Digging to Colombia

4 04 2007

By Derek Beres

“Crate digging” is an understatement when considering Sound Ways in the UK. This label has produced some of the best compilations in the vintage global music industry, including two rounds of the inimitable Ghana Soundz, and the fierce Panama! Latin, Calypso and Funk on the Isthmus 1965-75. Their latest outing, which was released yesterday, warrants equal mention: Colombia! The Golden Age of Discos Fuentes is spot on.

Much like the Lee Perry Black Ark days and the evolution of reggae, Latin music has become very clean, sometimes sterile. Technology is amazing, but even some of today’s biggest names in hip-hop, jazz and electronica have used computers to create a vintage sound. Irony abounds. Collections like Colombia! offer all the live, one-take brilliance of a variety of forms, including cumbia, salsa and Afro-Latin soundings. Percussion is heated, horns are bouncing and pianos rip the atmosphere. This is an album made for dancing.

Like the crates these compilers dig to find this music, indie labels are not always easy to find. You can buy their products via Amazon, but always nice to support the distributor directly (and it’s actually cheaper via their site!).

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