This latest offering has been a long time coming I have to admit. Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to make a mix that doesn’t adhere to strict genre or thematic boundaries, but it really can be one of the most rewarding ways of listening to music. Genre-hopping in a somewhat geographic manner, these songs in part are testament to the sort of records that can be found in Massachusetts–with Trinidad, Cabo Verde, Haiti and Jamaica all making solid contributions. They also showcase some of the wonderful sounds of places like Guinea, Martinique, and Colombia. I could only wish that records from these places turned up around here with some frequency.
Musical vibrations of earth. Transmitting frequencies live from Ruffluxembourg.
Lejana Campina – Dexter Johnson et Super Star De Dakar
Sans Humanite – Lara Brothers
Manman La Greve Barré Moin – Hurard Coppet & Max Ransay
Parede Bedje – Bana & Voz de Cabo-Verde
El Golpe Que Dan Los Hombres – Los Autenticos Corraleros de Majagual
Papa Loco – Coupé Cloué
Tara – Camayenne Sofa
Maristela – Azambuja & Cia
Rock On – Gregory Isaacs
Ewa – Dr. Victor Olaiya
Sack Dress – Lord Melody & Marjorie Johnson
Te Olvide – Grupo Cumbia Soledeña
Lejana Campina – Dexter Johnson et Super Star De Dakar A Senegalese cover of a Cuban Son from the Septeto Nacional, this comes from a four track 45 on the N’Dardisc label. A really great example of Latin music recorded by West African musicians–there’s something eerie and distant in the sound of the recording that I love and has made this one of my favorite pieces of wax over the years.
Sans Humanite – Lara Brothers Parang comes from the Latin music tradition in Trinidad and is mostly associated with Christmas. The Lara Brothers are one of the most important Parang outfits of the 20th century (there is a nice page about them here).
Manman La Greve Barré Moin – Hurard Coppet & Max Ransay Clarinetist H’urard Coppet (pictured at the top) brings the Biguine niceness on this disk alongside Max Ransay on the vocals and the rest of the unnamed band. I think that I bought this lp in Montreal and wasn’t into it at the time, so it was a nice discovery when I fished it out of storage a few weeks ago. The album is Sous Le Ciel des Antilles on the Parade label.
Parede Bedje – Bana & Voz de Cabo-Verde An uptempo Coladera selection from the one Bana and the Voz de Cabo-Verde band. I’ve known of this band for a while from my very minimal exposure to Capeverdean music but recently was happy to find one of their records for cheap at a local spot. This one is called Penssamento e Segredo and was originally released in Holland.
El Golpe Que Dan Los Hombres – Los Autenticos Corraleros de Majagual When I came back to Boston from Colombia, I had a lot, a lot, of records to listen to. There was only so much that I could take in at a time, so I tended to ignore things that looked less promising for one reason or another. It worked out pretty well because I am still discovering albums and tracks that I looked over or dismissed on first listen. This song has so much of what I love about Cumbia music–everything from the rhythm, the horns, the vocals, is just raw. There’s no other way to describe it. Chico Cervantes handles the vocals for the Corraleros supergroup on this 1976 Discos Fuentes release.
Papa Loco – Coupé Cloué Coupé Cloué really needs no introduction being one of Haiti’s most renowned musicians with a career dating back to the fifties. Some nice minor key Konpa vibes on this one.
Tara – Camayenne Sofa I don’t know much about Camayenne Sofa except that they were a popular orchestra from Guinea that began as le Sextet Camayenne and recorded on Editions Syliphone–the national imprint based in Conakry. ‘Tara’ is the opening track on the consistent and dope La Percee LP.
Maristela – Azambuja & Cia This song comes from an interesting Brazilian release from 1975 that is a mixture of music and spoken comedy. The record label is CID, and it turned up in Fall River a few months back. Southeastern Ma. is a great place to find lusophone vinyl for sure, I just wish I came across albums like this one more often.
Rock On – Gregory Isaacs The Cool Ruler kills it on this Niney the Observer production. A longtime favorite that I just recently came up on, ‘Rock On’ is an absolutely wicked tune. The Ziggy Observer 12″ is backed by ‘Jah is Watching’/’Hustling’ by Dennis Brown & Dillinger. There’s another version of ‘Rock On’ with a more sparse rhythm track that is worth looking out for.
Ewa – Dr. Victor Olaiya Highlife with Calypso seasoning by Nigerian pioneer Dr. Victor Olaiya. This one comes from a Dutch compilation from the eighties.
Sack Dress – Lord Melody & Marjorie Johnson Nat Hepburn’s March of the Dimes Quartette and Cyril Diaz’s Orchestra are the backing musicians while Lord Melody and Marjorie Johnson trade verses on this fifties-era Calypso. Cook Laboratories out of Stamford, Connecticut was responsible for this and a number of other worthwhile Caribbean music releases.
Te Olvide – Grupo Cumbia Soledeña Closing out the mix is Grupo Cumbia Soledeña’s version of ‘Te Olvide’, originally penned by Antonio María Peñaloza and made famous by the Sonora Curro. This concludes another installment of the Ruff Luxury mixtape show. Please do let me know if you enjoy the music.