. artist : various artists .
. album : diablos del ritmo: the colombian melting pot 1960-1985 .
. label : analog africa .
. year : 2012 .
. grade : a plus .
Analog Africa’s Samy Ben Redjeb has been collecting historic Colombian recordings for six years now. This is his second Colombian release, and it’s a great addition to the growing catalog of reissues from that musically diverse and vibrant country. Disc 2 here focuses on cumbia and other tropical and folkloric styles. Most of the disc functions like a third volume follow-up to Will Holland and Soundway’s definitive The Original Sound Of Cumbia, and there are some new directions as well — carnival music from Barranquilla (“El Garabato”), porro orchestra with psychedelic organ (“La Nena”), and the influence of NYC salsa (“Lluvia” and “Santana En Salsa”, for example). Disc 1 follows the trail blazed by Lucas Silva’s Champeta Criolla and Palenque Palenque collections, digging into the incredibly fertile soil of Afro-influenced Colombian music. Along with champeta (tracks “Shallcarri,” “Lumbalu” and “Calambre”), we get Afro-soul (“Enyere Kumbara”), Afro-cumbia (“Cumbia San Pablera”), and killer covers of French Caribbean (“El Caterete”) and Fela Kuti (“Shakalaodé”) material. The booklet is the icing on the cake — 60 pages of photos, interviews, authoritative essays and Samy’s personal narrative. Fabulous!