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Meridian Brothers-Desesperanza

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 15, 2012 07:38am | Post a Comment
Meridian BrothersAlmost two decades ago, David Hidalgo and Louie Perez from Los Lobos mixed experimental music with Mexican traditional music and the barrio East L.A. sound to make the excellent project, The Latin Playboys. They created a sound that was familiar yet somewhat skewed. It left me with a feeling of playing a warped gem of a record that had been abandoned in an East Los Angeles basement for years. The soul of the music on the record was worth the damage that it would have on the stylus, as would the wooziness one would get listening to a warped record.  That’s how great that first Latin Playboys’ album is.

Eblis Álvarez, a member of groups Frente Cumbiero and Ondatropica, is the brainchild behind The Meridian Brothers. When listening to Desesperanza, I got that same feeling, except the gem of a record was found in a basement in Bogota or Medellin.
Álvarez played and recorded everything himself. The experimental composer uses the contents of his native Colombia as his canvas, layering heavily “Ring-Modulated” keyboards and Caribbean guitar work that is African in nature. Vocals are usually sped up or slowed down rebajada style, giving the effect that this recording is older than it truly is. The bass and percussion come from the traditions of Colombian music. If Álvarez chose to play it straight, it would still be an accomplishment in itself as far as bringing back the old school Discos Fuentes sound.

A perfect example of what Álvarez accomplishes with The Meridian Brothers is on the song, “Salsa Del Zombie” The base of the song is a classic descarga what one would have heard on the dance floors of Colombia in the 60’s and 70’s. Layered on top are the spooky keyboards, pitched-down vocals and a killer African Highlife guitar solo. On top of that, the lyrics sound like something Peruvian singer/comedian Melcochita would have written.

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Latin LP Blow-Out Sale Starts Friday, August 17th

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 13, 2012 10:30pm | Post a Comment
 
Los Corraleros esta si es salsaOk, so the title is a little misleading. This is really not a blow-out sale in the classic sense. It's not like we are trying to discard a bunch of stock that has been sitting in the store for awhile. Rather, I like to think of this sale as a perfect storm of Latin LPs that has built up at the Amoeba Hollywood store and is ready to downpour on Friday, August 17th. The sale, which will be located at the bin west of the information counter, continues until August 23rd.

The selection is as incredible as it is diverse. Great selections of Salsa, Rancheras, Boogaloo, Corridos, Flamenco, Cumbia, Spanish Pop, early Latin Rock & Roll, many in pristine condition. Plenty from all your favorite Latin record labels such as Fania, Tico and Discos Fuentes, as well as others that most aren't that familiar with. Labels such as the classic Cuban label, Kubany and old school Corridos from the label, Anahual. Other record labels, such as Musart and Caytronic, which released a variety of Latin Music from Mexico and the Southwest. Lastly, great records out of Central American from the labels Profono and Dicesa.

Three New Cumbia LP Releases, Via Colombia, Peru & England

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 7, 2012 12:30am | Post a Comment
Three very interesting Cumbia vinyl releases are now available at Amoeba. Each one with it different takes on the Latin Music genre that only seems to get stronger as others start to fade into obscurity.

Los Jharis

From Peru, we have Los Jharis, Los Creadors Del Sonido De La Carretera Central, out on Masstropica Records. These gems by Los Jharis reflect a period in the eighties when Cumbia had the time to travel outside of South America and returned as Sonidero, with its Sound System shout-outs and echo effects that reminds me of the great Jamaican Sound Systems. With this newer element, Los Jharis sound is straight from outer space, with all the Cumbia rhythms and surf twang that one expects from a good Chicha release.

Also included with the LP is a bonus seven-inch of Sensacion Shipibo, playing what they called Masha music, a Peruvian style of Cumbia from Pucallpa, where the Shipibo-Conibo people are located. They are the indigenous people that lived along the Ucayali River in the Amazon rainforest. The two tracks on the seven-inch are in Spanish but usually the group sang in the Shipibo language. Whether intentional or not, listening to this, I can see the connection between early Chicha and the likes of people like Ecuador’s Delfín Quishpe are doing today.

