Afro-Colombian Sound Modernizers


In the history of Afro-Colombian culture, Son Palenque is without a doubt an exceptional band, and its history has a place at the very heart of ancestral palenquera music as well as at the musical intersection between Africa and Colombia, which took place on Colombia's Caribbean coast in the '70s and '80s and which continues today through champeta, a musical genre and dance that also bears a strong African influence. The members of Son Palenque band grew up in rural communities fixed in time, with deep musical roots, duels between tambora players and a legendary musical profusion of traditional musicians that built the foundations of today's Afro-Colombian music. Later they all migrated to the city and bit by bit made a place for themselves. In 1980 they recorded their first single for the Fonobosa record label. Two years later they recorded an LP, again with Fonobosa, along with Estefanía Caicedo. Later on the band signed with the label Felito Records, in Barranquilla, which during the '80s produced some of the finest gems of psychedelic and Afro-roots music of the time. With Felito Records a new era began for the group. They recorded the LPs Ane Jue and African Erotic -- milestones in the history of Afro-Colombian music: for the first time they showed us traditional palenquera music, chalupa, bullerengue, lumlalú and other traditional rhythms mixed with modern arrangements of bass, guitar and saxophone. They then recorded three LPs for the CBS music label, and in the mid-'90s Son Palenque lost its recording contract, The group was resurrected in 1999 for a song with guitarist Sekou Diabate, legendary leader of the band Bebeya Jazz. Subsequently they recorded for the same label, under the production of Lucas Silva, the record Ma Kamajan Ri Musika Ri Palengue, released in 2012, which marked the folkloric group's resurrection. And so Son Palenque continues to play, 30 years after its foundation. This compilation of their music from the '70s and '80s makes clear their inimitable, groundbreaking legacy.