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

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Music of Palestine (Rough Guide)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to the Music of Palestine (Rough Guide)

The appearance of the Rough Guides in New Zealand and even other territories can be problematic. This one came out last year but if the few international reviews are anything to go by -- and its... > Read more

Various Artists: Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura (Brownswood/Soutbound)

Various Artists: Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura (Brownswood/Soutbound)

The global success of Buena Vista Social Club a decade ago meant some presumed the group represented the sound of Cuba -- and that shut out any notion there might be vibrant young players (or even... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Bob Marley: Songs of Freedom (1992)

Bob Marley: Songs of Freedom (1992)

Bob Marley was quite a man . . . nobody seems to have a bad word to say about him. Oh sure, a few wacko reactionaries got het up over the dope thing and tossed him into the Godless Heathen... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Robin Nathan

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Robin Nathan

Over here at Elsewhere we don't have little ones but that doesn't stop us enjoying children's books and sometimes even music aimed at the wee folk. Our favourite local artist making music... > Read more