Tag: Cartagena Colombia

New Video: World Circuit Records Reissues a Classic Cumbia Compilation

Acclaimed label World Circuit Records are reissuing trio essential records from their celebrated catalog: Cumbia Cumbia 1 & 2. a compilation curated by the label’s Nick Gold, which will be released on March 26, 2021 and Ali Farka Touré’s breakthrough album Red, available on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1984 on May 7, 2021.

Cumbia as a musical genre and a dance can trace its origins back to roughly the 17th century — and since then Colombians across the globe have proudly considered cumbia their birthright and badge of identity. Over the past couple of decades, cumbia has seen a resurgence with the genre currently winning over new generations of fans on dance floors everywhere. Interestingly, Cumbia Cumbia 1&2 features some of the greatest — and most beloved — recordings made and released by legendary Colombian record label Discos Fuentes between 1954 and 1988.

Founded in Cartagena, Colombia in 1934 by visionary musician, arranger and producer Antonio Lopez Fuentes, Discos Fuentes was the first important record label in the country, responsible for thousands of hits performed by scores of legendary singers and musicians over the course of 60 years. Fuentes hand-picked his musicians and singers, then meticulously arranged, produced and recorded the music in-house.

Cumbia Cumbia 1 & 2 features 30 of Discos Fuentes’ releases, showcasing a diverse and eclectic gamut of styles that make up the distinct and imitable cumbia sound; a sound generally typified by a loping 2/4 gait, a pulsating rocksteady-like baseline, polyrhythmic percussion, brass, accordion, clarinet, electric guitar and vocals. Disc one features a broad range of cumbia styles with recordings made and released from 1960 through 1988 while disc two presents the cumbia classics, exclusively focusing on recordings made and released during the 1950s and 1960s. Originally released as two separate albums, the reissue puts everything as one comprehensive release.

To build up buzz for the reissue, World Circuit released the first single off the re-issue, the lushly arranged, big band-like “Cumbia del Monte,” by Pedro Laza y sus Pelayeros, featuring a gorgeous and expressive clarinet solo, the familiar loping gait, shuffling polyrhythm and call-and-response vocals. Interestingly, the song manages to possess an old world elegance with a dance floor friendliness. World Circuit also released a playful and brightly colored, collage art-based visual for “Cumbia del Monte,” full of tropical imagery.


Currently comprised of Boricua (guitar, production), Chino (bass, backing vocals), Juan Sebastian Bastos (sound engineer), Makambille (vocals), Moniqui (percussion), Poncho (band leader, drums and backing vocals) and Shaka (MC, backing vocals), the Bogota, Columbia-based collective  Tribu Baharú specializes in Champeta criolla, an Afro-Colombian folk and dance music that draws from traditional Colombian folk music, Central African Soukous-Rhumba, Soweto Township Jive and other Caribbean musical genres including zouk, calypso, soca, compa and reggae, that originated in the Atlantic costal regions of the South American country; but over the past few years, the collective’s sound has evolved as the act has also been influenced by the soundsystem of Barranquilla and Cartagena.  And since the Bogota, Colombia-based collective’s formation in 2009, they have become arguably one of the most important Champeta criolla collectives out there today, as their sound has been championed by globally-minded DJs seeking deep, dance floor friendly, ass shaking grooves.

During the collective’s North American tour last year, they had some free time and stopped at legendary Washington, DC’s legendary Inner Ear/Bastille Studios to record a spontaneous afternoon session, which resulted in the limited release 7 inch 45RPM vinyl single “Made in Tribu Baharú”/”Pa’tras” that renowned, global funk label Electric Cowbell Records will be releasing on April 22, 2017 — Record Store Day.
“Made in Tribu Baharú” is an exuberant and breezy song with a looping, calypso and soca-like groove featuring shimmering guitar chords and Caribbean polyrhythms
paired with chanted call and response lyrics and a dance floor friendly hook. “Pa’tras” manages to sound as though it drew from soca, salsa and meringue as shimmering and looping guitar cords are paired with rolling polyrhythm and an mischievously morphing bridge with a surprising key and tempo change while possessing a similar dance floor friendly hook. And with the recording sessions that created both singles being rather spontaneous, the material possesses a spontaneous, on-the-fly improvised feel of a bunch of guys jamming and sustaining a tight groove.