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El Palmas Music Vinyl, CD & Tape 4 Items

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Contento - Lo Bueno Está Aquí
Contento
Lo Bueno Está Aquí
LP | 2020 | EU | Original (El Palmas Music)
22,99 €*
Release:2020 / EU – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Contento like to label their music “salsapunk” – smart, witty stuff with a deceptively simple home-made aesthetic. It’s salsa of a kind, but not necessarily as we know it. It could be salsa played by AI robots, but conceived by a duo with the playful sparkle of those Swiss master producer-musicians, Yello. “The sound comes from what we have to hand in order to make the music...”, says the group. Contento are two expatriate Colombians who like to make people happy. Geneva-based Paulo Olarte is a member of Acid Coco, El Dragón Criollo and La Jungla, as well as recording under his own name. Former native of Medellín and current resident of Barcelona, Sebastian Hoyos, aka Sano, is a DJ and producer who has released his own brand of minimalist Latin house for the Cómeme label in Berlin, ultra-hip devotees of “the dark side of the mirror ball”. It was in Berlin, at an Eddie Palmieri concert, that the pair met in 2011 and discovered a mutual passion for la salsa. They kept in touch, though it was five years before they took enough time off from their respective projects to explore why and how they wanted to make music together. Between 2016 and 2019, they met on and off in Barcelona and Geneva to lay down some of their ideas. The eight best numbers became Lo Bueno Está Aquí, their debut album. They wanted to give their audience “a new salsa sound, that will make you want to discover some of the older sounds, too.” The result is something that you might describe as “retro-smart”: it does indeed remind you of older sounds like Nuyorican boogaloo from the ‘60s and cumbia from the golden age of Discos Fuentes, yet it’s also modern and refreshingly different. The two musicians create a sonic palette from what Paulo suggests as “what we have to hand”: bass, piano, organ, guitar, a range of keyboards, assorted percussion instruments and the vintage drum machines that, along with a liberal use of distortion, contribute to the album’s signature sound. It’s “lo-fi with a super-clean production”, and guaranteed to make you dance. “It starts with laying down a piano riff,” Paulo goes on, “or we start with a rhythmic tumbao and we build it up from there.” Take, for example, the recent single, “Dale Melón”, which opens the album and establishes a template for much of what follows. Starting with the beat, beat, beat of the drum machine, bass, guitar, keyboards and percussion are all drip-fed into the mix and supplemented by a simple, insistent vocal refrain and the raw alto sax of the Venezuelan saxophonist they met in the Barcelona studio where the recording was finished off. It’s a recipe for some seriously smart, witty dance music to drive your funky soul. The alto sax helps to colour the delicious “Paso Palante”, which kicks off the second side with ringing guitar and keyboards to create a feel somewhere between Colombia’s Pacific coast and Central Africa. The slightly demented vocal refrain is repeated ad nauseam and the overall effect recalls the off-kilter sound of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Staff Benda Bilili. Much of the album, in fact, is slightly skewed and disarming,as if the spirit of Thelonious Monk presided over its recording. “Loco Por Tu Amor”, for example, could be taken from a soundtrack to a cheap Latin horror film, simultaneously unsettling and thrilling. The glorious “De Todas Maneras” could be a rough-cut for Ray Barretto’s suave and slinky “Cocinado”. “Pelo Negro” is an insistent trademark mix of cumbia and boogaloo, with tongue-in-cheek vocals that are positively expansive. “The way you shake that thing/Gonna make me burn, gonna make me sing...” Listen to the catchy, repetitive closer, “Enlulao”, just before you go to bed and you’ll still be chanting the refrain the following morning. All eight numbers last just long enough to work an infectious magic; nothing out stays its welcome. Contento didn’t choose their name by accident. They want to make people feel happy, contented. You’d be hard pressed to keep your feet still or listen to this seriously hip, deliciously wonky album without a grin on your face from start to finish.
V.A. - Color De Trópico
V.A.
