Archive for the 'Cumbia' Category

Dos Almendras

From the high-class orchestration of Orquesta Aragon to the low-brow minimal Peruvian sounds of Los Kubaney, we have Almendra (almonds), one of my favorite songs from the Cuban danzón era.

Orquesta Aragon is the type of cuban orchestra where you really can hear the European waltz influence more than an afro-cuban one. Perhaps its the stringed instruments and tight ensemble style that they present. Nevertheless, highly popular and regarded as the best charanga orchestras in the 50’s and 60’s, the Orquesta Aragon still performs to this day.

I probably have 3 other versions of Almendra. This standard is done by all the big names from Perez PradoTito Puente to Johnny Pacheco. But I was really floored by this version from the unknown chicha group Los Kubaney. Even though they forgot their bass player when they recorded this track, this minimal psychedelic electric guitar driven version also boarders on greatness. Enjoy!  

1. Orquesta Aragon: Almendra

2. Los Kubaney: Almendra

Tremendo Ritmo con Los Orientales De Paramonga

I kept getting emails from people who couldn’t get enough of the Peruvian group Los Orientales De Paramonga. So there, bam! Not only do I pander to the crowd, I oblige them. Check out the post I did in February that caused all the ruckus: Day 13.  It’s not like it comes without any merit, these guys are awesome.

Super deep chicha with a touch of psychedelic rhythms. It’s like the cholo (peruvian indians) version of Los Destellos. Both full length Lp’s were produced by the infamous bump-bump Enrique Lynch. And the Bailando Con Dolores chicha compilation, like the previous 45, is on the Colombian Caliente label.  Which is a nice little treat since the song La Danza Del Mono (the dance of the monkey) doesn’t show up on any other of their albums. Gozalo!

1. Los Orientales De Paramonga: Chiquilla En Onda

2. Los Orientales De Paramonga: Guajira Oriental

3. Los Orientales De Paramonga: Siempre Contagiando

4. Los Orientales De Paramonga: El Botecito

5. Los Orientales De Paramonga: La Danza Del Mono

Los Corraleros De Majagual

Probably one of the most popular Discos Fuentes super groups, Los Corraleros De Majagual would eventually bridge the gap between vallenato and the big band cumbia sound of the early 60’s. Large brass sections, percussion, and a heavy emphasis on the accordion. Los Corraleros brought the music of the Atlantic coast region of Colombia to national and even international levels.   

Every member of this band, be it past or present, would eventually become some of the biggest heavy hitters in the Colombian music scene. Alumni included:  Lucho Argain, Tony Zuñiga, Alfredo Gutiérrez, Calixto Ochoa, Lisandro Meza, “Chico” Cervantes, Eliseo Herrera, Anibal Velásquez, Abraham Nuñez, Julio Erazo, Julio Ernesto Estrada “Fruko”, just to name a few. The list goes on.

Keep in mind that the cumbia began as a low-brow form of music. Being born out of interactions between Indian populations and African slaves, the cumbia was not always looked favorably upon by the Colombian upper classes. Simple 4/4 rhythms with distinctive/hypnotic looping beats, minimal compared to the popular music genres from Cuba and Puerto Rico at the time. Take the song Cumbiamberita for example, its like riding a horse at a fast trot. This is definitely the music of the campesino. I purposly pitted the album covers “En Nueva York” and “Aqui Estan” together. Los Corraleros look happier in their sombreros  vueltiados  Enjoy! 

1. Los Corraleros De Majagual: No Me Busques

2. Los Corraleros De Majagual: Cumbiamberita

3. Los Corraleros De Majagual: Ritmo De Juventud

4. Los Corraleros De Majagual: Pachanga En La 13

5. Los Corraleros De Majagual: Lamento Cumbiambero

6. Los Corraleros De Majagual: Tingo Al Tango

7. Los Corraleros De Majagual: Bailen Charanga

8. Los Corraleros De Majagual: La Tos

Day 14: Son Tropical Yumuri de Juan Torres

 I suffer because I love you.

Happy Valentines Day!

1. Son Tropical Yumuri de Juan Torres: Sufro Porque Te Quiero

Day 13: Los Orientales De Paramonga

Kind of had no time this weekend, sorry folks. But I did get a request via email from someone in Peru for the Peruvian Los Orientales. I have a few records with this Chicha outfit, so maybe I’ll elaborate more some other day. But for now…..Enjoy!

