Category Archives: boston

Ruff Luxury 17: Sound of Our Own

Ruff Luxury goes digital for mixtape number 17.  Thirty seven minutes of bump, recorded cdj/vinyl style in september 2012.  Cumbia, 3bal, Kurudo, Jungle, Semba, Bmore, Funana and all that good stuff. (tracklist after the jump)

For the Boston massive, do remember–Sunday night September 23rd RUFFNECK FASHION meets DUDLEY DISCO inside of Zuzubar (474 Mass Ave).  This will be the final RFFNKFSHN going down at the Zuzu location, so if you haven’t made it out yet now is the time!  Dudley Disco, Mista Pala Pala and Trizlam–10pm, Free.

Other upcoming events:

Thursday, September 27th I will be spinning some chune alongside djs Riobamba (Pajaritos) and Shabbakano (Sonido Bestial) for the Boston Cyclists Union Second Annual Party  inside of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of technology (41 Berkeley st, Boston MA).

Thursday, October 4th, Subtropix celebrates its one year anniversary/Fuzzy Fotch Ep release at the Milky Way in Jamaica Plain (284 Amory St.) and I am happy to be joining residents Ted Thousand and Fuzzy Fotch as well as my man Dudley Disco for that. More info to come.

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A Mix For Nomadic Picó Picante

Nomadic Picó Picante is going down today and certainly is not to be missed.  I am very happy to have been asked to put together a mix for the event, which you can listen and download below or on Pajaritos’ soundcloud. The selections are a bit of a departure from some of the sounds previously featured on this site, tending more towards the digital with heavy doses of electrocumbia and funana along with some dancehall, soca and etceteras here and there–recorded cdj-style, live and direct from home sweet Homes avenue.    Do be sure to check out the other mixes for the event created by some of my favorite Boston based Djs: Riobamba and Malagón (Pajaritos),  OXYcontinental, Wayne and Wax, Ted Thousand and False Witness.

Between this, Boston Carnival, and the august edition of Ruffneck Fashion this weekend is shaping up to be a proper way to send off the summer

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Ruff Luxury 14 – Añejo Soul

A brand new concoction–live and direct from the ruff luxury mixology lab. This time to give a taste of what will be heard this coming Wednesday (5/02) as Mista Pala Pala and myself bring the undiluted ruckus to the Milky Way in JP for Añejo Soul.  All of the songs featured here are taken from second-hand records found in and around Boston–music from Haiti, Cabo-Verde, and points in between.  Barrel-strength bumplings, in  a small-batch style.

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tracklist

Tet Ensem – Carlito Coupe

Jouman – Francisco Tropical System

Pa Gain Zanmi Enco – Maud & Ti Roi

Konoe Boto – Ernie Seedo with the Exmo Stars

Midionera – Armando Almeida

Message Pou Peup Noue La – Galaxy

Injustice – System Band

Foi a Saudade – Sonora Paramarera

Vida – Mendes Brothers

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Filed under boston, cabo-verde, haiti, kompa, mixxups, suriname, Uncategorized

Ruff Luxury 13: Colinda’s Bump

I welcome you once again, my friends, to luxuriate with the sounds of another Ruff Luxury Mixxup.  This one is something of a mixed bag selection featuring musical discs from New York, Trinidad, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, Louisiana, Colombia, Toronto, and Revere (Massachusetts).

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50 Ways To leave Your Lover – Freeport City Sound

Colinda – The Lawtell Playboys

Cuerpo Cobarde – Alejo Durán y Su Conjunto

Cuando Un Amor Se Aleja – Alfredo Gutierrez y Su Conjunto

Aya Ya Yai – Osvaldo Rojano Con El Conjunto De Virgilio De La Oz

La Reina Del Sinu – Noel Petro

For Cane – Mighty Gypsey

El Cacharrito – Los Curramberos De Guayabal

Sema – Djosinha

Shuss – Grupo Bota

Tu Tu’s Way – Dereck “onederful” Antoine

Yo’ Little Brother – Nolan Thomas

No Pienso Volver – Baltazar Carrero

Oudtro

50 Ways To leave Your Lover – Freeport City Sound  Kicking things off is this wicked Paul Simon cover by the Freeport City Sound, a Bahamian group that as far as I know only released one record–Old Man Times.  This sparse, funky rendition of “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” is the standout cut on the album and was what caught my eye recently as I came across the jacketless LP on the shelves at a local Goodwill–a private-press Calypso record with a cover of that song?

Colinda – The Lawtell Playboys  This rural Louisiana stomper from Delton Broussard and The Lawtell Playboys is taken from the 1979 compilation Zodico: Louisiana Créole Music which comes highly recommended and has certainly received heavy rotations around my living room over the last month or two that I’ve had a copy.  One thing I have enjoyed about this and other songs on the album is what to me sounds like a similarity with some older Vallenato music, especially in the cadence and delivery of the vocals.

