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ARTIST
TITLE
Cumbias Internacionales
FORMAT
LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
VAMPI 186LP VAMPI 186LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
11/16/2018

"Arguably the strangest (yet coolest) concept record in the Discos Fuentes catalog, this compendium of trippy tropical madness masquerading as "international" cumbias features the venerable Argentinian showbiz couple Tita Duval and Roberto Rey. Dominga Salazar Azula (1924-2008), aka Tita Duval, was an Argentinian-born accordionist, saxophonist, and singer based in Medellín, Colombia. She was also enamored of the tropical genres from Colombia's coastal regions; she was equally lauded for her abilities interpreting both her native tango as well as the cumbia of her immigrant home, a skill perhaps as unprecedented and unique as it was improbable. Recorded with her husband Rey (Adán Azula), the well-known Argentinian music impresario who had also emigrated to Colombia, Cumbias Internacionales was an attempt to fuse hippie pop sensibilities with the tropical music for which Duval was famous. The album combines a mix of Afro rhythms, social commentary, and psychedelic instrumentation such as the electric Varitone sax, echo-drenched flute, Mellotron, and spacey organ, which transport the proceedings to another level. The record starts out innocently enough with the thoroughly Colombian "Oye Mi Cumbia", albeit with a processed electronic reed section, but the tunes get weirder from there with "Safari, Safari", pseudo-psychedelic disco-Afrobeat cumbia with heavily-accented English lyrics. The amazingness continues with "The Poor man" ('El Hombre Pobre') fighting for justice, over a loping reggae/porro hybrid, with drum breaks bringing to mind American funk! This is followed by a boogaloo, "Zombie Rock". The side finishes out with a jam of epic proportions that has to be heard to be believed; it morphs into another mix of cumbia and soul, complete with Stax horns stabs. Side B kicks off with, the thumping Afro-funk burner "Batukacuto"? with a floating pied-piper flute. Tita Duval herself brings us back to Earth with "Cumbia mujer", which she sings in a sweet voice. Then comes surely the weirdest version of "My Way" featuring Tita's echo-drenched warbling. We end on an up note with the most traditional-sounding tune, "Claudia." Which combines cumbia lyrics and costeño-style clarinet with merengue beats and Varitone; indescribably delicious. A satisfying trip to be sure, but still a head-scratcher. In retrospect, the album is a hip, exotic, experimental Afro-psychedelic brew that's even more mind-blowing when you consider Duval was 50 and her husband 60 at the time it was recorded." --Pablo Yglesias aka DJ Bongohead. Presented in facsimile artwork and pressed on 180 gram vinyl.