1. Los Orientales De Paramonga: Lobos Al Escape

Day 9: Colombian Micro-Genres

Hey Franko, thanks for letting me do this! I have a few different 45’s I’ll try to post up this month, starting with this Cumbia microgenre from Colombia – Pa’ Que Veas by Cristobal Perez Y Su Conjunto. It’s described as an “Apretaito” from the Spanish “Apretar” meaning to press or push… and that’s the vibe you get. Not super hyphy, but a relentless beat that keeps things moving for the dance floor. What’s more, since this is a b side and not on a yellow label that begins with “F”, you might be able to find it for really cheap.

-Sport Casual

You can check out Sport Casual’s website – There are some amazing Latin mixes on that site, especially the El Bigote sleepy beats and breaks one. The Moustache Mix!

Thanks Sacha (aka Sport Casual) for this wonderful track. I know it’s hard finding out information about some seriously obscure Latin musicians, next to impossible sometimes. But you really hit a nerve with me when you used the term “micro-genre”, especially when explaining a cumbia conjunto from Colombia. There are hundreds of genres from the Atlantic coast, to Andean regions, to the Pacific, to even the insular regions of Colombia. I tossed in a few tracks of one of my favorite musicians Anibal Velasquez to show how different two 45’s can make. There is no other musician I can think of who was more prolific and has traversed more Colombian “micro-genres” than Anibal Velasquez himself. I won’t say anymore than that. A certain somebody from a certain record label is putting out a collection of his music, which I actually contributed to. These two songs made the cutting room floor and I wanted to save a post on Anibal long after that record is released. Enjoy!

-Sonido Franko

 1. Cristobal Perez Y Su Conjunto: Pa’ Que Veas

2. Anibal Velasquez: Soy Guajiro

3. Anibal Velasquez Y Su Conjunto: La Pollera Apreta

Day 6: Pepito Quechua

Well, it’s been a long time coming. Joe’s been trying to get me to contribute to Super Sonido for a while and I finally got it together to drop a little some’n some’n.

My pick is a track by a little known singer named Pepito Quechua. On this track he is backed up by the amazing Grupo Celeste some of whom went on to back up the immortal Chacalon in his band “Chacalon y La Nueva Crema“, an amazing Chicha band that is widely considered the “official” sound of Chicha.

Anyways, the reason I love this tune is not only for it’s great guitar solo and the soulful yearning in Pepito’s voice but because it’s the only Guaracha I have heard with lyrics in Quechua. One of the few things I was taught by my dad & uncles from Peru was how to count in Quechua, and when I first heard Pepito’s count down to kick off the jam “huk…iskay…quimsa!…”, which is “1,2,3” in Quechua, I thought “damn Pepito’s got it goin on!!!” In Peru there is a lot of pride in being Cholo/Indio, but there’s also a lot of discrimination. I see this song as one of the few genuine mestizo tunes, taking the coastal Guaracha with the heavy guitar riffs and the great rolling bass & tropical percussion and mixing it with the Spanish and the native tongue and rhythms, all executed with style and pride. The little else I can translate is something about “urpicha = my dove” and “yananyawi = dark eyes” and the chorus in the end of the song has the word “misky” which translates to “tight wad, or penny pincher” which would make sense considering the title of the song is “Por Que No Me Das?” (Why do you not give?)

Anyways, I thought I’d also post the rebajada version, considering that it is the way I prefer to play a lot of my 45’s. This subject will take a bit longer to get into, and I plan on droppin a rebajada mix here very soon, but for the peeps that don’t know, rebajadas are slowed down tracks that change the song entirely and give it a different more laid back rhythm and makes the vocals sound like they’re sippin on syrup, if you know what I mean. Anyways, there’s a lot of theories as to who, how, and why did rebajadas start, but I chalk it up to the fact that super fast Descargas & Guarachas from Peru & Colombia actually sound a hell of a lot more like Cumbia when the 45 is played at 33 RPM. Theories about record players with dying batteries are good stories, but I think people just dig the doped out style. Forgive the skip at the end, Enjoy!


P.S. I’m not sure if this is the same man 40 years later, but something tells me it is. Pepito rockin the Huayno comedy, “Teta Chueca!!” pretty damn funny, oh man…

Thanks DJ Lengua for the amazing post and Quechua lessons. You can catch visual artist, musician, and my number one homeboy Dj Lengua spinning records @ Mas Exitos  a biweekly event every 2nd and 4th Tuesdays @ the Verdugo in Los Angeles. And when he’s not being artistic you can find him driving his truck around L.A. with his wife Gina and their dog Pepino. Keep posted for future Lengua mixes and other joint posts on Super Sonido. Just to elaborate, rebajada is a popular dj style in Mexico. I wanted to point out that some dj’s take super fast gaitas and slow them down to a more danceable beat. Lengua and I will collaborate on a post sometime in the future.

