Nicaragua

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

I’m always intrigued (but never surprised) by the sheer diversity of music that was pumped out of Central America in the 60′s and 70′s, whether it’s from El Salvador or Panama. My latest reminder of this comes from a group called Los Hermanos Cortez, who hail from Leon, Nicaragua.  The notes on the back of their Aqui Los Exitos LP insinuate that they formed while in University there, and undertook the goal of adding a Nicaraguan twist to American musical styles all the while trying to perfect “their parent’s music.”

“La Locura de los Hippies” is a psych rock track that starts off hard and heavy before mellowing out in stretches with some stylish keys.  Pretty tough shit!

But my two favorite tracks from the LP are the Latin ones.  “Ritmo y Palmeras” is the best cumbia I’ve heard from Nicaragua hands down. (Please inform me of others if you feel otherwise!  And finally, their song “La Tumba Hombre” exudes equal parts Musica Tipica and Rock n Roll.

Also keep an eye out for their super rare and excellent salsa/descarga records from the 1970s.

Los Hermanos Cortez – , “La Locura De Los Hippies”, “Ritmo y Palmeras”, & “La Tumba Hombre”

From the Aqui Los Exitos  LP (Arcoiris, Nicaragua, 196?)

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NEW MIX: “Dame El Rock”

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Today I offer you all a short but sweet mix of Latin treats from all over the western hemisphere; from the Bay Area of California to El Salvador to Uruguay!

The first mix that I’ve done for my own site (I know, I know), Dame El Rock is the first installment in what will surely be a continuing series that seeks to expose some of Latin America’s forgotten rock hard gems.  At times funky, psychedelic and soulful, this collection of tracks starts off heavy, but soon mellows out until finally culminating in one of my favorite songs of all time: Cofradia‘s rare “Tu Carino”!

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— Dame El Rock —

Los Rodyn’s: “Cafe” (El Salvador)
Ray Camacho: “Damelo” (California)
People: “Picadillo” (Texas)
Via Libre: “Tiuba La Quieba” (El Salvador)
Challenger’s: “Emily” (Puerto Rico)
La Logia Sarabanda: “Cajon De Castanas” (Peru)
Los Zheros: “Cuarto Oscuro” (Peru)
Totem: “Caspita” (Uruguay)
Rulie Garcia: “Earthquake” (California)
Los Orientales: “La Danza Del Mono” (Peru by way of Colombia)
Cofradia: “Tu Carino” (Panama)

Picking up the Crumbs

Monday, March 1st, 2010

This week we have an interesting LP from Florida: Sincerely Antique. Miami’s token Latin Rock band a la Santana, Antique (aka The Antiques) were a popular regional act that also explored the heavy psych and funk sounds prevalent at the time. The main draw of this LP (at least for me) is their epic version of the sure-shot Laura Lee classic “Crumbs Off the Table”. Pounding Latin percussion and heavy organ make this version their own, while lead vocalist Eddy Diaz belts out the man’s side to Laura Lee’s story.

On “Batuka”, a Santana original from their III album, the band covers new ground and play the already-sparse track rawer and funkier than Carlos and his crew ever could. (A quick aside: In a nod to Santana’s legendary use of Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va”, Puente himself covered “Batuka” on his 1972 album Para Los Rumberos.) Antique credit the song to Tito on the LP’s back cover, as it turns out.

Lastly, I wanted to include “Taboo” here, as I rarely post any mellow goodness. Overall a cool LP from a local Miami scene I’m becoming increasingly interested with. Judging from the front and back cover, it looks like they had plenty of fun making it! The band have one other LP on Funny (Antique Sorcery) plus an earlier one on Audio Latino. Both are pretty sick and worth tracking down if you can find them.

Expect new and exciting things here at Musica Del Alma in the coming weeks!

Antique: “Crumbs Off The Table”, “Batuka”, + “Taboo”
Taken from the Sincerely Antique LP (Funny, 502, 1973)

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Chicano Power

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Otherwise filled to the brim with popular Rancheras and cheesy Baladas, the Chicano Power LP by Little Joe and the Embers contains one notable exception.  Check out their hard and heavy version of the Santana classic “Oye Como Va”, itself an adaption of an earlier Tito Puente song.  The lead guitarist must have been fully feeling the Chicano Power because he gives Santana himself a run for his money on pure skill!

Little Joe and the Embers: “Oye Como Va”
From the Chicano Power LP (NorTex, 1973)

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Guest Post: Age

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

For our next installment in the Guest Post Series, San Jose-based DJ/Collector Age unleashes a massive mix of eccentric Latin cuts teaming with SABOR.

-Slim

El Fantasmas Espejo pic

El Fantasmas Espejo mix (Part 1 of 2)

A Collection of Various Latin Records from all over.
(Balada,Salsa,Rock,Psych,Chicano Anthems,etc)

**Note: These were all donations from a former radio station dj at K*** FM
(And out of respect and his request, will remain Anonymous)

All records were part of this large collection that I was given (with the exception of “Carlos Ramos & His Orq Fuego” which just seemed appropriate to have as the last track).  This is Part 1 of 2, so please enjoy and stay tuned for the next one!

Peace,
Adrian (age-snufone)

Wild Wind

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Check out one of the two Latin Rock groups on the Sound Triangle Label from Hialeah, Florida (the other being Coke/Opus).  Arguably the finest LP from that label (unless, of course, you are a fan of Salsa), the self-titled Wild Wind LP is chock full of funky moments.  And hey, even the ballads are good!

Maybe its just the raw recording of the record, or the low quality vinyl the album was pressed on, but “A Drink or Two” has some seriously heavy vibes that boil up through the guitar solo into a gloriously massive drum break. B-Boys take note!

I’m also including two other funky tracks from the album in “I’ve Tried to Love You” & “Make Your Move”.

Wild Wind: “A Drink Or Two”, “I’ve Tried to Love You”, & “Make Your Move”
From the S/T LP (Sound Triangle 7780, 1974)

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Stay tuned for more great Latin music on the Sound Triangle label!