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

ITALIAN POP AND ROCK: Searching for the young soul rebels

ITALIAN POP AND ROCK: Searching for the young soul rebels

Let’s be honest, Italian opera might be wonderfully transcendent -- despite Oasis’ Noel Gallagher dismissing Placido, Carreras and the Big Pav as “three fat blokes shouting”... > Read more

Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca: Isabela (Mopiato/Southbound)

Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca: Isabela (Mopiato/Southbound)

Anyone wanting a quick injection of jazzy Afro-Latin grooves and palm wine warmth shouldn't go past this laid-back but lively outing by this LA-based but authentic band which is like a smorgasbord... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Arthur Ahbez

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Arthur Ahbez

And still they come . . . Musicians are washing up on New Zealand's shores with more regularity than sea weed and empty water bottles these days. But here too comes local contender Arthur Ahbez... > Read more

Anna Russell: Folk Songs (1952)

Anna Russell: Folk Songs (1952)

With her beautifully modulated tones and remarkable voice -- which went from a soprano squeal to a screech quite effortlessly -- Anna Russell was an enormously popular comedy-cum-classical act in... > Read more