-Sonido Franko

1. Pepito Quechua: Por Que No Me Das

2. Pepito Quechua: Por Que No Me Das (Estilo Rebejada)

Day 3: El Costa Azul de Rigo Tovar

Two great instrumentals from Rigo Tovar’s backing band El Costa Azul (the blue coast), the originators of the cumbia/tropical movement in Mexico. The first pioneers to fuse traditional Mexican, baladas, and cumbia with synthesizers, guitars, and rock melodies. Not as hard-hitting as their Colombian counterparts, but Rigo Tovar’s sound continues to influence countless artists in Mexico to this day. These two tracks sound more like Cumbia Peruana.

El Costa Azul would go through many incarnations throughout the 70’s, but the main focus of the band would always be Rigo,  who has been called the Elvis Presley of Mexico. Here is the best way to explain Rigo Tovar: he was born in Matamoros Mexico, he was born with sunglasses on his face, and would sell more tickets than the Pope himself (he actually broke an attendance record by the Pope).  Enjoy!!!  (Veracruz track skips sorry)

1. El Costa Azul De Rigo Tovar: Palmeras

2. Costa Azul: Verano En Veracruz

Day 2: Luis Gómez y su Conjunto

Now I don’t know much about this person, and I’m sure he didn’t make many records, because this guy is really under the radar. Plus, I didn’t feel like searching when I googled his name. There must be over a million men in Latin American with the name Luis Gómez. At any rate, two great songs from one of my favorite Colombian labels: Tropical. It seems odd but these two songs mash-up descarga, boogaloo and the pachanga genre into one. And both have the same name? But what’s even more confusing is that musically they are playing in a more or less rag-tag cumbia conjunto style. South Americans trying to capture the New York sound….amazing!!! Listen carefully to the second track, the female singer is talking shit about Puerto Rican men. Why I find that funny, I have no idea.

1. Luis Gómez y su Conjunto: Descarga En Acordeon

2. Luis Gómez y su Conjunto: Descarga En Acordeon

Cumbia En Marimba

The marimba was exported from Africa around the 16th century and has been popularized by either Western classical concert instruments, jazz/Latin jazz, or as Latin American folk instruments. For some reason or another it was Central America that really embraced it. From Southern Mexico to Nicaragua you can find traditional marimba street musicians in just about every larger city square (almost like the mariachi in Mexico). I’m not sure about South America, but from what I understand it extends down there also. However, the marimba is especially popular in Guatemala, to the point where bands like Marimba Orquesta Gallito have become a national symbol of tradition and culture. These larger marimba bands can incorporate any genre of music from  traditional folkloric songs, mambos, to even a form of big-band Discos Fuentes style cumbias (which is pretty much the focus of this article). Almost like the accordion in Colombia and the guitar in Peru. I threw in a few Colombian cumbia standards for good measure. Also, Marimba Chiapas is from the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, which is just as much geographically and culturally similar to Guatemala than Mexico itself. Enjoy!

Peep the comment section, Sports Casual @ put up a cool ass video of some Mexican kids jamming out to the marimba in the state of Oaxaca. Also he supplied this awesome pick of a marimba band for hire. God I miss Mexico. 

1. Marimba Orquesta Gallito: A La Cumbia

2. Marimba Orquesta Gallito: Barranquillerita

3. Marimba Orquesta Gallito: Cumbia Tropical

4. Marimba Chiapas: La Pollera Amarilla

Descarga Chicha

In my earlier post about Los Destellos I stopped shy of classifying them as a chicha group. From how I see it, their entire image  wasn’t as rooted in the Amerindian experience and I will go as far as saying that their sound wasn’t as “low brow” either. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to demean a class of music or a class of people. And when I say “low brow”, it can still be some of the best music around in my opinion. Take for example this compilation record, it has Peruvian chicha written all over it. Some of the more tell-tale signs are independent record labels (Virrey), cheap electric instrumentation (most likely 60’s/70’s super inexpensive Japanese knock offs), minimal garage type sounds, bands/groups that rarely appear on more than one record, and hookers with wigs on the front cover (just kidding). Also, Chicha versions of cumbias, descaragas and guarachas (rapid tempo cumbias, a bit different from the Cuban form of guaracha) are probably the most popular genres played from these third-rate musicians. Yeah, maybe not the best musicians out there, but definitely first-rate sounds. Enjoy!

