The best of today’s – truly international – latin music, these 2 CDs reveal fresh sounds with their feet in the barrios and their finger on the pulse … See Reviews
Track List CD1
1 Eat Static – Love Truncheon
2 Orishas – 300 Kilos (Feat. Yuri Buenaventura)
3 Bobby Hutcherson – La Malanga (Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez Mix)
4 Alex Wilson – R&B Latino
5 Orquesta Broadway – Yo Bailo Con Ella
6 Mangu Feat. Johnny Pacheco – Calle Luna, Calle Sol
7 Perez Prado – Macome (Yoruba Bpm Mix)
8 The Spanish Harlem Orchestra – La Banda
9 Ska Cubano – Babalu
10 El Combolinga – Con 4 Duros
11 Sidestepper – No Lloraré
12 Omara Portuondo – Mueve La Cintura Mulata
13 La Charanga Habanera & David Calzado – No Estamos Locos
14 Roni Size / Reprazent – Watching Windows (Roni Size Meets Nuyorican Soul)
1 Ojos De Brujo – Ventilaor R-80
2 Ibrahim Ferrer – Hay Que Entrale A Palos Ese
3 Sonsublime – Me Dieron La Clave
4 Africando Feat. Medoune Diallo – Fouta Toora
5 Omar Sosa – L3zero
6 Orlando ‘Cachaito’ López – Mis Dos Pequeñas
7 Delinquent Habits – Return Of The Tres
8 Oaktown Irawo – I Will Always Remember You
9 Susana Baca – Toro Mata
10 Asere – Tengo Ganas
11 Salsa Celtica – Yo Mi Voy / Maggie’s Pancakes
12 Snowboy & The Latin Section – The Hands Of Palmieri
13 RSI– Wesley Music
Not so long ago the term “Latin club” described an event where live bands would play supported by specialist DJs. Now, in the UK at least, it too often means a salsa dance class followed by a DJ playing CDrs. The scene is not promoting music, only dance classes, and the result is that the UK Latin music scene is dying on its backside … or should that be its sprung wooden dance floor. But despite the fact that most people who dance to Latin music very rarely either buy it, or support live bands, great Latin music continues to be made. Sometimes it’s new, sometimes it’s nu and sometimes it’s both.
“Nu Latin” contains great recent Latin music done in the time-honoured styles, as well as nu Latin music touched with D + B, House, Reggae, Gospel, R + B, Ska, Flamenco and Jazz (as well as a lone bagpipe). Sometimes the clave patterns are to the fore, other times it’s a back-beat. You’ll find music from countries traditionally associated with the genre, as well as contributions from locations as diverse as Scotland, Essex, Peru, Germany, Spain, Manchester and Bristol; it also features refugees from a trance band plus remixes from Masters at Work’s Kenny Dope, both solo and as half of Nuyorican Soul.
Latin music is everywhere and mutating as it goes.
01. Eat Static – Love Truncheon
Eat Static is a splinter group from Ozric Tentacles, and specialise in up-tempo, spacey trance-techno with some Eastern elements – but not here. “Love Truncheon” (hmmm…) is the only tune that’s vaguely Latin on their ‘Crash and Burn!’ album and is a thing of joy.
02. Bobby Hutcherson – La Malanga (Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez Mix)
Vibraphone player and Jazz giant, Bobby Hutcherson recorded his original version in 1975 while Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez of Masters at Work remixed it beautifully in 2004.
03. Alex Wilson – R&B Latino
Alex Wilson is a U.K. based bandleader, latin pianist and composer with a rising rep in the jazz scene. R&B Latino is the title track of his 3rd album.
04. Orquesta Broadway – Yo Bailo Con Ella
Orquesta Broadway is one of the original flute and violin led Charanga bands and “Yo Baila Con Ella” is taken from their ‘40th Anniversary’ album. Flautist Eddy Zervigon leads Orquesta Broadway and is also a member of Africando.
05. Mangu Feat. Johnny Pacheco – Calle Luna, Calle Sol
Mangu is the Dominican equivalent of mashed potato … but it’s also the name of a young Dominican born, Miami based rapper who features Fania All Star Johnny Pacheco on this version on Willie Colon’s “Calle Luna, Calle Sol”.
06. Perez Prado – Macome (Yoruba Bpm Mix)
Perez Prado is one of the holders of the disputed title of ‘Mambo King’ but is arguably best known through the use of his music in a Guinness ad. Here Yoruba BPM do the business on his “Macomé”.
