Various Artists: Saoco! (Vampi Soul/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Odilio Gonzalez: Sacude Zapato Viejo
Various Artists: Saoco! (Vampi Soul/Southbound)

Subtitled “The bomba and plena explosion in Puerto Rico 1954-66”, this double disc ensures your library of bomba and plena just got a shelf-filler.

For most of us, myself included, this was not an explosion heard round the world but the excellent liner notes – with terrific reproductions of album covers and band shots – fill in the technical details while neatly introducing such legendary figures as singer Ismael Rivera (“in my house [he] was what Elvis Presley was for the gringos”, says rapper Tego Calderon) and percussion player Rafael Cortijo who kickstarted orchestrated bomba and plena styles.

The excellent archive label Vampi Soul – which brought you collections of Nigerian High Life, Cumbia and pre-revolution pop from Iran – offer a lot of upbeat rhythms (30 songs) and rapid Spanish and doubtless to much for uneducated gringo ears.

But once more it is sombreros off to Vampi Soul for another fine archive which sounds vital and alive.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and the Rajasthan Express: Junun (Nonesuch/Warners)

Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and the Rajasthan Express: Junun (Nonesuch/Warners)

In a cover which recalls the Seventies albums Shankar, Family and Friends and Music Festival From India (see below, both produced by George Harrison for his Dark Horse label) comes this exciting... > Read more

TAGAQ INTERVIEWED (2011): From out of the frozen north comes a sound . . .

TAGAQ INTERVIEWED (2011): From out of the frozen north comes a sound . . .

Inuit throat-singer and painter Tanya Tagaq Gillis – who often performs simply as Tagaq – grew up in remote Cambridge Bay (pop. 1500) in Canada's remote north. She went to high... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Jay and the Americans: Tomorrow (1962)

Jay and the Americans: Tomorrow (1962)

Although they hit their peak when the American bands fought back against the British Invasion in the mid Sixties, Jay and the Americans always seemed like a band from an earlier era with their big... > Read more

THE BEATLES, THE RISHiKESH ALBUM (2017): A lost album found at last

THE BEATLES, THE RISHiKESH ALBUM (2017): A lost album found at last

The discovery last week of a previously unknown Beatles' studio album from 1968 – recorded at EMI Studios in New Delhi (formerly known as Delhi) in India – has prompted the band's... > Read more