1. Los Corraleros: Descarga Corralero

2. Los 5 Gatos: Que Rico Chicha

3. Los 5 Gatos: Descarga Sabrosa

Funky Yucatán Part 2

It comes as no surprise that the region in Mexico, an area of sweltering heat, would be among the first to embrace a new form of cumbia, tropical, and funk in the late 60’s to early 70’s. I’ve actually been to the Mexican state of Campeche (where Los Socios are from) and all I remember is that I had a bloody nose the entire time I was there, due to heat exhaustion and oil refinery production most likely. But, where else do you find descendants of Mayan indians with curly hair playing funk? The Yucatán. Please see my prior post Funky Yucatán Part 1. After 60+ records and a Grammy nomination, it was Los Socios Del Ritmo (the partners of rhythm) that were much more associated with a tamer version of cumbia/tropical and not the hard hitting rhythms I am presenting to you now. I threw in a version of Pérez Prado’s Mambo No. 8++ (a potpourri mix that heats up after 2:30 mins. or so). I just wanted to point out Prado’s influence and popularity at the time, an influence that extends to Norteño, Grupo and Banda in Mexico to this day. Frijol Con Puerco (pork and beans)? Who doesn’t like those?

btw/fyi Mambo No. 8 is a larger file, so watch yourselves.

1. Los Socios Del Ritmo: Frijol Con Puerco

2. Los Socios Del Ritmo: Mambo No. 8, Que Rico Mambo, Mambo Universitario

Manzanita: El Jardinero

Friday and Sunday nights are good nights for me to drop some posts. The more I write = the less work I’ve had and less binge drinking I’ve done all week. But this week’s laziness can be attributed to a horrible cold I’ve had. I hope it’s not the Al Pastor Flu. God have mercy on my soul.

El Jardinero (the gardener) comes from one of my favorite peruvian guitar slingers Manzanita y su Conjunto. I’m sure I’ll do a post on this guy in the future. Big shout out to my Latin soul brother Dj Joe Quixx, he’s been requesting this one every time I see him. And who wouldn’t? The song is incredible. A bit on the sluggish side, but so am I.     

1. Manzanita: El Jardinero


Shark Attack Con Los Tiburones


1. Los Tiburones: La Reina Y La Cumbia

2. Los Tiburones: Descarga Tiburona

I’ve been catching some flack by some other dj’s for letting go of some of my funkier Latin numbers. And I can understand where they are coming from. I understand how some dj’s want some sort of exclusive domain over a gem they found. Maybe it’s to protect their set, I don’t know. But I don’t really care and I never have. As I see it, the music doesnt belong to me anyway and as a dj I always appreciate it when someone wants to know what you’re playing. Shit I even let people pilfer through my crate to peep all my records (as long as they dont look like they’d walk off with it). At least I have someone in the audience actually listening.

With that being said, I’m sure there will be someone in this world upset that I’m giving you this funk bomb from Colombia’s Los Tiburones (the sharks). I just got this album from Mexico and I’m really loving the blend of funk, cumbia, descarga, and gaitero music. It appears to be a commemorative record for Colombian Carnival in 1968 (most likely the Carnival of Barranquilla). A real fusion of Native, European and Afro-Colombian sounds and cultures. Which essentially is what Carnival is all about. It’s like the worlds first ever multicultural event, a party where race and class are mixed up for a time being. Pretty much a reflection of the record itself. 

The album is on the Tropical label (one of my favorites) and has the popular Aniceto Molina on accordion and Duque Palomino singing from Discos Fuentes fame.

Discos Musart: Pan-American Beats

I’m anticipating a busy September so I thought I’d toss up a bunch of music while time was on my side. Discos Musart is a label from Mexico and I kind of scrapped together 10 little gems for you people. The great part of Musart was not only their home grown acts but they would also license music from various other Latin American labels and different Latin American countries. They really ran the gamut of genres. From cumbia, boleros, rancheros, to surf rock. The records themselves were often printed in Mexico, Los Angeles, and Hialeah Florida. Thus, the Pan-Americanism. Good friend and Mexican dj Sonido Apokalitzin reissued a few compilation CD’s for Musart about 2-3 years ago. Unfortunately you could only buy those CD’s in Mexico (I have one of them). Seems like he went through their vaults and picked out some really funky numbers. I hope my 45’s stack up.

