Archive for the ‘Breaks’ Category

Interview: Eric Banta (Names You Can Trust)

Monday, April 15th, 2013

I had the chance to meet up with Eric Banta, Label Manager for NYCTrust, while he was in the Bay Area recently for some DJ gigs. Eric and I talked about his role in the NYCTrust label and the influence it has ended up having in highlighting some great new bands from Bogotá, Colombia.



Adam Dunbar: Please introduce yourself and your record label, Names You Can Trust.

Eric Banta: My name is Eric Banta otherwise known as E’s E, and I’m one of the founders of the Names You Can Trust record label. The way it began is it started in 2005 or 2006 with myself and Oneman and Monk One coming together to create a label that would be an outlet to release music that we were feeling at time, but also to create something that we could call our own.

AD: Where did the strong Latin vibe that permeates through your label come from, and how did you decide to start putting all this great stuff out?

EB: It was kind of a natural progression of what we were into at the time. We were always into salsa music from NYC and Puerto Rico, but then we started getting more into South American styles like Cumbia, other music from Colombia, Panama, and Chile and also Peruvian Chicha. You know how it is: as a record digger in general you just get exposed to different styles of music, especially being in NYC. So, it was something that we had been into for a while and we just wound up making some stuff as Greenwood Rhythm Coalition [E’s E and Monk One] that had a Latin influence. It turns out our tracks like “Guajira ‘78” and others ended up being very well received. But we weren’t really setting out to tackle Latin music specifically; it was just something that we were doing that we loved. Making those first few records led us into contact with other crucial folks, though. We wound up getting in touch with Frento Cumbiero and Mario Galeano Toro in Bogotá, Colombia.



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”


Wednesday, March 23rd, 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 #3 pick:

3.)  Ghetto Brothers: “Got This Happy Feeling” (Salsa, NYC, 197?)

This legendary LP by the Ghetto Brothers from the Bronx, NYC, contains so much heat that it was actually difficult to pick a track to highlight here.  “Got This Happy Feeling” ended up edging out all the rest due to its undeniable emotional power.  A feeling of happiness for lead singer Benny Melendez’ soon-to-be-born son outshone all the rubble and street violence of the Bronx at the time, and thus this song was conceived.  I’ll let the music do the talking on this one!

“This is Ghetto Brothers Power baby, from the Bronx.”

Note: the above mp3 is a 128 kbps rip, in order to discourage bootlegging and sucker-ass Serato DJ’s from rocking it (I see you).


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 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


Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Three bangin tracks from 2 rare 45s this week!  Two of my favorite scores of 2010…


Cheesy Afro-Latin funk at its best! This is by far the best thing I’ve heard by the Panamanian group The Beachers. They put out at least 10 LPs in the seventies and eighties on various labels from that country (Loyola, Tamayo, etc), their best being Africa Caliente, IMO. But here, we have a 45-only track (to my knowledge at least) absolutely brimming with pure energy and tropical fire. Most of the time their beyond-cheesy organ is a total killing point for me, but I really love it in this track. Multiple breakdowns and teenage back-up singers charge “Black Soul” along and keep things interesting. Cheers to DJ Papito for selling me this 45.

The Beachers: “Black Soul”
Taken from the Loyola Records 7″ (Costa Rica Press)


One of my favorite scores from the past year (thanks, Noel!), and a solid double-sider at that. Don’t know much about Los Africanos except that it’s Bobby Marin produced and that it absolutely HAS to be Ricardo Marrero on electric piano. It has his signature watery keys as heard on “Babalonia” (Yu Qui Yu) and his A Taste LP on TSG. If anyone has any more info for me that would be great, please leave a comment.

Los Africanos: “Together People (Pamoja Watu)” & “It’s Your Thing”
Taken from the TR Records 7″ (1974)

Los Vampiros de Enrique Olivarez

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Coming straight out of the laid-back Central Valley, California town of Stockton come Los Vampiros, one of the tightest Latin bands in the area during the early and mid 1970’s.  Fronted by the charismatic Enrique Olivarez, Los Vampiros played smoking hot cumbias and rancheras to lively crowds around California and even enjoyed modest success in Mexico.  They released only two LP’s and a handful of 45’s on their own custom / private label called Discos Vampiros (Enrique’s son Tommy drew the vampire bat and text of the label’s unique logo).

In addition to their love for the Rancheras and Cumbias popularized in Mexico and that were at that point sweeping across hispanic areas of the USA, Los Vampiros also crafted their own brand of heavy Latin Funk.  On this their first album, entitled Para Ti (For You), two tracks immediately jump out as winners for us funk and soul fans

“Communicate” is a classy organ and horn-led slow funk track with a timely social message to help out your fellow brethren in need.  But with “Arriba Tipo,” Los Vampiros pick up the pace and unleash a short but potent Latin Funk instrumental that allows the band to showcase their superb musical talents.  There’s even a timbale solo in there!

Prized by collectors around the world, this is one of the finest Latin Funk efforts from anywhere in the West Coast during the time.  Enjoy!

Los Vampiros de Enrique Olivarez – “Communicate” & “Arriba Tipo”

Taken from the Para Ti LP (Discos Vampiros, 1972, Stockton, CA)



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)



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)


Boogaloo en Peru

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Yeah, its been comped to death, but I couldn’t resist throwing this up anyway!  Coco Lagos hails from Peru where he was a successful percussionist in his country during the sixties.  Joined here by an All-star line-up of MAG studio players (including Alfredo Linares on piano!), Coco and crew devise a sensational set of hot Latin tunes for their Ritmo Caliente album cialis forum.  This 45 features two of my favorite tracks from the album: “Guajira Boogaloo,” a smoking dancefloor cut with a massive 8-bar break & “Descarga Jala Jala,” an energy-packed descarga of high potency.  Take a listen and see what you think!

Coco Lagos y sus Orates: “Guajira Boogaloo” b/w “Descarga Jala Jala”
From the MAG 7″ (196?)