Color De Trópico
LP | 2020 | EU | Original (El Palmas Music)
22,99 €*
Release:2020 / EU – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
Color de Trópico is a carefully-compiled work of healing and reconstruction, documenting a special moment in the history of Venezuelan music, when the country’s democracy was just a few years old and the profound impact of the oil industry on society had only just begun. DJ El Palmas and El Dragón Criollo have chosen eight impossibly hard-to-find jewels, originally released between 1966 and 1978, reissued here for the first time on vinyl. In this period, Venezuelan musicians assimilated a wide range of influences and styles, both local and global, to generate something new, a “modern” identity for Venezuelan music; artists who set their eyes on the future without giving up the search for their own sabor (flavour). This is how jazz, rock, salsa, funk, psych, prog and disco, sat next to guajira, cumbia, cha-cha-cha and even the hugely-popular Venezuelan style of joropo. It started a long tradition of Venezuelan musical pioneers, many of whom are still to get the recognition they deserve. Seconds after the needle drops on the vinyl, “El Despertar” (“The Awakening”) kicks off things with a goodbye for it was the last single Los Darts released before their dissolution in 1974. In the 60s they became the youthful face of pop, however, “El Despertar” settles into a later maturity, having digested the tumult of the times. A cha-cha-cha rhythm with bossa nova piano, bluesy stylings and a Caribbean context – a blueprint for tasty miscegenation – with the use of electric guitar, arriving in waves of chords, signalling the onset of modernity. “Guajira con Arpa” by the pioneering Hugo Blanco, who lists the creation of countless rhythms and his early adoption of rhythms like ska amongst his claims to fame, is a fusion that arrives without complexities. It approaches indigenous forms from a multitude of different angles, yet in the middle of its Caribbean approach it creates a melody so close to the pajarillo that the song seems to flip on its head. With “Zambo” the party is on. Here we have an all-star line-up comparable to master Cortijo’s brief project with his Time Machine in Puerto Rico. Alex Rodríguez, one of the most important jazz guitarists in Venezuela and his Retreta Mayor give a twist to the fusion by daring to venture into Latin jazz, funk and salsa. “Gaita Universal” by El Combo Los Capri, gives us a moment of solace, recalling the cultural, rhythmic and even spiritual brotherhood of Venezuela not only with the Caribbean but with the continent, South America and neighbouring Colombia. This cumbia is special, it interweaves musical phrases in the style of a popular party wanting to propose the permanence of culture. Rhythm is the point of union between all human beings and, as its name indicates, its proposal goes beyond the physical and particular. It’s pure tropical hedonism. Nelson y sus Estrellas reminds us once again of the Caribbean wave but here under his “urban” outfit. Nelson plays guaguancó in the style of original salsa, specifically in this version (the theme evolves over time) with a disco-soul twist on “Fantasía Latina”. It takes the sound of early masters like Eddie Palmieri but is developed with eclectic elements, a climatic structure in which a trumpet with vibrato, salsa-rock riffs with acoustic guitars and a flute that, unlike the charangas in those that Johnny Pacheco partook at the same time, rather have a cinematic character. The cosmic “Tu y Yo” from Almendra plots a journey between soul-jazz and psychedelia that sails over a Moog until ending as a P-Funk descarga. Despite the fact that the principal instruments are an organ and a synthesizer, the acoustic guitar provides a unique colour. A tropical psychedelic journey from beginning to end seasoned with congas. The album closes with Tulio Enrique León y Su Organ playing “Bimbom”, a European pop-styled track from 1975. It’s a version of Bimbo Jet’s Eurodisco “El Bimbo” that immediately became famous among popular easy listening orchestras throughout summer in Europe. Tulio Enrique shines by turning it into an enigmatic and spectral cumbia. Tulio was an organist whose blindness did not prevent him from becoming one of the most popular artists in the world, as cited by Billboard in 1965. We have left the politically-incorrect “Socorro, Auxilio” by Germán Fernando for the end. According to music journalist Alfredo Churión “those who saw him attested to having witnessed something indescribable”, a mysterious man who doubted even his sanity and of whom today practically nothing is known. He was someone who dared to show a completely foreign effrontery, signing unintelligibly, moving frantically and throwing himself to the ground before the stunned gaze of his audiences. Venezuelan writer Luis Armando Ugueto states: “his art could go from the sublime to bad taste – and it was craved by the press – when he subjected viewers to strange songs where he pleaded for socorro and auxilio [help].” Germán Fernando had a histrionic proposal that was a thousand times misunderstood and that even popular presenters of the time like Renny Ottolina dubbed “his follies”. A theme close to the jazz orchestra soundtracks of James Bond and Batman accompanies the showman here who comes across like a creole Screaming Jay Hawkins. He creates a whirlwind of sound that, while as agile as a featherweight, is also capable of knocking out all the old ideas we had about Venezuelan music.