Cuerpo Cobarde – Alejo Durán y Su Conjunto  Alejo Durán was my introduction to Vallenato and in retrospect I feel fortunate of that.  Listening to songs like “Cero Treinta y Nueve” “Fidelina” and “Cachuca Bacana” I was able to soak in the countrified, stretched out sound of the genre’s pioneers before being exposed to it’s decidedly less ruff/more polished modern incarnation (thanks Carlota).  This is one of my favorite of his compositions, “Cuerpo Cobarde” taken from a Discos Orbe 45.

Cuando Un Amor Se Aleja – Alfredo Gutierrez y Su Conjunto  From one giant of the accordion to another we move now to Alfredo Gutiérrez with this uptempo side from the Codiscos LP Matilde Lina Y Mas Exitos Con El Rebelde Del Acordeon.  Hopefully you can hear some of what I was saying about the Lousiana/Valledupar connection in these selections.

Aya Ya Yai – Osvaldo Rojano Con El Conjunto De Virgilio De La Oz  More Vallenatos about heartbreak and lost love–this one from Osvaldo Rojano, co-produced by Dolcey Gutierrez and Felix Butron and released on Sonolux for Felito‘s Linea Especial.  I really like these fast, kinda-depressing minor-key songs and wish that I had been able to delve more into the rural/Vallenato records during my time in Colombia.  In fact, during the two days that we spent in Valledupar I wasn’t able to track down any person or place that was selling vinyl (though this could have been due to the Festival De La Leyenda Vallenata that was going on at the time and seemed to consume the entire city).  We did, on the other hand hear some great performances.

La Reina Del Sinu – Noel Petro  A native of Carete, Córdoba–nearby Montería in Colombia’s Caribbean coastal interior–Noel Petro gained popularity in Colombia in beyond during the seventies.  Fabian from Africolombia put me on to Noel Petro and blessed me with a couple of his LPs including this self-titled release on the Impacto label.

For Cane – Mighty Gypsey  After the somber subject matter of the last handful of songs I think we can all agree that some comic relief is in order.  Trinidad’s Mighty Gypsey fulfills the task in a fine style alongside Ed Watson and Brass Circle on this Antillana 45.  I hope you can enjoy this selection, after all, who doesn’t like to go for cane every now and again.

El Cacharrito – Los Curramberos De Guayabal  In case the last track wasn’t enough, or you prefer your innuendoes to be in spanish, we have another double-entendre laden side, this one by Los Curramberos De Guayabal, a group about whom I know very little.  Their name would suggest that they were from Guayabal, but the the only places in Colombia with that name are in Cundinamarca (pretty much the center of the country) and Medellín–neither of which are likely locations for this sort of decidedly Caribbean sounding music to emanate from.  The listed singer is Alfredo Varela, but some light-googling reveals that Anibal Velasquez was involved in the group along with this recording in particular (despite the famed accordionist’s lack of mention on the Tropical 45 heard on this mix)

Sema – Djosinha  Coladera is a type of dance music from Cabo-Verde, you can hear a fine example of the style on “Sema” by Djosinha (José Vieira Duarte) taken from the Mindelo Sound Lp Biografia D’um Criol.  Featuring arrangements by Luis Morais (of Voz De Cabo Verde fame), this set was recorded a few miles away from where I sit–in Revere, MA at Fleetwood Recording Company.  For those that don’t know, Boston and Southeastern New England are home to a large and long-established Cape Verdean community dating as far back as the early 19th century.  My collection only scratches the surface but there has been a long history of Cape Verdean records passing through, and music  being recorded and released in the areas between Boston and Providence, RI.

Shuss – Grupo Bota  Grupo Bota is a Venezuelan group that at one time had a pretty big following in Colombia, with a lot of their stuff being licensed from Velvet and released on Fuentes.  The sound leans towards the psyche/rock side of things but with heavy doses of funk and afrobeat in the mix.  “Shuss” appears on the 1976 Discos Fuentes pressing of the album Boom!

Tu Tu’s Way – Dereck “onederful” Antoine  Oh damn it just got kinda weird in here… “Tu Tu’s Way” is a Caribbean style Disco track about Desmond Tutu from the album Amandla recorded and released in Toronto sometime during the eighties.  The credited musicians are “onederful” as writer, Harley Quashie as Drum Programmer, and Mikey on Percussion.  Harley Quashie shares another credit as arranger alongside Carlton Zanda.

Yo’ Little Brother – Nolan Thomas  Almost a year ago now I met a lady at a small church flea market in my neighborhood who offered to sell me a pile of records from her car.  I was on my lunch break and had no time to look then, but told her that I would return after the end of my shift to look at the records.  A few hours later, after trying my best to get out on time, I drove over to the church about thirty minutes after the time that we had agreed on.  There was no sign of the lady, but a pile of about two hundred records was stacked on the sidewalk near where we had spoken.  This 12″ was in the pile that, when I looked through it ended up being mostly kinda bad disco and r&b.  Indeed, this song itself is pretty bad, but when you slow it down it takes on a whole new character–in my ears anyway.  There is a video but I don’t even want to subject you to the link.