1. Memo Salamanca: Barranquillerita

2. Nelson Pinedo: Botecito De Vela

3. Los Gibson Boys de Xavier Reyes: Camisa De Fuerza

4. Ramiro Lopez con Conj Barranqueños: Cataclismo

5. Alfredo Gutiérrez: Cumbia

6. Eulogio Molina: Cumbia Morena

7. Carlos Campos y su Orquesta: Guajira Con Boogaloo

8. Emilio Dominguez: Marinero De Agua Dulce

9. Manolo Muñoz: Seremos Felices

10. Alberto Vazquez: Vamos A Bailar



















los gibson


















alfredo cumbia














































Mexico City Bootleg

 1. Desconocido: Cumbia Del Requinto

2. Desconocido: Cumbia Mexicana

3. Desconocido: La Derrota De León














 Got this one in Mexico City about 3-4 years ago. My buddy Eamon (Dj Lengua) and I have a record dealer in D.F. who showed up to our hotel room and not only did he bring bags of records, but he also brought his entire family. According to Morelos (that’s his name), it was he who single handily brought cumbia to Mexico in the 70’s (highly unlikely). Although he did mention going to Colombia to bring records back to Mexico during that era, which seems more plausible. We tried to guess why he’d bring his family, but the more logical answer was that it was his wife who brought him. Maybe it was to make sure Morelos wouldn’t end up spending all the money he made in some bar. Puro Naco style.

Amazing cumbia bootleg/compilation record from Mexico. It’s a real mixed bag in terms of  styles and eras. From the 60’s to the 80’s, from South America to Mexico, to cumbias and gaitas. The three songs I selected pretty much reflect that and are songs that I either don’t have or that rarely show up on other vinyl/cd’s. An album like this just shows you how maliable the cumbia sound can be. Cumbia’s basic 4/4 rhythm structure and simple lyrics can really be mixed with any generation and/or regional music style.  I have a friend who actually owns Vol I and I still can’t figure out if those two girls are dancing or fighting. Desconocido (unknown). They don’t have the artists listed, which seems appropriate since it’s a bootleg. La Derrota De León (the path to Leon) is a great version of the cumbia sampuesana.

Los Casmeños

Los Casmenos1. Los Casmeños: Boogaloo

2. Los Casmeños: Casma

Don’t know too much about these dudes except for the fact that Enrique Delgado happened to have written some of the songs. I’m not even certain if he plays guitar on this album. The person who sold it to me indicated that it was pre-Los Destellos (peep my prior post about them). But from the look and sound of the record, it would be safe to say that it was produced around the same time. Casmeño is a person from the Casma region of Peru. Tried searching for more info on this band, but nothing else turned up. Looks like this is there only one on the super rare Futuro label.

Los Destellos

Los Destellos

1. Los Destellos: Descarga Electrica

Under the direction of lead guitarist Enrique Delgado, Los Destellos (the sparkles, like a star) are pretty much known as the founders of Cumbia Peruana circa 1966. Now I am pretty sceptical about using the word chicha to define their genre of music.  I feel that chicha is more associated with 70’s and 80’s transient Andean cumbia, a music that is probably rooted more in Amerindian sounds, beliefs and the harshness of the Amerindian experience (hardship, displacement, lament). Whether they influenced the chicha movement later on or became part of it by default, I’m not 100% sure.  However, Los Destellos appear to be more part of the Lima Mestizo culture (mixture of Indian/Spanish blood). And can be reflected in the way which their sounds fuse Latin boogaloo, psychedelic rock, soul, Colombian cumbia, tropical and indigenous music in a whole host of ways. 

En Orbita

2. Los Destellos: Cumbia Morena

3. Los Destellos: Boogaloo De Los Destellos

Charangos(Andean mandolins), requintos, and guitars are a huge part of Peruvian musical culture. Tavern life is filled with them supposedly.  So any transition to a modern sound would probably have been seem-less for a group like the guitar laden Destellos. And Peruvian music at this time seems to really embrace the electric guitar. The Cumbia Morenais a great example of them playing a traditional Colombian cumbia with this more electric sound. Whereas, the Boogaloo De Los Destellos almost sounds like a Latin version of the American psychedelic rock band The Byrds. With an electric 12 string and the highly melodic guitar playing, it reminded me instantly of Roger Mcguinn’s style.   


4. Los Destellos: Me Resignare

The albums I’m posting are in order by catalogue number. I have a few other LP’s that should be in this group, but I have seemed to have misplaced them. Maybe I’ll amend this post if I ever find them. But for the most part this is pretty good discography and I am trying to run the entire gamut of sounds Los Detellos produced. On a side note I know that from looking at some of the musicians in the band that they show up in other groups on the Odeon/Iempsa label. The dude playing the bongos is in Los Orientales De Paramonga. Perhaps they were session musicians at the time.

en la cumbre

5. Los Destellos: Carnaval De Arequipa

6. Los Destellos: Boogaloo Del Perro

Arequipa is a the second largest city in Peru and is way up in the Andean Mountains. This song is a pretty traditional number. You’re probably more likely to hear this tune being played by Andean pan-pipe and poncho musicians. Definitely on the chicha tip this one.


