Category Archives: colombia

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

Leave a comment

Filed under b/quilla, boston, cabo-verde, chicha, colombia, cumbia, dancehall, dub, events, hip hop, mixxups, peru, suriname, trinidad

Rosa Rosalia and Bumplings Lost in Out of Space

Welcome back my friends, and thank you for tuning in to another Ruff Luxury mixxup.  On this occasion we hear a handful of records showcasing some of the rootical sounds from around the spanish-speaking caribbean.  From Cuba we have the great Arsenio Rodriguez–bandleader, composer and son montuno pioneer–along with Los Llopis, a group led by Francisco and Manuel “Ñolo” Llopis.  Duo Los Ahijados’ Prendela exemplifies the early sound of Dominican salsa legend Cuco Valoy, playing alongside his younger brother Martín Valoy.  Also hailing from the Dominican Republic we hear some merengue stylings from Yoyito Cabrera and then the New York based Orquesta Fiesta.  Obeah Wedding is a Mighty Sparrow composition here being given the big band treatment by Trinidadian Saxman Cyril Diaz.  The recording was taken live during Caribana 1967 in Toronto and appears on an Abel records LP.  Colombian artists make up the remainder of the mix, with the likes of Fruko, Lisandro Meza, Anibal Velasquez, Chico Cervantes, and Manuel Alvarez y Sus Dangers rounding things out in a fine style.  I hope that you enjoy the songs as much as I do.  Thank you and please visit us again at the Ruff Luxury Bumpling House.


Prendela – Duo Los Ahijados

Para Bailar El Montuno – Arsenio Rodriguez & The Afro Cuban Sound

Vive La Vida Hoy – Fruko y Sus Tesos (Wilson Saoko)

Castigo y Cariño – Los Llopis

Libien Tanto – Yoyito Cabrera

Ceniza – Orquesta Fiesta

Obeah Wedding (Melda) – Cyril Diaz

Rosa Rosalia – Manuel Alvarez y Sus Dangers

Me Pico La Avispa – Chico Cervantes y Su Conjunto Internacional

Las Africanas – Lisandro Meza

Mercedes – Anibal Velasquez y Su Conjunto

Leave a comment

Filed under b/quilla, calypso, canada, colombia, cuba, cumbia, mixxups, republica dominicana, Uncategorized, vallenato

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).

Vodpod videos no longer available.


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


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.

Leave a comment

Filed under boston, cabo-verde, calypso, canada, colombia, louisiana, mixxups, trinidad, vallenato, venezuela

Pongalo Picotero

Its been a while since I last posted photos from Barranquilla here, so here are a few more shots.  As you may know from earlier posts, my girlfriend Carlota and I spent a few months in Colombia last year, during which time we were able to soak in as much music and sound system culture as our schedule would allow.   Many of the illustrations seen here are the works of William Gutiérrez and of Eddy from Soledad (whose last name I’m not sure of EDIT: It turns out that Eddy is the same person as Edilberto de la Hoz, who constructed my own replica picó.  Thanks to Fabian for clearing that up) I think a lot of what catches people’s interest about picós (sound systems/pick-ups) is the distinct style of decoration and adornment with the fluorescent colors, psychedelic portraits, and boasty tag-lines.  When I first started reading up on Colombia’s music scene and looked through some of the old pictures that Fabian has compiled at Africolombia, I was immediately fixated on the whole aesthetics of of the picó–from the shapes of the speaker boxes to the lettering, the texture, to the adoption of characters from music, politics and pop culture.  A small slice of this audacious style can be glimpsed in the photographs on this post.  If you would like to learn more about the painters and illustrators behind this popular art form, and can read some spanish, I direct you to Fukafra–a blog created by Dairo Barriosnuevo, himself a Barranquilla resident, visual artist, and popular historian.  There you will find detailed discussions of painters like Belimastth, Alcur, Gerson, and Dairo himself–valuable historical context for the aesthetic captured in the images below and above.

Leave a comment

Filed under b/quilla, champeta, colombia, photography

Congo Records

Along with their 16 channel recording studio and retail outlet in downtown Barranquilla, Felito also set up a distribution business, licensing and releasing popular African and Antillean records for sale within the coastal region.  It is from this effort that we have the final section of the Felito Records catalogue: the Congo Records series.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under b/quilla, cartagena, champeta, colombia, cumbia, discographies, haiti

Linea Especial

For the penultimate section of the Felito Records catalogue, we have the Linea Especial.  As always click the image to enlarge, and find the previous sections here, here and there.  And if you don’t already know, Felito is a record label from Barranquilla that specialized in a variety of Afri-Colombian genres from Cumbia and Vallenato to Terapia Criolla and Champeta.  Much (if not all) of the music on Miles Cleret and Lucas Silva’s excellent compilation Palenque Palenque was culled from the very same catalogue.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under b/quilla, champeta, colombia, cumbia, discographies, vallenato

Serie Curramba

Continuing with the Felito Records catalogue we have the Curramba series.  Click on the images to enlarge them.  Curramba is another term for the city of Barranquilla on Colombia’s Atlantic coast.  It is here that Producciones Fonograficas Felito Ltda. was established with its 16-track recording facility–Estudios Felito – El Templo Del Sonido Perfecto–under the direction of Félix Butrón Arbelaez. 