No Pienso Volver – Baltazar Carrero  And back to some more ruff rugged and raw territory here with “No Pienso Volver” sung by PR’s Baltazar Carrero with backing from Nieves Quintero y Su Conjunto Cuerdas De Oro Del Caribe.  The song is listed on the Ansonia 45 as a Milonga–a style of music that I know nothing about but that seems interesting at first glance.

Thanks you for listening, Enjoy.

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Añejo Soul

I am excited to announce an upcoming party happening Wednesday May second (5/02) at the Milky Way in Jamaica Plain, Añejo Soul.  Kangsen and myself will be pulling out all the stops and dropping some hot platters on the good people of Boston for this event and we really hope you can join us from whatever side of the river you rest on.  The Milky Way is really just a hop skip and jump from where I live so not only do my Dorchester peoples have no excuse, but it feels extra nice to be bringing ruffneck fashion back across the bridge to our stomping ground for this one.  The music for the night will be in the same vein as the cumbia/dancehall/afrobeat stew we’ve been stirring up at the ruffneck fashion nights, but with an emphasis on bostoncentric sounds taken from records found in the area–vintage recordings from Cabo Verde, Haiti, Trinidad, and the Dominican Republic to set the tone for the evening.

Come bubble with us to the finest vintage sounds from the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa.  Taking a step backwards from the ‘Tropical Bass’ movement of the moment, Djs Trizlam and Kangsen Wakai test the limits and boundaries of tropical dance music through an excursion into genres like zouk, coupé décalé, soca, merengue, and konpa alongside cumbia, soukous, salsa, dancehall and champeta criolla.   With an ear for the analogue and an aim to make you shake, ruffneck fashion presents: Añejo Soul.

Wednesday May 02

9pm // Free // 21andup

284 Amory St. Jamaica Plain

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The Ethiopian Dread

Another great LP from the Boston area was lent to me last week (thanks Joe).  Ethiopian Dread is producer and vocalist on the 1983 album “Rasta Liberty”, singing both in English and Amharic over some heavy original riddims provided by the Zion Initation crew.  Ras Ipa (Ipa Fenton) and Danny Tucker both lend a hand on the recording as guitarist and background vocalist respectively, alongside Iraka Reid and Ifuse Silcott holding down the rhythm section.  Recordings were completed at Downtown Studios in Boston and then sent to Kingston for mixing at Harry J Studio by Barrington Murray.  The label is ZUFAN SOUND with no street address but a PO Box that bears a local zip code.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard another reggae album containing lyrics sung in Amharic (by an Amharic speaker that is… the Abyssinians don’t count) but am curious as to how this type of thing was received at the time both by reggae stalwarts and Ethiopian expatriates living in the area.  Roots reggae has not traditionally lent itself well to fusion or experimental genre-bending, indeed the very notion that many hold of ‘roots’ music is by definition incongruous with any form of mutation or dilution.  On the other hand, given the space occupied by Ethiopian/Amharic traditions within Rastafari discourse and the cosmos of reggae–this hybrid is potentially less (or at least distinctly) dissonant than, say, “London Calling” by The Clash.

Two of my favorite cuts both feature on the A side–Ethiopia and Help Jah People exemplify the deep-roots vibe that rides through the entirety of the disk.  Click on the song names to take a slice and be sure not to sleep on this Boston reggae gem if you come across it in the bins.

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Zion Initation

Just a few days after posting my latest thoughts on the wild world of Boston-related reggae records I came across another piece to add to the list–this one being Zion Initation’s ‘Jah Light’ LP.  The album was released in 1985 on the Zion Lion label based out of Evans Street in Dorchester–Ras Ipa and Danny Tucker are credited with the vocals and the recording was done at Downtown Recording Studio in Boston with the help of Joe the engineer. Iphus Silcott and Iraka Reid are credited on drums and bass respectively, Abdul Baki on keyboard, Abbi Ike on percussion and Ras Ipa again on the rhythm and lead guitar.  Mixdown was done at none other than Harry J Studio in Kingston with Sylvan Morris at the controls.  From what the internet tells me this was the group’s second full length disc, after putting out ‘Showcase’ on Armagedon in the late seventies.  The record is dubby, mellowed-out roots with a fantastic unpolished sound, reminiscent of some Wackies output and recordings from Jerry Brown’s Summer Sound Studio during the seventies and eighties–a kind of more drawn out, less finished style than much of what was being made in Jamaica.

Another small piece of the puzzle fins its place.  I am certainly no expert on reggae music’s past or present place in Boston’s cultural landscape, but I think the task of putting these records out there is a relevant one.  There are no compilations on this subject, no books or lengthly articles to my knowledge that really focus on reggae recordings produced and released in the area.  If you have some knowledge to share please leave a comment or an email (ruffluxury (at) gmail.com)–I would love to hear from you.

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