07. The Spanish Harlem Orchestra – La Banda
The Spanish Harlem Orchestra have been described as the New York salsa scene’s equivalent of the Buena Vista Social Club and they do their best to keep alive passionate, percussive, horn-drenched 60s and 70s salsa, for which we may all be extremely thankful.
08. Ska Cubano – Babalu
Cuba and Jamaica are close neighbours but due to Cuba’s U.S. imposed isolation the ska era didn’t reach the island until Natty Bo of London based ska outfit The Top Cats, came up with the notion of Ska Cubano – definitely worth the wait.
09. El Combolinga – Con 4 Duros
El Combolinga are from Spain and mix Flamenco, Brazilian, Reggae, Son and funky. “Con 4 Duros” is from their Paquipayá album.
10. Sidestepper – No Lloraré
Sidestepper are on their 3rd album fusing Colombian salsa with a U.K. dance sensibility. On “No Lloraré” a dash of Jamaican rub-a-dub gets in on the action.
11. Omara Portuondo – Mueve La Cintura Mulata
Omara is the Queen of the Buena Vista Social Club and “Mueve La Cintura Mulato” is taken from her second solo outing on World Circuit, ‘Flor de Amor’.
12. La Charanga Habanera & David Calzado – No Estamos Locos
Despite the name La Charanga Habanera (charanga is typically a fairly polite musical form), this group are one of toughest timba outfits in Cuba. This is incendiary.
13. RONI SIZE / REPRAZENT – WATCHING WINDOWS (Roni Size Meets Nuyorican Soul)
What could be more ‘Nu Latin’ than Roni Size and Nuyorican Soul. An extraordinary and epic rhythmic adventure.
01. Ojos De Brujo – Ventilaor R-80
Ojos de Brujo are Barcelona’s finest – taking the roots of Flamenco anywhere that feels good.
02. Ibrahim Ferrer – Hay Que Entrale A Palos Ese
Ibrahim Ferrer is another graduate of the Buena Vista academy and “Hay Que Entrarle A Palos A Ese” is taken from his ‘Buenos Hermanos’ CD. He remains living proof that music can be a rejuvenating force.
03. Sonsublime – Me Dieron La Clave
SonSublime are an eleven-piece Cuban charanga orchestra based in the New York City area, playing the classic grooves of Danzón, Mambo, Cha Cha and Son.
04. Africando Feat. Medoune Diallo – Fouta Toora
The cultural criss-crossing of the Atlantic between Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S. is manifest in Africando. The Afro-Latino supergroup features top singers from West Africa (mainly Senegal) alongside veterans of the New York Latin scene. On their 5th album and still going strong.
05. Omar Sosa – L3zero
Omar Sosa is a San Francisco based Cuban pianist with a futurist and global take on the music of his homeland. “L3Zero” is taken from his ‘Mulatos’ album.
06. Orlando ‘Cachaito’ López – Mis Dos Pequeñas
One of a very long, and distinguished, line of Cuban double bass players Orlando ‘Cachaito’ López is another Buena Vista graduate and on his ‘Cachaito’ album he incorporates beats, DJ scratching with soulful horns and more into the Cuban template.
07. Delinquent Habits – Return Of The Tres
Delinquent Habits have been delivering Latino hip-hop out of L.A. since ’91 and “Return Of The Tres” is taken from their 2001 album ‘Merry Go Round’.
08. Oaktown Irawo – I Will Always Remember You
“I Will Always Remember You” by Oaktown Irawo is funky Latin jazz from Oakland, California. Also featuring Omar Sosa amongst many of the Bay Area’s finest.
09. Susana Baca – Toro Mata
Afro-Peruvian music is soulful, dignified and rootsy, but has only become more generally known over the past few years. Susana Baca is its biggest star.
10. Asere – Tengo Ganas
Asere are a new generation of young Cubans following in the steps of their forefathers rather than the modernists.
11. Salsa Celtica – Yo Mi Voy / Maggie’s Pancakes
Salsa from Scotland – a stormer from North of the Border with the hottest of bagpipe solos and a Machito inspired brass section.
12. Snowboy & The Latin Section – The Hands Of Palmieri
Snowboy is a DJ, an avid collector of rare jazz, soul, funk, amphetamine-driven Latin and rockabilly and a producer. Here he is in bandleader mode with his Latin Section. “Hands of Palmieri” is a tribute to the genius of the sibling piano maestros Charlie and Eddie.
13. Rsl – Wesley Music
We take our leave with a blast of latin piano, house beats, batucada and gospel aka Wesley Music from Manchester’s RSL. Hooj in anyone’s language.