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

Rob: Make It Fast, Make It Slow (Soundway)

Rob: Make It Fast, Make It Slow (Soundway)

In a reproduction of what must have been the original cheap cover, this minimal and curiously religious/sexual album by Rob from Ghana has all the look -- and resonance -- of a rare reggae album... > Read more

Konono No.1 and Batida; Konono No.1 Meets Batida (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

Konono No.1 and Batida; Konono No.1 Meets Batida (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

Musical relationship where the partners share similar attitudes make for warm comfort but often not much creativity. So perhaps because Angola-born, Portugal-based producer and DJ Batida (Pedro... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

REEL KIWI UNDERGROUND: Local films that make a noise

REEL KIWI UNDERGROUND: Local films that make a noise

The phone call from Simon Ogston is gratefully received because he was the guy who made that fascinating doco about New Zealand's Skeptics, Sheen of Gold. And when he says he is putting on a... > Read more

The Roadrunners: LSD (1967)

The Roadrunners: LSD (1967)

With British r'n'b rock legends the Pretty Things scheduled for a New Zealand concert (see interview with Dick Taylor here), it seems timely to ressurect this obscurity from the vaults, a band from... > Read more