For a late night post, a late night cumbia by Tropa Colombiana, an 80s Mexican group who I’m guessing had some Colombian roots. This was purchase I knew nothing about, but look at those outfits! To be honest I think it sat for a few years before I finally listened to it and I was rewarded for circling back to it. This song El Cantinero, is really beautiful to me in it’s distinct drunken dive bar vibe. It only takes a few notes for it to make feel completely intoxicated and desperate for 1 more drink.
Let’s do one more soundtrack selection. This time coming from France with Cameroonian legend Manu Dibango. If you only know him via his hit Soul Makossa then you know a sliver of his contributions to music. His catalog and credits is huge and diverse—the man has basically done everything in music including lending his talents to several soundtracks like this one for the film, L’Herbe Sauvage. I’ve never seen even a clip from this film, but I’m super curious knowing it had funky music like this running through it.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, late 80s maybe, when we lost movie soundtrack albums. Nearly every “soundtrack” now (excluding animated kid films), are really nothing more than just playlists. The days of having one popular artist or band compose new music to be used in actual scenes well before the credits ever roll are sadly gone. This formula peaked in Blacksplotation films like Super Fly and Shaft, but there were so many more. One of my favorites was WAR‘s soundtrack to the 1978 film Youngblood . WAR scored all sorts of scenes for this including this one for a chase scene. Just imagine if Marvel would have had The Roots do the same for Black Panther!
In January I shared an old school gospel record by The Savannah Community Choirthat got a good response so how about another for February? This time from the West Coast we have Brother Henderson’s Watts Community Choir doing a rendition of Burt Bacharach’s What the World Needs Now. To rearrange this tune from the popular Dionne Warwick version seems like a bold move for the time, but I guess when you got the Lord onyour side. Personally I’m loving this version more—sometimes gospel makes everything better. And you have to love this cover of the choir all in front of the Watts tower, fists up. ✊🏽
We’re finishing up a whole week of recommended new music as strongly as possible with the team up of Quantic & Nidia Góngora. These two have been continue their recent collaboration with this double LP released last year and it really is the epitome of how to perfectly meld modern production and folkloric music, in this case Currulao from the pacific coast of Colombia. In doing so they simultaneously breathe life into the different worlds they are rooted in and create something entirely new. This is just a taste of what critics are in all agreement is a stellar record. We’re cosigning onto that and of course thrilled for Nidia’s continued success.
Over the past few years there’s been an exciting wave of music that’s about combining the past with the present—traditional rhythms and/or vocals with current beats and production. One of the labels that has really made this a key part of their catalog is Soundway Records. A couple years ago they released this single Wejene Aola from producer and mullti-instrumentalist, Dexter Story featuring Kamasi Washington, where we get a perfect mix of East African funk and head nodding production work. #45Friday
Yesterday we featured new music from L.A. so only fair we check in on N.Y. and listen in on some more new indie latin music—specifically Latin-psych music that seems to have resurged lately. This new group out of N.Y., Combo Chimbita has my interest with this tropical-punk sound rooted in traditional Colombian rhythms. This is one of the more chill tunes, while the rest of the album goes even further into a psyched out frenzy. Let us know if you’re feeling this new wave.