Between the 1960s and 1980s, experimentation and electric reinterpretation of traditional rhythms was rife, along with the sophisticated balancing of a host of influences. There’s the jazz-era instrumentation, brought during the early 20th century American occupation, which introduced horn sections to Haitian ensembles. Cuba, cultural imperator of the Afro-Atlantic and perennial ally of Haiti, imbued Meringue, Mambo, Son, Guajira, Charanga, and a slew of Afro-Cuban styles into the Haitian repertoire. Accordion-driven Colombian Cumbia and Dominican Merengue left their mark. A melting pot of sound was all held together by the countless rhythms, drum patterns, and percussion brought across the Atlantic from Africa, surviving slavery’s violent cultural repression. New York City label Ostinato Records make their impressive debut with this compilation of Haitian Jazz and Electric Folklore spanning two decades from the sixties onwards. Allegedly compiled from an array of private collections and radio archives in Brooklyn and several digging trips throughout Haiti, this 20-track selection offers an intriguing overview of the country’s musical diversity in this period.
vinyl / CD
Candido Cameron was a Cuban percussion maestro who had played with luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and Count Basie throughout his illustrious musical career which started in 1952. Fast forward to 1979 and Candido finds himself caught up in the Disco boom that had engulfed his adopted New York City. Feeling he could add his trademark quick-fire Conga and Bongo playing to Disco’s straight 4 x 4 syncopated rhythm he cut some records with legendary NYC label Salsoul. The fruits of this partnership were 2 full length LP’s and a handful of 12″ singles that changed the face of underground Disco. The first of these two LP’s made for Salsoul was the truly epic “Dancin’ & Prancin” containing the all time classic “Jingo” which has been sampled, edited, re-configured and coveted by too many names to mention! It’s a killer funky Disco version of master Nigerian drummer Olatunji’s 1969 percussion suite of the same name, Salsoul style. The LP also contains one of the deepest Disco records of all time; “Thousand Finger Man” a testament to Candido’s percussion prowess and a spacey, beautiful voyage that has left more than an indelible mark on modern House music, often being cited as a huge influence by artists such as Masters At Work and more.
Vinyl Boxset includes 4 x 180g vinyl, including free download code with bonus tracks. Album sampler BWOOD089 also fits in to complete the boxset. The results of a true culture clash, ‘Mala in Cuba’ marries the intricate rhythms and deep, spiritual roots of Cuba with Mala’s own roots in South London and his dedication to bass culture.