Sunday, January 31, 2010
One of my favorite movies ever. Federico Fellini recalls and morphs his childhood growing up in Rimini in the 1930's in Fascist Italy. Amist all of the political chaos, this little town is still full of character and warmth. Sexual. Masculine. Comical. Provocative. All of these elements are wrapped together in a beautiful package by Nino Rota. Rota scored the majority of Fellini's films but he is probably most famous in America for his work with Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather Trilogy".
The main theme of Amarcord appears in various forms. Sometimes playful, sometimes swingin', sometimes heavenly but always brilliantly executed. The finale is a go-to uplifter for myself. Its like seeing all of my loved ones waiting for me at the pearly gates. Who what have thought a descending progression could be so optimistic. And of course, what would a Nino Rota soundtrack be without his circus marching band romps.
Friday, January 29, 2010
One of the premier Cuban trombonist, Juan Pablo Torres, combines his native latin music with funk, soul, jazz, and pure quirkiness. What stands out to me on this record is Torres employing Casio sounding keyboards. Imagine if the original Super Mario Bros. were Cuban instead of Italian. "Extracto de Son" reminds me of the underwater levels of the original Nintendo game. You'll understand it when you hear this. Also, the string arrangements are so dense and dramatic but rhythmic.
The bottom line: this is so funky its hard to recognize all these details in one listen.
I've also included 2 extra tracks from a compilation that wound up on my hard drive somehow.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
This mix is strictly chicha. Primarily, chicha is usually a old fermented corn beverage that dates back to the Inca Empire. In the late 60's it referred to a form of peruvian pop music that fused cumbia with electric guitars, fuzz pedals, wah wahs, and farfisa. For a good historical account go here.
1. Los Destellos - (Unknown)
2. Los Beltons - Cumbia Beat
3. Amor Indio - Amor Indio
4. Los Galax - Lamento de un Galax
5. Juaneco Y Su Combo - (Unknown)
6. Los Henry's - Cumbia del Amor
7. Los Destellos- (Unknown)
8. Manzanita - Serrano con Orgullo
9. Los Iguales - Sara Chaca
10. Juaneco Y Su Combo - (Unknown)
11. Los Yabar Juniors - Marionetas
12. Manzanita Y Su Conjunto - Arre Caballito
13. Los Destellos - Ronda Tropical
14. Los Mirlos - El Milagro Verde
15. Los Destellos - (Unknown)
I'm a born and raised Tejas boy and proud. Tejas is Mexico. Always will be. So, this popularity of cumbia is great. I love the fact that it's creeping into American dance music. Some DJ friends of mine throw a monthly dance party in Austin, Tx. that brings out chingos of kids and they all love to get down to those infectious latino jams. Now just because you hear that triplet on a guiro, it does not always mean its a cumbia and there are many variations of cumbias depending on which region you look at in Latin America. Let's go to the source, Columbia. Andres Landero plays one of the traditional forms of cumbias. Its not stylized with big brass sections and tail coats. Its raw. Its playful. Its from the land. His accordion style is erratic with some minor dissonances. This particular style is classified as vallenato, which means from the valley. Although Landero never achieved the amount of success as other vallenatos of his day, his popularity rises with time and trends and is now considered a legend.
Noel Scott Engel A.K.A. Scott Walker achieved teen idol status with The Walker Brothers in mid 1960's. Tired of the symphonic pop ballads of the group, Scott Walker broke away and began his solo career. With each solo record his compositions simultaneously delved more into classical western music and reached out towards experimental dissonances and drones. All while Scott's heavenly barritone croons overhead. "It's Raining Today" is a perfect example. Beginning with eerie screeching string trills, that recalls one of the many horror movies I've seen in my lifetime, and then shortly followed by the band with fragile guitars, chimes and a gentle brush-worked drum beat. Scott Walker is an artist in the purest form: Always progressing forward, sometimes ahead of his times and never looking back.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Fact: I have way too much music. Fact: I have way too much time on my hands. So, I am now making mixtapes for the people and I am starting with a laid-back latino psyche-rock compilation. All of these songs have been pre-approved "choice" by me. I just have a penchant for old shitty recordings, twangy guitars, echo chambers, lush string arrangements, and lost Latin American culture.
1. Bichos de Candy - Tu Figura
2. The Brazilain Bites - Fas Feliz Assim
3. Os Brasas - Meu Eterno Amor
4. Los Gatos - Viento dile a la lluvia
5. O Terco - Imagem
6. Freddy Fender - Dime
7. Los Pasteles Verdes - Esclavo y Amor
8. Los Zafiros - Corazon Herdido
9. Los Blops - (Unknown)
10. Los Brincos - Sol en Julio
11. Los Gatos - Lo Olvidaras
12. Los Flippers - Las Dunas de la Arena
13. Los Angeles Negros - (Unkown)
14. Los Pasteles Verdes - Caminito
15. Os Brasas - Beija me Agora
16. Los Speakers - El Era un Amigo Mio
17. El Polen - Mi Cuerva
18. Los Nocturnos - Volvere a Buscarte
"The King of the Currulao"
Currulao is a African rhythm; it is employed in singing about the misfortunes of love, feasts of the saints, or for lamenting the loss of a child. After more than five centuries of neglect, the Pacific coast of Colombia, one of the country's best kept secrets is gradually beginning to shed its isolation and obscurity. This region is a "New Africa": 95% of its inhabitants are of African origin, brought there to work in the gold mines and plantations during the age of Spanish colonization. The presence of Africana in the Pacific region flourishes in myriads of surviving traditions. One of the most accessible is music.
The first orchestra to record in the whole Pacific region was undoubtedly Peregoyo back in the 1960s; for that matter the Combo Vacaná was one of the first to record Afro-Colombian music in the entire country. Peregoyo, a variant of the word "emperegoyado" that refers to a person who always looks sharp and is well dressed and groomed and so naturally a maestro, is the nickname for bandleader Enrique Urbano Tenorio. Their first long playing record was recorded live with a single microphone and released on Disco Fuentes in 1965 when Peregoyo was fourty-eight. To this day, 87 year old Peregoyo is still composing folk melodies of the Pacific coast to the indigenous rhythms of the Afro-Colombian lands.
Dario Argento had used the Italian rock band Goblin to provide the musical scores to two of his previous films, Deep Red (1975) and Suspiria (1977). Goblin helped define the sound of 70's horror fims and giallos. The group had disbanded in 1980, but three of the band's members—Claudio Simonetti (Roland Jupiter-8, Roland Vocoder Plus, Minimoog, Piano, Electric Piano, Oberheim DMX Digital Drum, Roland TR-808, Roland MC4 Computer), Fabio Pignatelli (Fender bass normal and fretless), and Massimo Morante (Electric and Acoustic guitar)—reunited at Argento's request to work on Tenebrae. The result is a synth-driven rock out that is an essential Italo Disco time capsule as well. Some may recognize the main theme sampled in Justice's "Phantom", which to me is essentially a remix. Nice try guys.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Luiz Bonfa is the man. When this guy started recording his own compositions in Brazil in the 1950's, most people thought he was overdubbing multiple tracks of guitar. As his popularity rose he started performing to larger audiences and debunked all naysayers with his technical prowess. This album is such a fine example of that. Bonfa became most famous for his work with French film director Marcel Camus' legendary film, Black Orpheus.