7. Los Destellos: Noche De GaruaArrollando

Garuais the dry winds that hit the lower western slopes of the Andes creating a low-level of cloud. Within the Andes Mountains the garua blocks out the sun for the cooler six months of the year, and there is almost no rainfall during this period. With the title, this instrumental song sounds almost like something the Ventures would do. Surf/garage music was pretty big in Peru in the early 60’s. Groups like Los Saicos, Los Shains, Los Yorks, Los Doltons are to name a few.

clase aparte

8. Los Destellos: El Pacifico

9. Los Destellos: El Electrico

10: Los Destellos: La Cumbia Del Sol

11. Los Destellos: Tu Donde Estas

Hands down my all time favorite record of Los Destellos. In fact, I like it so much I began to eat to lower right hand corner of the album cover. Peep the break beat ballad Tu Donde Estas (where are you?), it’s a hip-hop track waiting to be copped. 


12. Los Destellos: Constelacion

13. Los Destellos: Pachanga Espanola

I probably have 3 more Los Destellos  records, but like always, their later stuff just isn’t as good. Apparently Los Destellos had a resurgence of popularity in the 80’s that lasted until Enrique Delgado died in the early 90’s. The band still performs today, but I believe it’s the widowed wife of Enrique who runs the band now. If I find any more records of theirs, I’ll amend the post. Also, thanks to all the Japanese viewers as of late who have been vibing this site. Word!

Cumbia Arabe


1. Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán: Cumbia Arabe

I am so lucky I didn’t throw this 45 in the “I’ll go through these 45’s later” bin. Usually when I see the word Mariachi, ill toss the 45 straight into that abyss I have created in my basement. But fortunately I saw the words Cumbia + Arabe (Arab) on it, a song which I am very familiar with.

Thanks to everyone who liked my earlier Afrosound post. It got a lot of attention and it’s one of the reasons why I am posting this 45. This song was originally written by them (Francisco Bobadillo/Afrosound) and despite being a bit more heavy on the Mariachi  orchestration, this cover tune is almost exactly like it’s original.

Tecalitlán is located in the central state of Jalisco and it is pretty much the birth place of Mariachi music. Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán created the sound in 1897 and after 5 generations, they still perform today. This is a really great link to see how popular South American music is/was in Mexico and how cumbia was gaining ground with regional styles at the time.

Trying to do a Los Destellos post this Sunday. Please cross your fingers.

Nueva Cumbia Argentina


1. Princesa: Aqui Princesa (Marcela Fabian RMX)

Just got this EP in the mail today and I couldn’t be happier. Excellent selection of remixes by some emerging South American talent.

Soot records is the brainchild of New York Dj and producer Jace Clayton aka Dj /rupture.  You can listen to his radio show called  “Mudd Up!” on Wednesdays, 7-8p.m. on WFMU New Jersey/New York. And you can check him out on his blog Mudd Up! Looks like the Soot records label website isn’t up yet, but I highly anticipate any future releases.

I couldn’t find out too much info on Princesa, but the other dj’s I’m familiar with via the Bersa Discos label. To be honest with you I’m not a huge fan of reggaetón, let alone this new school of cumbiaton (cumbia/reggaetón fusion). To me it’s really hit or miss. However, this Princesa track seems to really hit me where it counts. It reminds me of the more old school Reggae en Español popularized by Central American/Panamanian artists like Nando Boom and El General. This minimal Spanish dancehall, dem bow, Shabba Ranks influenced stuff is where it’s at. There is a sick Los Destellos rmx by Sonido Martines also, which happens to be one of my favorite cumbia/psyche groups out of 60’s/70’s Peru (I’ll do an article on them soon).

Turntable Lab carries this joint and Juno in Europe. Highly recommended.

Funky Yucatan

L10008531. Chicken Y Sus Comandos: Caminando Despacito

When one thinks of music from the Yucatan peninsula in the 60’s and 70’s the first name that should come to mind is the musical genius Francisco José Hernández Mandujano, aka Chico Che.

Supposedly Chico Che had either formed or influenced bands from all over the Yucatan. Combos like Los 7 Modernistas, Los Temerarios, and groups like Chicken Y Sus Comandos. The influences ranged from regional upbeat Mexican, organ/farfisa grinding funk, and a heavy emphasis on South American cumbia (which for some reason the style of music is generally referred to as música tropical). Chico Che went on to form Chico Che y La Crisis (don’t care much for his music). All very similar to Rigo Tovar’s style of tropical.

Caminando Despacito (walking/strutting slowly) is a funky cover from Eddie Palmeri, whose version is pretty dope as well.

