I’m psyched to see all the recent excitement over Anibal Velasquez’s expansive discography. I’m especially happy that the good people at Analog Africa picked up on him and put out this *impeccable* compilation.
I’m not sure what a barranquillero is doing in “Analog Africa”, but the series is amazing and will surely get him some well-deserved attention. Apparently he is about to go on his first European tour!
Anyway, here’s a relentless merengue, thanks to Radio Cordialidad:
Contigo No Más
The next track is a collaboration with the great Carlos Román. This might be from the late 50s or early 60s; does anyone know? The crappy sound quality is to be expected – one quick look at this 78″ is enough to tell you that this thing has been around the victrola one too many times.
El Desfile by Anibal Velasquez Y Carlos Roman
Want more? Here’s some *serious* footage from an upcoming documentary by Sanjay Agarwal and Ivan Higa:
and some more great tracks thanks to Oakland’s Sonido Franko:
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As promised a few posts down—we’ll convert you to the power of the steel pan. This video is of the legendary Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra competing in the 1987 Panoroma, the steel pan competition that takes place the Saturday night before Carnival Monday in T&T every year. This is serious people—complex arrangements which require months of rehearsal of upwards of 100 people (notice no one is using sheet music). This performance, Curry Tabanca, is truly amazing and somehow it only finished 4th that year. What makes it extra special is that it actually incorporates Indian Tassa drums! Your day of baptism has arrived. Enjoy!
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So far we’ve hit 6 countries’ carnavals in 3 days! Now it’s time to really get our money’s worth as we venture out to those string of islands just north of Trinidad & Tobago, commonly known today as the Lesser Antilles, specifically Guadeloupe, Dominica, and Martinique. Now this is usually the point where we would go on about origins or context regarding this Les Chanteurs des Isles du Vent record, but it’s carnaval—no time for getting nerdy. Trust me, if this song Edamise Oh! doesn’t give you the rush of carnaval running through your veins then I’m going to assume you are a card carrying tea party member, (fact: tea baggers hate carnaval).
What’s that? You need more? I don’t blame you. Here are 2 more carnaval songs of a melody, Haussé / Bo Fe-A that will have you never wanting to leave Isles du Vent.
Haussé/Bo Fe – A by Les Chanteurs Des Isles Du Vent
Haussé / Bo Fe-A
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Few things are more univesal than the revered tradition of people talking smack about each other over some beats. It’s pretty special when it’s two grandmas (and cousins) who have devoted their whole lives to it.
Here’s some great footage of a song they both claim they wrote: Se va, se va.
Before I traveled to Juliaca, most everyone in Lima said the same thing about it: Juliaca “es una mierda”–it’s a piece of shit, a hellhole, a dump. All the planes from the coast arrive here, but most tourists leave immediately, because there’s nothing conventionally attractive about the place. It’s your typical unruly Third World border town, overgrown and messy, full of informal commerce and piles of money being made. It’s also one of the fastest growing cities in the country, home to thousands of migrants from higher elevations who’ve come down to Juliaca to get rich, the Peruvian altiplano version of the American dream. Its skies are hazy with the dust rising from construction sites, its streets teeming with workers, vendors, artisans. In recent years, Juliaca has also become a center of contraband manufacturing, reportedly of such high quality that jeans made here are smuggled to the border of Bolivia, then brought back in. In this way they can pass as foreign made, and fetch higher prices. With Peruvian independance day tomorrow, there is a new element added to the chaos: dozens of middle and high school marching bands. The combined effect of so much noise is surreal and frankly overwhelming. In honor of Peruvian Independence Day, I decided to document the peculiar music of a place like Juliaca, what it sounds like when a people, who may or may not be prepared, dive headlong into the global economy.
— juancho (photos + audio editing help by C.G.)