Changui Majadero: El Changui Majadero (Changüí del Guaso Productions)

 |   |  <1 min read

Mayumbero
Changui Majadero: El Changui Majadero (Changüí del Guaso Productions)

As we've previously observed at Elsewhere, Cuban music has, since the Buena Vista Social Club more than two decades ago, been often reduced to the cliches of romantic old folk and supple rhythms with a horn section.

It must come as a surprise to many to learn that there is hip-hop ansd rock on that island.

And this hugely appealing debut  -- scuffed and perhaps sounding unrefined -- by a five-piece from Los Angeles puls together different but related Hispanic traditions: the music and experiences of Mexican migrants to the US and the sound of traditional Cuban changui from the Guantanamo area where elements of African percussion are still evident.

The group's founder Gabriel Garcia came to the old school Cuban style through academia but his empathy and enjoyment of the music – refined by visits to Guantanamo where learned from local players – is evident across these (mostly) 10 traditional tunes.

Traditional instruments are used (the three-string tres) but this isn't entirely some exercise in retro exploration. Changui Pa Ayotzinapa is an emotionally charged plea for justice in the case of the 43 Mexican students kidnapped and killed in 2014 while going to a demonstration in Mexico City.

At the other end of the spectrum is the lovely La Rumba Esta Buena which appears in two versions, one intimate and lean, the other punched up by horns to create a party atmosphere.

Music as at home in Cuba as it in a backyard barbecue of East LA.

Recommended. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Sakina: Roye Mi; Songs from Kurdistan (Arc Music)

Sakina: Roye Mi; Songs from Kurdistan (Arc Music)

As a people who have suffered appallingly at the hands of despots, repressive regimes and a wider world largely indifferent to their plight, the Kurds have plenty of raw material for songs of... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE:  Tami Neilson

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Tami Neilson

What can we say about the wonderful Tami Neilson – a longtime Elsewhere favourite – that we haven't said before? She turns in exceptional albums (her most recent Don't Be Afraid... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Radiohead: The Bends (1995)

Radiohead: The Bends (1995)

There is an easy and convincing case to be made for Radiohead's more obvious OK Computer of '97 -- or the even more edgy Kid A of 2000 -- as an Essential Elsewhere album. But The Bends was... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Shane Warbrooke of the Bemsha Swing

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Shane Warbrooke of the Bemsha Swing

The Bemsha Swing album Against Friends and Lovers arrived unannounced but any band which names itself after a Thelonious Monk tune is going to catch Elsewhere's ears. And this duo of Shane and... > Read more