If you ever get a hold of a Mexican cumbia bootleg record that has no song names and only the dj’s names on the front cover – rest assured it comes from the cumbia sonidera subculture movement in Mexico City that was happening in the 80’s. Much like the Northern Soul movement that took place in England in the 70’s, it was Mexican sonideros discovering rare, previously overlooked tropical/cumbia songs, and putting them on wax. Oh yeah…and the same type of paranoid secrecy over the artist and song title that persisted in England was happening in Mexico as well. Luckily I know the name of the artist and song of the track I am presenting, unlike the first post I did about Mexico City bootlegs. Anyway, Los Borrachitos (the drunks) is performed by Junior y su Equipo who is actually led by Ecuadorian synthesizer virtuoso Polibio Mayorga. I have nothing to hide. Keep the faith!
Archive for the 'Cumbia' Category
Although the roots of the bolero are said to have begun in Spain, it wasn’t until the early part of the 20th century that the genre progressed in the country of Cuba. Having emerged as a dance form and a musical cross with Cuban son – it would go on to evolve throughout Latin America in trio form, as probably one of the most recognizable vocal and guitar idioms. Lyrically the bolero is unashamed of being over-sentimental. With songs about eternal passion, death, or the wallowing/lamenting of unrequited love. Musically, as evident in this post, trios began fusing the bolero with other musical genres. Probably the closest to its Cuban roots would be Trio Caribe’s bolero-son “Sola En El Mundo” (alone in the world). However, I did manage to include boleros from Mexico, Colombia and Argentina – from traditional serenade style trio music, to cumbia/rock/jazz bolero fusions. Enjoy!
Sorry about the last 3 days. Being a bit sick and running out of ideas for this month sucks. Anyway, without too much detail, I thought I’d throw up some tracks from accordionist Aniceto Molina. Considered “El Embajador de la Cumbia“, Molina would end up becoming more popular outside of his country rather than in his own native Colombia – most notably in Mexico, El Salvador, and among Latinos within the United States. For some reason or another it seems that Aniceto Molina never garnered the full attention of the bigger labels in Colombia and more or less set out on his own. Enjoy!
For the last 2 years I’ve been desperately trying to buy all the cumbia records from Ecuador that I possibly can. You’d think since the country is sandwiched between Colombia and Peru, that I would have a ton of success. But unfortunately I haven’t. It might possibly be that Ecuador didn’t have as robust a musical heritage/recording industry as the other two aforementioned countries, or quite possibly, the music from Ecuador just hasn’t hit the eBay circuit yet. Perhaps I should go to Quito one day.
Nevertheless, the music I do have from Ecuador is as promising as any other form of South American cumbia – with saxophonist Lucho Silva being one of its most popular performers. Silva, born in Guayaquil, began his career as a big-band/jazz musician, but somehow wound up associating himself with cumbia acts in the 70’s and 80’s. I have a suspicion that the Ecuadorian/Andean groups like El Gato and Polito y Su Conjunto used the more mainstream Lucho Silva to legitimize their acts – because before and after this era, Lucho Silva has been nothing but a jazz saxophonist. Despite all that, the music itself is almost a cross between the organ driven cumbia of Mexico and the guitar driven sounds of Peruvian chicha – with a heavy Andean emphasis like no other. The 45 I have of Cumbia del Indio is actually from Mexico (awesome 45 picture sleeve). Most my music from Ecuador is on LP form, so I tossed up 2 of my other favorite songs from a Lucho Silva compilation LP for good measure. Enjoy!
Not sure why I pulled these tracks from the Discos Fuentes label. Four really solid songs, but from a couple of different approaches to the early cumbia genre. The first three are from much more obscure groups/combos and are a good reflection of the traditional cumbia ensemble of the era. Whereas, the more popular/well-known Sonora Cordobesa had success in updating the cumbia genre with its much larger sound. Since most of these 45’s are Mexican reissues, I’m not sure what the exact dates are of the music. Nevertheless, I tried to order them from the more minimal country/folk ensemble to the larger big band approach in the song Lumumba - which can be an indication of some time frame.
On a side/historical note, the overall music presented here isn’t as divergent as you’d think. By the 50’s Discos Fuentes did everything from in-house recording, pressing, and distribution. The result being a distinct style and sound that can often sound the same after a while. It has been said that Discos Fuentes was the Motown of Colombia. It wasn’t until the 60’s when labels like Sonolux and Tropical (which Fuentes later bought) began to offer up different identities to the cumbia genre. Please enjoy!!!
As you know I like my 45 scratchy and slow, so with that I give you these slowed down Peruvian delights.
The first one is La Cumbia del Japones by Los Destellos, notice the riff on Caliventura by Afrosound, not sure which one came first. (on a side note, I know it seems kinda messed up that they would be making fun of the Japanese language etc. but I’m sure they were just having fun joking around with the many plays on language between Spanish & Japanese.)
The next is a killer version of Led Zepplin’s Moby Dick by Los Commandos, I especially like how the slowed down speed adds good weight to those dirgey guitars, and finally, Pollos Ala Brasa by Banda Huarochiri, a beautiful little tune that proves simplicity is the key to greatness. Cheers!
- DJ Lengua
Colombian vs. Mexican cumbias. I’m too busy tonight to write anything else. Plus I don’t wanna start any wars. Enjoy!