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

Michi Sarmiento: Los Bravos!/The Best of Michi Sarmiento (Sound Way)

Michi Sarmiento: Los Bravos!/The Best of Michi Sarmiento (Sound Way)

Time to push back the furniture and clear some dance space, or at least hit the Google search for the background to this Colombian band leader. Apparently the young Sarmiento pulled... > Read more

ETRAN FINATAWA INTERVIEWED (2006): From sands to stadiums

ETRAN FINATAWA INTERVIEWED (2006): From sands to stadiums

Etran Finatawa have band members from two nomadic groups from around Niger, and play music which sounds like the raw electric blues from Chicago in the Fifties and Sixties. Their electrifying music... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Peter Dickens

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Peter Dickens

Last year Elsewhere spoke about the price musicians pay for their career choice: the hours are anti-social and some of the people are too; the rewards can be elusive; the competition is vast;... > Read more

RICHARD THOMPSON INTERVIEWED (2013): Audiences and the art of the song

RICHARD THOMPSON INTERVIEWED (2013): Audiences and the art of the song

Richard Thompson should need no introduction. He has been an acclaimed songwriter/guitarist for over 40 years dating back to his innovative work with the pioneering English folk-rock group... > Read more