Five World LPs From 2010 You Must Get - Part 1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 13, 2010 09:12am | Post a Comment

Anibal Velaquez
-Mambo Loco

Probably my most abused LP that I bought this year. I can’t tell how many times I’ve played Mambo Loco at shows or just sitting at home. Velaquez is a master of the accordion and very influential in bringing Colombian Cumbia to the rest of the world. I found that his outside influences, mostly from Cuban music, made his sound easier for people to digest. In my DJ sets, Mambo Loco served as a gateway into Salsa or Merengue or out of that into Cumbia. I’m telling you, this one is straight heat! If you still aren’t a fan of Cumbia after this album, you are probably dead.

Charanjit Singh
Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat

Does House Music have its roots with Charanjit Singh and his box of archaic early 80’s electronic equipment? That is debatable, but what isn’t is that Singh’s electronic Indian Ragas contained some of the freshest sounds to hit my ear in a while. "Raga Bairagi," my favorite track, is a cluster of different Indian influences with Singh’s ear for soundtrack music. It's as if he imagined Moroder working with Herbie Hancock to create the soundtrack to the Indian version of The Warriors.

I can't help but imagine how much fun we would be having now if the Western world had embraced Charanjit Singh in the eighties like they did Ravi Shankar in the sixties.

Black Man's Cry
The Inspiration Of Fela Kuti

Let’s face it: Tribute albums are usually not that great. Then again, we are talking about Fela Kuti. What makes this release different is that it focuses on the generational and international influence of Fela Kuti’s music. Whether it was bands from Nigeria, Colombia or New York, they were all driven to cover songs by Fela and put their own stamp on his music. The vinyl version has each time period and country divided by sides of the 10” LP, which made the release more cohesive than the CD version.

Persian Pop, Funk, Folk, and Psych Of The 60s & 70s

This is another LP that I have just abused this year. Because I mostly do DJ sets at Latin Music clubs I didn’t get much of a chance to bust this album out, but at home this album was on heavy rotation. This album is both sweet and sublime, a love letter from a generation of Persian music that has come and gone. Each artist on this compilation shows Western influences but is undeniably Persian at the core and you are reminded how progressive Iran was before the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

El GusanoFantasia Del Barrio

In its original release in 1975, El Gusano only made 300 copies of the all-instrumental Fantasia Del Barrio and it came and went. The band from Cotulla, New Mexico didn’t fit in with any style of music. It's rock with some funk and Tex-Mex influences done by four Chicanos but it is closer in sound to early Sun City Girls than it is to Little Joe Y La Familia or Santana. One of the reasons is that guitarist Eugenio Jaimez returned from duty in Vietnam in a fragile state, like most of our veterans did. I felt that the way he dealt with his pain was though his guitar and his compositions. Once the needle hits the LP you’ll notice that El Gusano is one of most expressive instrumental bands ever. In each song you can feel the joy and heaviness of returning home and the troubled times of feeling out of place. On top of that, it’s four guys jamming in a garage and making music that they loved and now, so do I.

Chico Mann At Sonido 10/24... Don't Miss It!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 22, 2010 08:15am | Post a Comment

With the reissue of Chico Mann’s Analog Drift album on Wax Poetics Records comes another chance for you to experience the brilliance of Marcos Garcia. Analog Drift was one of my favorite releases of last year, a limited self-release by Marcos (aka Chico Mann) that was only on sale at his shows and a few stores, like Amoeba Hollywood. Chico Mann’s blend of Afro Beat and 80’s Freestyle over Cuban & Puerto Rican influences is still one of the freshest sounds around. The energy that Chico Mann’s three-piece group puts out live is so contagious; you’ll find yourself on the dance floor busting a move to their Afro Cha-Cha rhythms.

Sunday, October 24th finds Chico Mann performing live at Sonido, located at the Little Temple. I have been blessed to also be on the bill with the gregarious DJ Sloe Poke and Mando Fever. King Steady Beat, a long time Los Angeles Ska and Reggae aficionado that also kills it with the Cumbias will be playing too. All in all, it should be a great night.

LA 4 PK Benefit At Anda 9/4/2010

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, September 1, 2010 03:55pm | Post a Comment

It’s been disheartening to see the lack of coverage the floods in Pakistan have been getting in L.A. The relief efforts have been slow, and contributions to relief organizations have been much less than one would expect for a disaster of that magnitude. Surely the media's bias against Muslim countries doesn’t help. Add a depressed economy and other variables and most relief groups will tell you that funds are not rolling in to help the millions affected by the floods.

But how about the people that seem to champion every worldly cause? You, know, the ones that seem to Tweet or send Facebook links about global warming or “Haiti: One Year Later?" When local deejay Kutmah was deported, people came from all over the city to donate and help out, especially those not privy to immigrant rights issues. He is only one person and look at the effort that went to help him! It's amazing what people can do when focused. In Pakistan, there are 20 million people affected by the flooding. You would think there would be an uproar about the lack of aid and humanity.

How bout those artists that seem to write a song about any social issue in the media? There are no “We Are The World” style songs for Pakistan. I guess if the media isn’t covering Pakistan, then there will be no coverage for a song about Pakistan. Like the expression goes, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" So why bother writing that song, right?

When Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti occurred, there were multiple benefits. I think I played at least two for Haiti in a city that has a very small Haitian community. Retail store had big Sparkletts water bottles to put donations next to their registers and now, nothing. What gives? U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the flooding in Pakistan was “the worst disaster he had ever seen.” Still, L.A. is silent.

Well, complaining gets you nowhere, so it’s time, as they say, to “put up or shut up!” Anda is a monthly club I do with Mando Fever and fellow Amoeba employees DJ Juan Lennon and Gazoooo. Our next Anda will be on Saturday, September 4th and 100% of the door will go to an organization called LA 4 PK, who will use the money for relief efforts and for future fund raising events for Pakistan relief. And what a line-up we have for you!  Not only will all the resident Anda DJ’s be there, but we will have DJ sets from Chico Sonido, Glenn Red (Afro Funke), B+ (Mochilla) and a very, very special unannounced DJ set from... All we can tell you is that he is in town this week.

On top of that, because all the deejays are severe crate diggers, this will be an all vinyl night. The computers will have the night off. A whole night of rare Cumbia, Boogaloo, Salsa, Samba, Afro-Beat, Latin Funk and many beautiful people! All this for ten bucks and you will be step one step closer to your brothers and sisters in Pakistan that need your help.

Anda! At Mal's Bar
2331 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA
10 or $7 before 10:30 with RSVP at: [email protected]
21 & older/9pm-2am

Special guest deejays Chico Sonido, Glenn Red (Afro Funke) B+(Mochilla) and very, very special guest that you don't want to miss.

Best Of 2007, Part 6 - 13 Suggestions For Christmas Gifts

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 20, 2007 12:40pm | Post a Comment
Best Of The Latin American Compilations
THE ROOTS OF CHICHA: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru
Colombia!: The Golden Years of Disco Fuentes -
The Powerhouse of Colombian Music 1960-1976
Si, Para Usted: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba, Vol. 1
Bachata Roja: Acoustic Bachata From The Cabaret Era

Latin Influenced Electronica
Up, Bustle and Out- Mexican Sessions
Nickodemus -Endangered Species Remixed (2007)
Geko Turner- Chandalismo Ilustrado
Mexican Institute of Sound -Pinata

Fresh Blood in Old Genres
Jose Conde y Ola Fresca -(R)evolucion
The Budos Band-The Budos Band 2
B-Side Players Fire In The Youth
Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings 100 Days and 100 Nights
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