Kante Manfla – Keleya

In case you were wondering who was peeking through the 45 hole in my last post, I decided to share another breath-taking pachanga from that very person – Guinean master guitarist Kante Manfla. Manfla is one of those prolific artists, who due to varied and sometimes ambiguous associations confuses the inquisitor. Just check out World Vision’s investigative post from back in 2009 and you’ll see what I mean. Without any answers to the many questions about Kante Manfla, I’ll simply leave you with this call to the dancefloor – Keleya.  Make no mistake, this song is exceptionally potent with Manfla’s Son-africano flavor and gets played on repeat at my place.  Just listen to the way the drums, guitar, flute, and horns take turns telling their own tale of Keleya while you work up a sweat.

– Smokestack

Keleya – Kante Manfla

Kante Manfla – Keleya

Kante Manfla - Keleya

2 Beers Or Not 2 Beers? …And Poly-Rythmo!

It’s 2:00pm on a Saturday afternoon and I’m contemplating whether or not I should crack open a beer. It’s a beautiful weekend and I don’t have to work tomorrow, so I guess I can afford to indulge so early in the day.  On the other hand, I did make an especially long to-do list for the day and don’t want to sidetrack myself with any drunken tangents. I decide to throw on a record as I deliberate this familiar predicament.  Top on the recent arrivals stack is Gendarme Si We – a highlife-inspired pachanga tune by Benin’s hard working Orchestre Poly-Rythmo.

A recent trade with Taran over at Fat Headphones, Gendarme Si We and the afro-beat flipside Ahou Gan Mi An is a perfect example of the legendary band’s versatility (often featuring 2 distinctly different genres on their 45s) not to mention a perfect compliment to this gorgeous day. About a minute into the song I’ve made up my mind – it’s a perfect time for a cold beer!  Please join me as I enjoy this delicious pairing. And afterward, if you want another helping check out Fat Headphone’s recent Poly-Rythmo afro-beat/rock 45 feature.

Salud! Smokestack

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo – Gendarme Si We

Gendarme Si We


Please Go Easy With Me

The 60s Sound of SE Rogie

The other night us Pelangueros got together at my families place to catch up from recent travels and a hiatus from Pelanga’s newly redesigned site (let us know what you think!). As we were talking Papicultor’s eyes fell on my copy of The 60’s Sounds of S.E. Rogie. With a distance gaze, he asked if this album had “that” song.  He told me that years ago he heard an incredible song by Rogie on a local radio show that haunted him for 2 years and hasn’t heard it since.  Sheepishly I admitted that I had only given the record minor attention and only remembered one simple, but beautiful melody. I put on the one song I knew and Fede and myself smiled, each of us celebrating our own reunions with the memorable recording – Please Go Easy With Me.

This palm wine guitar classic is prominently featured as the lead in track of this 60’s compilation of the legendary Sierra Leoenan guitarist. This particular album is released on the Rogiphone label, a project of Rogie during his stay in Northern California during the 70s and 80s. Interestingly enough, the graphic layout and production is done by Mr. Emory Douglas, original Black Panther and also the person responsible for the parties iconic political posters and print media.

According to Gary Stewart’s liner notes Please Go Easy With Me is based on a conversation overheard between two lovers at a dance and was recorded in 1960 at Rogie’s makeshift home studio. Here you go Fede – now you can listen to this any time you want!

S.E. Rogie – Please Go Easy With Me (1960)

Please Go Easy With Me

I couldn’t help sending this live performance as well…so so good!



Junkanoo Time with The Beginning Of The End

In the spirit of the holiday season and Junkanoo parties around the world I share with you an incredible interview with the legendary Bahamian musician Raphael Munnings (posted on Youtube by the man himself!), who breaks down his families rich musical and political history, the unprecedented musical feats of his band The Beginning Of The End, and of course their jumping Junkanoo roots. Rather than bump my gums, I’ll let Ray speak for himself. Be sure to check all fours clips in sequential order, as some heavy history is dropped chronologically. Take it away Ray!