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under b/quilla, colombia, discographies, Uncategorized

Felito Records Catalogue II

More scans from the Felito Records catalogue

(Click to enlarge images)

Felito Records Catalogue I

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under b/quilla, champeta, colombia, cumbia, discographies

Felito Records Catalogue

For anyone interested in Colombian music and especially the 80s Cumbia and Champeta sound, here are some scans from the Felito Records promotional catalogue.  Many of the titles are available still from the label’s shop located in downtown Barranquilla which is a great place to find records and well worth a visit if you are in the area.  These are the first ten pages of the catalogue, click to enlarge the images.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under b/quilla, colombia, discographies, Uncategorized


Here goes another thirty-minute selection, cumbias and more or your musical enjoyment.  For some previous cumbia-heavy mixtapes click here or here.  We are firmly in Colombian territory on the sounds featured here with the exception of a brief excursion into Peru for the Orientales’ La Danza del Mono.


Navidad Negra – Pedro Laza y Sus Pelayeros

La Papera – Pedro Laza y Sus Pelayeros

Peñata El Cumbiambero – Los Hermanos Tuiran

Cumbia Colombia – Alfredo Gutierrez / Nacho Paredes

La Danza del Mono – Los Orientales

Cabeza de Cholito – Afrosound

Elionora – Miguel Duran y su Conjunto

Cumbia Africana – Cumbia Siglo XX

El Muerto Borrachon – Miguel Beltran y sus Gaiteros

La Yuca Raya – Kammpala Grupo

Una Mañanita – Grupo Naidy

Navidad Negra – Pedro Laza y Sus PelayerosLa Papera – Pedro Laza y Sus Pelayeros   Pedro Laza was a Cartagena native, bassist and leader of Los Pelayeros, the band that he formed in 1952.  These two sides reveal the man’s music in two distinct fashions–between the melancholic and more produced-feeling Navidad Negra and the adrenaline-fueled, carnavalesque La Papera.

Peñata El Cumbiambero – Los Hermanos Tuiran This track takes us back into slower tempo territory with the familiar nostalgic lyrics, shuffling percussion and bittersweet accordions.  Juan and Emiro Tuiran are the hermanos who put together this outfit that has enjoyed much popularity over the years in cumbiacentric circles from Colombia to Mexico and beyond.

Cumbia Colombia  – Alfredo Gutierrez  What can I really say about Alfredo Gutierrez–one of the greats of the accordion that continues to be central figure in the Colombian music scene today. Truly a living legend.  That being said, what really gets me here is Nacho Paredes’ vocals–he kills it with the sparse, call and response laden, slightly mad sounding voice.

La Danza del Mono – Los Orientales  Yes, the mono dance.  This selection from Los Orientales de Paramonga has more of a funky, fuzz guitar thing going as was the fashion at the time in Peruvian cumbia circles.  It comes to me from a compilation on Caliente records named ‘Bailando con la Dolores y con el Sonido Sexicional’ that features recordings from the Dinsa catalogue.  Peruvian outfits like Los Mirlos and Los Destellos were pretty big in Colombia for a time there and spawned a slew of inspired Colombian recordings including the one that we hear next.

Cabeza de Cholito – Afrosound  This track is taken from Afrosound’s ‘La Danza de Los Mirlos’ Lp, a 1973 release that contains two of the group’s better known hits–Caliventura as well as the title track La Danza de Los Mirlos.  Nevertheless, Cabeza de Cholito is the highlight on this album for me, composed by Julio Ernesto Estrada (aka Fruko) and featuring some truly wicked psychedelic guitar stylings towards the second half of the tune.

Elionora – Miguel Duran y su Conjunto  Really I think that the whole mix was an excuse for me to play this track here, so I hope that it was at least worth it up to this point.  I dont know much about Miguel Duran but this track really just devastates.  The loose vallenato style cumbia here is really my cup of tea, and I’m disappointed that I wasn’t checking for more of this kind of stuff while in Colombia.

Cumbia Africana – Cumbia Siglo XX  Back to Barranquilla here with Fernando Rosales’ Cumbia Siglo XX.  The west african guitar stylings start to show themselves on this track, indeed this is a good example of how costeño musicians digested and retransmitted the panafrican sounds that were being played by the picós at verbenas and casetas around Cartagena and Barranquilla.

El Muerto Borrachón – Miguel Beltran y sus Gaiteros And here we find ourselves back in more traditional territory with this gaita from Miguel Beltran.  It can be found on the ‘Felito En Carnaval vol. 1’ Lp released in 1980 by the Barranquilla powerhouse Felito Records.

La Yuca Raya – Kammpala Grupo This track is taken from a split Wganda Kenya / Kammpala Grupo Lp and to be honest I’m not sure whether Kammpala Grupo is its own separate entity, or another combination of Fuentes house musicians being presented as a ‘new’ band (this happened a lot–Fruko, Latin Brothers, Afrosound and Wganda Kenya all consisted mainly of the same musicians).  Either way the marimba, percussion, sound effects and singing create quite a heady combination.

Una Mañanita – Grupo Naidy The marimba vibes continue here, closing out the mix with a fine example of Juga music from Colombia’s pacific coast.  You can find information about the CD it came from, including full, informative liner notes, over here.  I recommend buying a copy if you are interested in hearing more of this pacificolombian music.  It also has the original version of El Botellón that was awesomely updated by Uproot Andy on ‘Bersa Discos #4’.

That concludes this installment of the Ruff Luxury.  Hope you have enjoyed the sounds as much as I do.

Leave a comment

Filed under colombia, cumbia, mixxups