Los Mitico Del Ritmo When I play tracks from last years Quantic Y Los Miticos Del Ritmo, Hip-Hop En Cumbia during my DJ sets, it still blows some club goers minds. To hear Dr. Dre or Missy Elliot in an authentic traditional Cumbia style is a mini- mindfuck. Some people have asked if perhaps those Hip-Hop artists borrowed those licks from old Cumbia songs! That is a testament on how well England's own Will Holland (Quantic) pulled it off.  Here is another collection of traditional Cumbia from Los Miticos Del Ritmo, this time along with covers of Queen, Michael Jackson and The Abyssinians are some original songs that sound like they could have been made in the Discos Fuentes studios back in the day. The combination of great Colombian musicianship and Holland's vision makes for another club classic. (Not to mention that Holland is becoming a mean accordeon player himself) This is not another mash-up or remixes of classic Cumbia tracks. Los Miticos Del Ritmo will do for retro-Cumbia what Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Hepcat did to revive Soul and Rocksteady.

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Amoeba Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For March 2011

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 4, 2011 12:41am | Post a Comment
Zoe MTV Unplugged
1. V/A-Cartagena! (LP & CD)
2. V/A- Brazil Bossa Beat! — Bossa Nova And The Story Of Elenco Records, Brazil (LP & CD)
3. V/A- Bossa Nova and the Rise of Brazilian Music In The 1960s (LP & CD)
4. V/A- Those Shocking Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard Psyche (LP & CD)
5. Cristian Castro -Viva El Principe (CD Only)
6. Zoe- Musica De Fondo / MTV Unplugged (CD & DVD)
7. Gloria Trevi-Gloria (CD Only)
8. Celso Piña-Sin Fecha De Caducid (CD Only)
9. Gustavo Galindo-Entre La Ciudad Y El Mar (CD Only)
10. V/A-Pomegranates (LP & CD)

 In the battle of World Music compilations, Soundway Records’ latest Discos Fuentes collection, Cartagena!, just outsold Soul Jazz Records' two Brazilian collections and Now-Again Records' Indonesian Psyche comp Those Shocking Shaking Days.  All four compilations are available on CD and LP formats, with the vinyl matching CD sales or, in some cases, surpassing them. The later part of the top ten featured a diaspora of Latin Rock & Pop artist. For the 16-24 Latin Alternative demographic we have Zoe’s MTV Unplugged. For the 55 years and older ladies we have Cristian Castro’s tribute to singer Jose Jose, Viva El Principe. For the gay set we had the latest from Gloria Trevi, Gloria. For the Cumbia set we had Celso Piña and newcomer Gustavo Galindo seem to appeal to well, his extended family, who all came at different times to buy copies of Entre La Ciudad Y El Mar.  Way to support your family, Galindos!Mana Drama Y Luz

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Amoeba Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For January & February 2011

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 5, 2011 11:00pm | Post a Comment
   The Rise Of Bossa Nova Soul Jazz Records                                                                                   
   1. Afrocubism-S/T
   2. V/A-Rise Of Bossa Nova
   3. Celso Piña-Sin Fecha De Caducidad
   4. Serge Gainsbourg-Historie De Melody Nelson
   5. Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos-Cantan En Español
   6. V/A-Psych Funk: Sa-Ra Ga!
   7. V/A-Sofrito
   8. Enrique Iglesias-Eurphoria
   9. Cristan Castro-Viva El Principe
  10. V/A-Pomegranates

Hands down the biggest world music seller over the last three months has been the Afrocubism CD. However, giving it a good chase is The Rise Of Bossa Nova compilation on Soul Jazz Records. There's a CD version, two separate double LP sets and a book (all sold separately) with all the classic original Bossa Nova tracks that DJ’s have brought back into circulation over the last ten years.

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