– Smokestack

Chicano Batman – Joven Navegante

chicanobatIt’s crackin’ this summer for many of our compañeros here at La Pelanga! Just a week after futboling, singing, dancing, and breaking bread with Las Cafeteras on their recent trip to the bay for all the Copa Communidad festivities, the good homie Bardo rolled by the house to update me on the latest Chicano Batman project – Joven Navegante.

After a hiatus filled with their individual travels and musical wonderings, these four Chicano soul brothers will be reuniting in their hometown of Los Angeles later this month to promote the recent release of their new four track EP Joven Navegante through a series of live shows and the filming of a music video for the EP’s title track.

While at times their new recordings are reminiscent of their first full length self titled LP, as a whole Joven Navegante offers an even more exploratory effort, layering drunken wah wah guitar with psychedelic organ vamps, bouncing reggae bass licks, exceptional drumming throughout, and of course Bardo’s inspired vocals. Some true ear candy for the auditory freak and a perfect fit for any car trip to the sun! Check the EP’s title track below.

Chicano Batman – Joven Navegante (2012)

To satiate the vinyl cravings of folks like myself Chicano Batman has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for a proper 10″ vinyl pressing. Take a moment to watch their Kickstarter video and hear about what they’ve been up to. Real talk – they have some of best gifts I’ve seen on Kickstarter. To my folks in Southern California – pledge $250 and have Chicano Batman come thru for a pop-up beach party con music and fresh fruit!

DJ Smokestack

The Brain Connection

Picking up from my last post that featured the heavy hitting Latin rock sounds of Little Joe and La Familia, this next one – The Brain Connection’s “Mari Menari” – offers a perfect example of the wailing blues-based guitar solos that Santana inspired in garage rock bands all over the globe after the group’s 1970 cover of Tito Puente’s perennial hit “Oye Como Va”. Over the years I’ve dug up covers and musical impersonations of the genre-defining group from India to Africa and now from Malaysian, courtesy of The Brain Connection!

Mari Menari – The Brain Connection (1980)

– Smokestack

Little Joe x B-Boy Whacko

I can’t agree with Pozole more! Within Pelanga’s broad musical range you’ll definitely find several common themes: soulful rhythms meant to uplift your spirit and make your body move. Whether it’s a hyphy Papicultor cumbia remix or a choice kompa selection from Pozole, you’re guaranteed to learn something new with each record and party while you’re at it! Because we each have our own musical inluences we constantly inspire each other to dig a little deeper.

In fact, last month I wasn’t able to make it out and I hear Tunda played some James Brown and ESG. Who knows, maybe I’ll play a little Little Joe y La Familia at the next Pelanga! In the meantime check out Necessary Whackness – the full 50min afro-latin-funk-rock mix that features this monster latin-funk tune “Recognize Me”.

The mix, released just earlier this week, is a collaboration with my friend and Forever We Rock crewmate, B-boy Whacko. You might be wondering about his name? Well basically dude goes whacko when his jam drops! See what I mean (check the toprock battle clip below)?

-DJ Smokestack


Little Joe y La Familia – Recognize Me (1977)

This is probably one of my favorite latin-rock songs ever – some true message music! Little Joe’s production defines the DIY concept of the hard working independent Chicano musician – on down to the hand drawn cover (I’m guessing by a close friend or relative?). Of his ridiculously deep catalogue La Voz De Aztlan is one of Little Joe’s harder to find LPs. While “Recognize Me” is heavy funk fit for any breakin cipher, the rest of the album is made up of polkas, rancheras, and even a salsa track. Make no mistake, Little Joe plays it all…earning Grammies and playing/recording every style you can think of since the 60’s.

Here’s a message from Joe, from the back cover:

From the dusty hills of Tejas, to the smoggy barrios de Califas, to the steel mills of Gary and Pittsburgh, to the snow covered mountains of Denver, La Musica lives. La Musica is listened to, lived to, danced to, and low rided to …La musica Chicana comes from EL CORAZON Y LA ALMA. LA VOZ DE AZTLAN is a portrait of love, energy, and identity.

DJ Smokestack & B-Boy Whacko – Necessary Whackness