L10008552. Chicken Y Sus Comandos: Cumbia Sampuesana

This song actually doesn’t come off this LP pictured on the left. I have an extra mp3 version which I only wanted to share with everyone. Chicken Y Sus Comandos’s version of the traditional Colombian song La Cumbia Sampuesana shows the direction in which Yucatan groups at the time were taking with música tropical, a fusion of very loud cumbia, funk, psyche and rock. The song really attacks you like a hawk from the sky. Unfortunately most the music from these guys don’t end up sounding like this.


*** Please note I amended the prior post “El Zarape” with a new track. Check it out!


l10006931. Afrosound: Caliventura

The Afrosound is Colombia’s reaction to the early 1970’s Chicha movement that was happening in Peru and Bolivia at the time. José María Fuentes saw the popularity of this new type of hybrid cumbia sound and thus created a sort of Discos Fuentes  super group. 

Produced by Julio Estrada (Fruko El Bueno), Afrosound not only incorporated the Andean guitar laden sound, but mixed in some funk, salsa/son, tropical, disco, and afro colombian rhythms to boot. The result being  cumbia party albums from start to finish. These are the kind of LPs you can just walk away from for 20 mins. while you’re djing.

(side note: I think that it is Fruko who is MC’ing for these guys)

2. Afrosound: La Magdalena

I was going to choose the title tract as the second song, which is actually a cover tune from the Andean group Los Mirlos. But I decided on one of my favorite cuts from the album. Afrosound again is putting their own chicha stamp on the traditional cumbia La Magdalena. Here is a good example of how traditional cumbia instrumentation is being swapped for the electric guitar, farifisas (possibly), hoeners, ect. It is a good reflection on how malleable cumbia rhythms can be from past to present and from country to country.


3. Afrosound: Carruseles

Carruseles (Merry-go-round) is probably one of Afrosound’s more difficult records to find for some reason. And it appears to be one of their most experimental lp’s of the all the ones I will be showing you. I’ve got a hand full of other versions of the song Carruseles and I might put them all up in the future. The Conjunto Miramar and Anibal Velasquez versions are dope. The lyrics to the original song itself are sexually suggestive, but Afrosound’s instrumental is like cumbia/son on an acid trip.

Nevertheless, it’s in my opinion that the tropical sounds mixed with psychedelic guitars would only have made music like this much more affable to the Latin American public, while showing off the exploritory side of a bunch of amazing musicians.  

4. Afrosound: Mi Sonsito

I thought I’d throw in another track off this album. This time with a calypso number. Trying to put in every genre I suppose. Enjoy! 


5. Afrosound: La Gozadera

6. Afrosound: Onda Brava

Although some records might be harder to find than others, picking up music from Afrosound isn’t that difficult. Unfortunately, the last time I checked, Discos Fuentes doesn’t sell cd’s online outside of South America. However, you just need to go to a good Latin American cd store and one should be able to pick up a full length or compilation cd of their music. Their popularity and influence is broader than we can imagine North of Mexico.

Anyway, sometimes you can actually judge a book by it’s cover. And if this cover is any indication of what the album is going to sound like, then you know Onda Brava (Brave Wave) is going to be a party.

l100069617. Afrosound: Calor

Someone told me that Vampisoul records is supposed to be putting out an Afrosound compilation. Which will be awesome. So if you have a hard time tracking these songs down, those guys always seem to make it easier. Also, I spoke with Beto from Soundway records a couple years ago when they released The Golden Age Of Discos Fuentes. We actually had a discussion about  Afrosound.  I bet they will put them in the second time around.



8. Afrosound: Tiro Al Blancol1000689

Tiro Al Blanco (slang: awesome, something that is the best) is a cumbia version of Massara’s 1979 Italo-disco hit “Margarita”. This song is probably Afrosounds biggest hit as well.  This infectious number has been covered often and may sound like a familiar sample from a Manu Chao song.

Anyway, these are pretty much some of the best Afrosound records I own from the 70’s to the 80’s. I didn’t have much luck with any of their music after this. From what I understand the group went through many different musicians/producers until they disbanded in 80’s. They do a song called Cumbia Arabe (Cumbia of the Arab) which I’ve heard (it’s great), yet it still eludes me on vinyl.

Chico Sonido

mas-discotheque-myspace Just wanted to drop another great audio set I heard recently from Chico Sondio. I’ve had the honor to dj with Chico a few times at Mas Exitos/Mas Discoteca and the guy absolutely floors me with the stuff he’s got. I’m constantly asking him “what the fuck was that song?” Some of the sickest and jankiest Latin beats on the planet.

Be sure to listen to his “paisadelic” set at the fully fitted blog. Peep the last song also, which is coming out on his debut album. From the sound of it, it’ll probably be one of my favorite records this year.

