Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia 1975-91

Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia 1975-91

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Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia 1975-91

Since the late 1980s, DJs and producers have been reputed to be fierce protectors of their vinyl collections in their same way that bluesman Skip James was reputed to play facing sideways or with his back to other guitarists so they couldn't steal his licks. That said, the modern DJ has nothing on those from the picos (sound systems) of the Caribbean coast of Columbia who hid their rare, prized finds of African recordings (and the musical cultures surrounding them) secret for up to 20 years. The 21 tracks on this stellar Soundways edition showcase the almost unbelievable musical quality that the highly competitive competitive showcased. Palenque Palenque traces the development of champeta criolla in Colombia from its African origins to its full flowering in the grand pico era between the mid-'70s and 1991 in Carategna and Barranquilla, among mainly Colombian musicians on important native labels that were played by the pico DJs -- who often tossed the covers away to protect the knowledge that recordings were made on home soil. Champeta criolla music reveals the rhythm collisions of everything from highlife and Afro-beat to soukous and compas as they influenced local musicians who in turn created new sounds, covered tunes by African artists, and made something new in the process or, in some cases, even re-created African folk and slave songs in their own image -- some of which literally dated back to earlier centuries. While there isn't a dud in the bunch, some of the album's many highlights include the psychedelic cover of Fela Kuti's "Shakara" by Lisandro Meza y Su Conjunto, here entitled "Shacalao"; Abelardo Carbonaó y Su Conjunto's celebratory, highlife-inflected "Palenque" (ever an envelope-pushing musician, he became a member of Anibal Velasquez's amazing orchestra); Rabel y Su Grupo's "Mananye"; the rhythm orgy that is Son Palenque's "Dame un Ttrago," the Afro-beat-meets-roots reggae snakiness of "Dejala Corre" by Banda los Hijos de la Niña Luz, and Wganda Kenya's overdriven "Pim Pom," where Nigerian rhythms, chant, and cumbia wrestle the listener into submission. In addition to the music -- all of which has been painstakingly remastered from original tapes or vinyl sources and sounds terrific, the accompanying 28-page booklet contains a brilliant historical essay by DJ Champeta man original, Lucas Silva, who compiled Palenque Palenque: Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots in Colombia 1975-91 with Soundways main man Miles Clerét. This is indispensable for any fan of African, Latin American, and especially, the music of the Caribbean coastline of Colombia.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/08/2010
Label: Soundway Records
UPC: 0893775001958
catalogNumber: 22

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