Acid Coco - Mucho Gusto
Acid Coco
Mucho Gusto
LP | 2020 | EU | Original (El Palmas Music)
22,99 €*
Release:2020 / EU – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves, Pop
Acid Coco left Colombia many years ago, but it’s never far away. Channelling cumbia, punk, champeta, reggaeton and other tropical rhythms with electronic sounds in recording sessions that doubled as therapy, the Colombian duo have created a work of visceral emotion that traverses musical landscapes. Love, Colombia and memories of past lives are some of the sources that inspired the group in the process of writing and creating their debut album, Mucho Gusto. Sometimes being apart brings you even closer. These tracks were recorded over two frenzied sessions in Geneva; ideas, lyrics, music, memories laid down on tape (sorry, hard drive), a creative purge driven by emotional and physical collapse. Creation proved to be the panacea and Colombia the shelter, a place where they could rinse away their demons by evoking dreams of yore, both musically and spiritually. On Mucho Gusto you will find rhythms that speak of the density and diversity of Colombia’s music. These are styles of music made to make people dance, whether next to an ear-shattering picó sound system, a fanfare of brass, an accordion-led trio or even a family vitrola. They are styles that were born nostalgic, tied to the environments where they came, but also full of devilry, serious songs laced with one-liners and fun-poking wordplay, never afraid to mock itself. This is the spirit of Acid Coco. On “Yo Bailo Sola” the cumbia beat is unmistakable, yet they break with the dogma of tradition (a recurring theme), the song’s female protagonist telling her would-be dance partner to leave her be, she wants to dance alone. The Afro- Colombian party music of champeta takes hold on “Caminando Vas” and “La Chancla”, which use the bargain- bin Casio Sk-5 keyboard for a sound heard on picó sound systems up and down the Colombian coast. “El Amor de Mis Amores” continues the champeta love-in, its lyrics finding the duo in playful mood, speaking of “The Love of All Loves” who is instantly forgotten when the romance ends. “It's the Colombian way of talking about the tragicomic way we live our lives”, they say. “We're used to making fun of everything, it’s our way to cope and survive all our tragedies.” These are tragedies both personal and national, speaking of a Colombia where, despite a peace agreement, activists and social leaders are still being killed on a regular basis. The scars across Colombia still have some way before they can heal, a theme that haunts the cumbia “El Lamento”, a pure example of how a song about tragedy can still have a thumping beat. “Sin Salida” is them at their most punk, transposing Suicide to the Caribbean coast with distorted bass and lo-fi beats, “Solo Estás Tu” brings techno merengue (a popular style from the 90s) bang up-to-date, and a softer side emerges on “Siempre En Mis Sueños”, which fuses a ballad with a reggaeton beat. “Nuevo Día" has a pop influence which recalls the beginning of the Rock En Español movement in Latin America. Final track “Me Voy” pays tribute to son montuno, salsa being one of the main musical motors of these two Colombians. The music of Acid Coco will ring true for anyone who has been paying attention to the diasporic music being made by Colombians around the world – Systema Solar, Combo Chimbita, La Rueda, Bomba Estéreo, the list goes on. Like Acid Coco, these are artists combining Colombian rhythms and folklore with ideas from global music and the Western avant-garde. It’s music with a Colombian heart and soul that’s impossible to shake: “Even if we don't want to sound like Colombians, we always sound like Colombians”, say the group.
Rada - Tropical Cosmic Sounds From Space
Rada
Tropical Cosmic Sounds From Space
2LP | 2020 | EU | Original (El Palmas Music)
18,19 €* 27,99 € -35%
Release:2020 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Angel Rada, pioneer of experimental electronic music in Venezuela, has always been a restless mind, an experimentalist with his feet firmly planted on the ground of the art, his particular mix of sound design, cultural avant-garde attitude and spiritual inquiry led him to explore an impressively rich sound universe throughout his more than 20 productions (one of the most extensive in his country) making him the cult musician he is today. El Palmas Music, an independent record label in Barcelona, pays tribute to this visionary Venezuelan musician in its upcoming release entitled Rada: Tropical Cosmic Sounds from Space, a double LP compilation with 15 carefully selected tracks from Angel Rada’s extraordinary first period, coveted by experimental and cult electronics collectors around the globe. The main focus of the compilation is between 1980 to 1989, the time when Rada released cosmic-tropical experimental jewels such as Upadesa, Viveka, Continuvm, Armagedon & the Third Wave Revolution and Ethnosonic Impressions. Tropical Cosmic Sounds will also be also available in digital platforms and it comes with a code to download 7 additional songs, certainly a delight for music lovers.
Rada embraced psychedelia in his youth, his rock band named The Gas Light gave him the opportunity to experiment with electronic instruments, electric organs and the autoharp. This impulse led him to get his career to the next level. While he was taking music studies in Germany, gets in direct contact with cosmic music and iconic artists such as Klaus Schulze. Back in Venezuela, at the beginning of the eighties, he establishes the foundation of his work and begin to be known as a reference, subverting the industry rules, not only from the point of view of sound and production but also because of his self-management.
Although his direct influences: psychedelia, krautrock and experimental electronic, were a starting point for his work during his studies in Germany between 1973 and 1978, Rada not only mastered the art of analog synthesizers, creating totally new sounds, but put his efforts on the search for an original sound landscape, rooted in its native homeland as in spiritual matters. His music was tagged in his time by his German colleagues as “Latin Cosmic Psikraut”, a futuristic vision of the Caribbean Sea ahead of its time, full of innovative textures and amorphous envelopes with an almost narcotic effect. The general idea of Rada’s sound was to take his influences and evolve from that, from the minimal and repetitive to dynamic and melodic structures, always avoiding the “popular music’s complacency”.
Unexpectedly, while rehearsing, one day in 1999, a natural tragedy would take his studio away, and all those valuable instruments that had accompanied him throughout his life were forever gone. However, Rada was already on another spiritual level, in his own words: “only ceasing to intervene in external events will take the suffering away”. Rada is always adapting his life to the circumstances, he continues producing with his own label, overcoming ever more complex obstacles as the debacle of his country in the hands of the wildest corruption in its history or his own health issues. Still, nothing stops him, his work remains.
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