Fucking great stuff Chico!

From Russia With Love

untitled1I truly think it’s great that old school Latin beats and breaks are gaining  popularity. It’s awesome to hear dj’s  playing more Spanish language music and it’s about time America starts appreciating it. I’ve been selling records on Ebay for about 8+ years and in the beginning the majority of the Latin music I sold would have gone straight to Western Europe. Lately though my buyers are popping up all over the world. And who would have ever thought that you could hear cumbia in Russia?

Anyway, the other day I got an email from Dj Pablo (Pavel). Thank you for the accolades. Looks like people in Moscow have their first sonidero. Check out the links to the two mixes he sent me. Amazing music. Fucking brilliant!

El Zarape

1. Joe Bravo: Yolanda joe-bravo

Pretty obscure stuff from the El Zarape label. Now most of the music I’ve heard from this label seems to be really bad regional Mexican. However, every now and again these Tex-Mex labels would always throw in some sort of funky cut.

Yolanda I believe was originally a popular cha-cha-cha number.  And I think I actually own an LP from Joe Bravo and it doesn’t sound anything like this.




mex-rev2. The Mexican Revolution: Listen Here

The song “Soul Searching” by The Mexican Revolution is the song with the big fat break so I hear (I don’t have it). But the soul jazz cover of Eddie Harris’ “Listen Hear” will do just fine. This standard is pretty much covered by everyone.  






augustine_ramirez_el_cautivador3. Augustine Ramirez: She’s Looking Good

Found this today in a stack a records I was going through. Didn’t even realized I owned this joint. Anyway, I thought I’d amend this post by putting the best song on the album up for you people.

Again, more bad regional Mexican music from the El Zarape label, except for the Roger Collins’ cover She’s Looking Good. To go from crappy polkas and horrible rancheras to a soul number is beyond me. It probably was  the thing to do back in the day or maybe even the label/producer’s idea. This happens repeatedly on labels like this, Gas, Musart, and other Mexican/Mexican American record labels of this era.  

DJ Lengua

1. Dj Lengua: Cumbia Squares

We just released the 7 song debut ep from Dj Lengua on Discos Unicornio. Now Eamon is not only a business partner, but my best friend. So I think it would be unfair for me to write anything more about this. If anyone wants to take a crack at it, word!

Otherwise, I’ll just post my personal favorite tune on this ep and i’ll post turntable lab’s review of Dj Lengua’s efforts. Hit me up if you want a copy. It can also be found at &

Discos Unicornio

(From Turntable Lab) Killer debut from LA’s DJ Lengua, aka visual artist Eamon Ore-Giron. Lengua’s dropped some mixtapes in the past and is well known at the infamous Club Unicornio nights in the Bay, but this EP finds him really flexing his skills, foremost of which is the ability to fuse loops from traditional Latin tunes and cumbias with chunky, straightforward beats to create seriously infectious tracks. “Cumbia Squares(1)” ramps up with tasty, dusty drums and circular flute / xylophone licks before the repeated “cumbia cumbia cuuumbiiiaa!” chants and accompanying guitar coda seal the deal; the L Pacheco remix(2) sticks to the original’s blueprint, extending the track for your mixing pleasure while dubbing things out a bit. There’s a little boom bap, organ stabs and some deep percussive flourishes on the upbeat “L Dolor(3)” and some just plain lovely stuff in “L Pacheco(4),” but probably the most immediate track here is the guitar driven “Mi Camino(5).” Tucked away at the end, don’t skip the 7+ minute bloopy minimal electronic version of “Low Rider,” entitled “Lowrider Mambo(6).” 7 tracks; 30 minutes. Recommended.

–Chris Lemon-Red, Turntable Lab

Los Zheros

1. Los Zheros: Descarga De Los Zheros

I could’nt find any info on Los Zheros (the zeros) or it’s members. I searched the inter-net, other audio blogs, even Peruvian message boards. Not one scrap of information besides the liner notes. Maybe it is an indication of how short lived the band was? Or maybe it’s just the shroud of mystery that is part of Los Zheros’ legacy?

As indicated on the back, guitarist and vocalist Chocho Alvan seems to be the band leader accompanied by his two brothers and three other band mates. Their ages range from 16 to 22 at the time this debut album was made.

There seems to be an emphasis on their academic professions and the school each member is attending. Maybe this record was a youth project of some sort? Anyway, definitely one of my favorite records from Peru. “Cuarto Oscuro” (dark room) is a total crossbreed of cumbia, garage/rock, and descarga all done in the distinct guitar heavy Peruvian style. The rough edged quality of these songs makes for an overall awesome sound. I could care less if these guys were 16 or 60.