Various Artist (1962-1972)
If you were to play Cartagena! Curro Fuentes and the Big Band Cumbia and Descarga Sound of Colombia album outside your window on a rainy, dark afternoon, the sun would come out and people in the streets would be compelled to start dancing.
Definitely on the short list of the greatest things I have recommended this year, this compilation is joyous, unusual, and all around awesome.
I have been a huge cumbia fan since I was in Jr High, when I used to listen to an album called Cumbia Cumbia Dos. It was never easy finding an equally interesting compilation of the Colombian genre – that was influenced by Africa and Spain.
Soundway Records, described as “a UK-based label, dedicated to re-releasing lost and forgotten recordings from the world’s most vibrant musical cultures” has found some absolute gems. I found them on emusic, which is a great site for discovering the obscure, particularly (non-lame) world music.
Every track is excellent, you could easily put this one on a loop for any margarita filled party and not worry about things slowing down.
Soundway has a slew of other releases I look forward to hearing including Afro-Psychedelia and the sounds of Siam. If small indie labels finding old, out of print amazing music is a new trend (see the fantastic Numero Group and their soul catalog), then I am one happy lady.
Below are images of the original albums of some of the artists included.