Archive for the ‘Cuba’ Category

GUEST MIX: Funk Nocturno by Morris

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Chris Morris was kind enough to share this nice mix of Cuban Funk with us, which he recently prepared to hype his new website Expreso Ritmico devoted to the beautiful art featured on Cuban LP covers. Take as listen below to a combination of the heaviest funk tracks from the storied Caribbean isle of Cuba, a country whose impact on Música Latina can never be overstated!

Expreso Ritmico, a website dedicated to Cuban album art and design, started as an idea a few years ago. It wasn’t until early 2012 that I was able to press the ON button and launch the website. Slim Jenkins and others have been of great support and contributed many albums to the growing gallery of Cuban Music since. Slim Jenkins and his Música del Alma blog have hosted a few of my Cuba-related mixes in the past for which I am very grateful. I put together a new one, a celebration and sneak peak as the first in a series of mixes for the upcoming Expreso Ritmico blog. -Morris

Funk Nocturno by Morris
Expreso Ritmico: 01

Grupo Irakere: “Bacalao Con Pan”
Los Chikichaka: “Suspirando Por El Chikichaka”
Juan Pablo Torres: “Son A Propulsion”
Ricardo Eddy Martinez: ‘Tamba Iya”
Los Brito: “El 4-5-6”
Grupo Monumental: “Limitacion”
Los Reyes ’73: “Adeoey”
Los Van Van: “Mi Ritmo Caliente”
Orquesta Riverside: “En Casa Del Trompo No Bailes”
Juan Pablo Torres: “Que Se Sepa”
Juan Pablo Torres: “Cacao”
Grupo Los Yoyi: “Tu No Me Puedes Conquistar”
Ricardo Eddy Martinez: “Te Quedas”
Sintesis: “Con La Luz Del La Manana”
Grupo Los Yoyi: “El Fino”

Guest Mix for Soul Bonanza (Japan)

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Just wanted to plug my latest Latin mix, which the cool folks at Soul Bonanza are hosting for me.   The mix, entitled “Me Gusta Como Bailas”, is a combination of my favorite styles of Latin music all in one: Pachanga, Cumbia, Descarga, Funk, Salsa, etc from places like California, Ethiopia, Colombia and Cuba!  Make sure to check back to their site for the best in Tropical sounds from Latin America, the Caribbean & Africa.

Click here to listen to the mix!



Thursday, March 24th, 2011

A few weeks back, a faithful reader of this blog asked me a seemingly simple question:“What are your top 5 Latin Funk tracks of all time?” I put some serious thought into this question, revisited many worthy records in my collection, and came up with my top five as of this moment.  I tried my best to remove the rarity of certain records from my decisions and focus exclusively on the musical qualities of the songs in question, but as you can imagine sometimes the rarest shit is the best.  I will be posting each of my top fives picks individually in the coming weeks, so make sure to stay tuned! Continuing on, here is my #2 pick:

2.) Grupo Irakere: “Bacalao Con Pan” (Areito, Cuba, 1974)

Grupo Irakere recorded their first LP in 1974 after being formed the previous year by Cuban piano legend Chucho Valdés and others.  Their monster track “Bacalao Con Pan” (a popular Cuban meal consisting of fish with bread), has everything I could ever want from a Latin Funk song: wah wah guitar drenched in tropical humidity, ferocious horns, a pounding Latin rhythm section strong enough to kill an elephant, and able keys I would bet my life savings on.

The part of this song that really sells it for me is the breakdown where the thunderous rhythm drops out and the piano comes in loud.  As soon as those drums come back in it’s pretty much game over.  So hype!

Pretty well-known track, but an unmovable classic.


Monday, January 31st, 2011

This week I’m back with a new mix of heavy Descarga / Mambo / Latin Jazz for your dancing feet. I’ve been obsessed with this sound for a while now and decided to express that love with a mix for you all.  Some classics and a few obscurities in there, from places like Cuba, New York City, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, Venezuela, and The Bahamas.  There is a heaviness about this music, like when you hear it you can almost step into the sweltering venues where these jams were played 50+ years ago and warm up against the wall of brass emanating from the band stand.

The first half of the mix is made up of Mambo-Descargas, then I try to cover some other ground with a beautiful set of descargas from the The Bahamas, some cool West Coast vibes-led Latin Jazz, two classic NYC / Cuban Descargas, and even an uptempo mid-70s salsa track from Venezuela to keep things interesting.

