mad diversity of styles and a pulsating, percussion heavy beat is the hallmark
of this engrossing collection of Colombian Champeta from the redoubtable
Soundway label. Featuring 21 tracks by 14 different acts (heavyweights Wganda
Kenya, Son Palenque and Aberlado Carbono y su Conjunto weigh in with 3 tracks
each, Grupo Palma Africana with 2), Palenque Palenque highlights some of
the dance music found on the northern coast of Colombia in the 70s and 80s,
especially in the urban centers of Cartagena and Barranquilla.
tracks were all originally played by DJs on the picos (mobile sound systems)
for street dances in the ghetto barrios, legendary parties that would sometimes
last for days. Soundway’s earlier Colombia! The Golden Age
of Discos Fuentes compilation of badass big band Cumbias, Salsa,
Fandango, etc. is a terrific contrast to this collection, which showcases the
heavy influence of African musics on the percussion-heavy Champeta sound.
The lilting guitars of African Highlife, the percussion-led jams of Afrobeat, Soweto and Lagos styled
funk and sounds from around the Caribbean,
local indigenous sounds and up-country Cumbias flow together into a monster
jam. Raw, rough and ready, Palenque Palenque’s tracks
leave footprints across the ceiling on the way to the street dance.
DOWNLOAD: “Esclavo Moderno,” “Dejala Corre,” “Quiero a Mi Gente,” “Yoro,” “Shacalao.” CARL