Amoeblog

Meridian Brothers-Desesperanza

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 15, 2012 07:38am | Post a Comment
Almost 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.





In a lot of ways (and without intention) The Meridian Brothers comes of like a genre-bender like Tom Waits. All of it sounds so familiar but the sound is all its own. You hear the minimalist experimentation, you hear the out-sounds from the likes of Sun Ra. You hear the nods to the great Colombian group Afrosound, who were the first to mix African, Colombian and spacey keyboard sounds all in one. Still, the sound is all Álvarez, which is a feat that is all too rare these days.

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

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 13, 2012 10:30pm | Post a Comment
 

Ok, 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.

Many records are old stock that are still sealed. Some are leftovers from the Queens collection that were saved specifically for this sale. Most of the Salsa/Cumbia titles came from separate collection acquired around the same time as the Queens collection. Prices range from $4.99 up to $25.00 for some of the rare collectables. Like I mentioned earlier, it's a perfect storm of  Latin LP stock all coming at once, probably the biggest I've seen in my eight years at Amoeba.

I browsed through the stacks to report on the sale,
I saw many great records by the likes of Joe Arroyo, Justo Benecourt, Vicente Fernandez (Pre-CBS) early Raphael (editions from Spain) La Playa Sextet, Joe Quijano, Lou Perez and Los Corraleros De Majagual. 

As always, these sales are first come, first serve. Hope to see you Friday at 10:30am! 

For more pictures of some of the albums we will be selling, check out The Gone World With Mr. Chadwick

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.



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.

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.


Speaking of traditional Cumbia, Domino Sounds released a second volume of Cumbia gem entitled, Remolino De Oro. This is a follow-up to the excellent (and now out-of-print) A Orillas Del Magdalena, released a few years back. It’s a collection of the Discos Fuentes Records pre-orchestra Cumbia with plenty of accordion and percussion from legendary Cumbia icons such as Andres Landero, Alejo Duran and Los Corraleros De Majaual. New school Cumbia DJ’s; this is a must for your collection and a way to catch up on the rest of the crate-diggers who long fished out the water. Old-School Cumbia DJs; it’s a great collection that would save some of the wear and tear on your valuable seven-inches and LPS. For everyone else, it’s a great collection of classic Cumbia from another golden era of Discos Fuentes.


Amoeba Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For March 2011

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 4, 2011 12:41am | Post a Comment

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!

April will bring many new releases from the likes of former Heroes Del Silencio singer Enrique Bunbury, Persian fusion artist, Azam Ali, son of Fela, Femi Kuti, the legendary Cachao and Mexican rockeros Maná, who will also be signing copies of their latest release, Drama Y Luz, here at Amoeba Hollywood on April 12th. For more info, check out the Amoeba website.

Here’s a list of some of the new releases coming in April:

April 5th

Machito-A Man and His Music
Jose Alberto-Original
Cheo Feliciano-Cheo (reissue)
Johnny Pacheco & Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez-Tres De Cafe Y Dos De Azucar (reissue)
Sonora Poncena-Fuego En El 23 (reissue)
Hector Lavoe-Comedia (reissue)


April 12th

Maná-Drama Y Luz
Azam Ali- From Night to the Edge of Day
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo- Cotonou Club
Femi Kuti-Africa for Africa 
Ebo Taylor-Life Stories

April 19th

Enrique Bunbury-Gran Rex
Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco-Tremendo Cache (reissue)
Cheo Feliciano-Estampa (reissue)
Orchestra Harlow-Live In Quad (reissue)
Bombino- Agadez

April 26th

Olga Tañón- Ni Una Lagrima Mas
Roberto Carlos: Millon De Amigos Y Doce Mas (Roberto Carlos Tribute)
Cachao-The Last Mambo

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For January & February 2011

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 5, 2011 11:00pm | Post a Comment
                                                                                      
   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.

Celso Piña’s excellent in-store performance on February 17th fueled the sales of his latest release, Sin Fecha De Caducidad. Although Celso’s performance was high-octane Cumbia, Sin Fecha is an album that is both subtle and sublime, with more Son and Paseo than Cumbia. Special guest vocalists on the album include the likes of Latin Alternative darlings Natalia LaFourcade and Ely Guerra, rockero Alex Lora and even a great performance by former talk show host and Latin gay icon Laura Leon.

Speaking of Latin gay icons, Ricky Martin’s Musica+Alma+Sexo is out now and along with Enrique Iglesias' Euphoria and Cristian Castro's Viva El Principe, shows that the Latin Pop machine continues to thrive while other pop genres in World Music are quickly losing steam.

On the World Music hipster tip, the latest Soundway Records release, Cartegena!, is out now. Cartegena! focuses on the music of Colombia with vintage Cumbia and Descargas from the Discos Fuentes label. This is easily as good or perhaps even a little better than Soundway’s brilliant Colombia! compilation that was released a few years back.

Coming out on March 8th is the latest release from Portuguese diva Ana Moura, entitled Colliseu. Also out on 3/8 will be another Psyche-Funk compilation on Now Again entitled Those Shocking Shaking Days, which is a look at Indonesia’s various underground 70s musical scenes. This release is heavy duty and much better than the average World Psyche releases. Finally, March 8 will bring new Fania LP reissues from Tito Puente, Vaya Puente, and Tipica 73’s self-titled.

March 15th brings us a release from legendary Malian guitarist Boubacar Traore, Mali Denhou. Nacional Records brings us two Los Amigos Invisibles related projects; Not So Commercial is a collection of remixes and b-sides from Los Amigos Invisibles’ Commercial album, and DJ Afro, Los Amigos Invisibles' guitarist and composer, releases his own solo album, Free. DJ Afro is the best part of Los Amigos Invisibles and is known across the world as one of the best house music remixers.

March 22nd has Reggaetoneros Alexis & Fido's latest, Perreologia, and another in the many tributes to Fela Kuti, this one by Mamud Band and called Opposite People: The Music Of Fela Kuti. Mexican bad girl Gloria Trevi returns, blonde and fierce, with Gloria, her first album since 2007's Una Rosa Blu. Fania Records will release the soundtrack to John Leguizamo’s Broadway play, Ghetto Klown: Music From My Hood that features many classic Fania cuts. Just in case you want to see John Leguizamo’s play, it currently running at The Lyceum Theatre in Manhattan.

For the last release date in March (3/29) we will have the domestic release of Hello Seahorse!'s latest, Legos: No Tan Legos. 21 year-old Corrido phenomenon Gerardo Ortiz will release a live version of last year’s hit, Morir Y Exstistir, entitled Morir Y Existir En Vivo. Lastly, there will be yet another Fania compilation, this time released by Strut Records out of England; Fania Records 1964-1980: Original Sound is a two CD/2 LP set of all the gems you come to love from the beloved Salsa label.

Coming in April, the latest from Mana, Aventura and Cachao’s final recording, The Last Mambo!
<<  1  2  >>  NEXT