Hopefully this will make up for my lack of posts lately!

DESCARGANDO by DJ Slim Jenkins

*No tracklist for now*

GUEST MIX: Cuban Funk by Gravelheadwrap

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Happy holidays to all my readers across the globe!  This week we have a very special mix by Gravelheadwrap, who has contributed Cuban heat here in the past.  I love this mix of classics and rare tracks from Cuba’s Areito label.  Enjoy!

Cuban Funk by Gravelheadwrap

Juan Pablo Torres – Y Que Bien
Juan Formell Y Los Van Van – Llegue, Llegue
Grupo Monumental – Limitacion
Los Reyes ’73 – Adoey
Grupo Monumental – Si, Para Usted
Grupo Los Yoyi – Del Copacabana A
Los 5 U 4 – Seis Igual A Seis
Grupo FA 5 – Paso Sin Mas
Juan Pablo Torres – Rompe Cocorioco
Juan Pablo Torres – Pastel En Descarga (Super Son)
Los 5 U 4 – Baila, Ven Y Baila
Grupo Irakere – Quindiambo
Grupo FA 5 – Salga Y Baile
Grupo Los Yoyi – Paco La Calle
Raul Gomez – Dacapo
Juan Almeida – Ritmo Abierto
Grupo Irakere – Juana 1600

GUEST MIX: GESI by Gravelheadwrap

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Guest mixing today is my homie Chris aka GRAVELHEADWRAP, who decided to pick out his favorite tracks from one of Cuba’s coolest bands, Grupo de Experimentacion Sonora del ICAIC (GESI for short). Comprised of great tracks from four of their albums from the 1970s, this mix is a great introduction for those of us (me included) who may have slept on GESI for whatever reason. Thanks, Chris! And viva GESI!

-Adam aka Slim Jenkins

Grupo de Experimentacion Sonora del ICAIC was formed in 1969 as an experimental collective of musicians by Alfredo Guevara, who then was president of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry. The idea was to get back to the roots of Cuban culture. But also, the group was founded on the same experimental ideas as the Tropicalia movement from Brazil. So, GESI took to Nueva Trova or “new song” and experimented with jazz, rock, samba, and electronics. Known Nueva Trova artists in the group included Silvio Rodriquez, Pablo Milanes and Noel Nicola.

This mix is a sort of “favorites mix” made up of the groove-oriented side of Grupo de Experimentacion Sonora del ICAIC.

I want to thank Adam for giving me the opportunity to share a guest mix and post.




1. Grifo
2. Cuba Va!
3. Radiografia de una Apariencia
4. Vocacion
5. Sondeando
6. Repentino
7. El “Bala”
8. Comienzo El Dia (Daniel Viglietti & GESI)
9. Bachiana Popular Cubana No. 2
10. Cancion Con Todos

Descarga para el Alma (pt. 1)

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

As promised here are a couple of nice Descargas, a style of Latin music I have been deeply in love with for quite some time.  The word Descarga itself means to explode or unload in Spanish, and really it describes the music perfectly: descargas are often uptempo and freely organized allowing musicians to release bursts of style during numerous solos throughout a typical song.  The results are an absolute pleasure to listen and dance to!

First up is a song off of the classic Boogaloo Frog LP by Johnny Zamot, a famous Latin musician from Puerto Rico who made his name in the New York Latin Jazz scene of the 1960s.  The backbone of many descargas is a solid piano riff (or bass line), and “Descarga Zamot” has a killer one matched only by the potency of the horn section.  I just wish the track lasted longer!

I also wanted to throw in an earlier example of descarga, this one coming from 1960 Cuba in Julio Gutierrez“Descarga Caliente”.   Roughly 17 minutes long, the song preserves a raw energy throughout its entirety and remains interesting even after this extended of a period.  You’ll want to stick around for the whole show.

The best part about all this is there are countless really great descargas out there just waiting to be discovered.

Johnny Zamot: “Descarga Zamot”
From his Introduces the Booglaoo Frog LP (Discomoda/ 7.11 Records, Colombia, 1974/196?)


Julio Gutierrez: “Jam Session (Descarga Caliente)”
From his Cuban Jam Session volume 2 LP (Panart, 1960)