DIABLOS DEL RITMO-THE COLOMBIAN MELTING POT 1960-1985.

DIABLOS DEL RITMO-THE COLOMBIAN MELTING POT 1960-1985.

Often when I review albums, I’m often frustrated by the lack of sleeve-notes. I like to read about how an album or compilation was made, the inspiration behind it and any backstory. Some albums are better than others, offering detailed and accurate sleeve-notes. Then there’s albums where there are hardly any sleeve-notes. Recently I reviewed a compilation, where apart from a track listing, there were no sleeve-notes. One label whose sleeve-notes are among the best you’ll find are Germany’s Analog Africa label. Proof of this is their twelfth release, Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985. Accompanying Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985, a double-album of Columbian music, is a sixty-page booklet. It’s more like a min-hardback book, which tells you everything you could ever want to know about the music on Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985. These are some of best sleeve-notes I’ve come across this year. Given how in-depth and detailed the sleeve-notes are, hopefully the music on Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985 will match the quality of the sleeve-notes. Will that the case?

During the past few years, German label Analog Africa have established a reputation for releasing lovingly compiled and lavish compilations of African music. Analog Africa pride themselves in digging deeper than other labels, in their quest to bring African music to a wider audience. During this period, they’ve discovered a treasure trove of music, from countries that include Angola, Benin, Burkina Fasso and Togo. Now Analog Africa have turned their attention to Colombian music, especially Columbian music influenced by African, Caribbean and French music. This would allow Analog Africa to diversify slightly, but stay true to their first love, African music. 

Eventually, and after sifting through a mountain of music, Analog Africa settled on thirty-two tracks. These were chosen few. Not only was their enough to fill one disc, bit two discs of Colombian music. Rather than focus entirely on one genre of Columbian music, Analog decided to cast their net wider. In doing so, Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985 features a variety of musical genres. 

Disc One of Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985 features everything from Afrobeat, Caribbean Music, Champeta and Pelenque Sounds. These fourteen tracks are influenced by African, Caribbean and French music. Much of this music was brought into Columbia by sailors, who arrived into Barranquila. The music of Africa, the Caribbean and France influenced Columbian musicians. Listen carefully to the fourteen tracks on Disc One, and you’ll hear these influences shine through. Colombian musicians didn’t blindly copy these influences. Instead, Colombian musicians they took these influences, and added to that, their own interpretation. However, it’s not just the music of Africa, the Caribbean and France that you’ll hear on Disc One. Funk, rock, Latin and jazz can all be heard during the fourteen tracks. As a result, many of the tracks fuse influences and musical genres, including some of the highlights of Disc One of Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985. 

Choosing just a few tracks from Disc One of Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985 isn’t easy, given the consistent quality. Some tracks pick themselves, epitomizing the fusion of musical genres. Fuentes All Stars’ Pégale A La Nalga is a good example of this. It’s a driving slice of Afrobeat, where funk and jazz also shine through. For me, Los Salvajes’Amor Salvaje is one of the compilations highlights. With its breathy, sultry vocal, chiming guitars and growling horns, it’s an irresistible hidden gem of track. Abelardo Carbono was one of Colombian music’s mavericks. The hypnotic delights of Quiero Mi Gente is proof of this. Congas, percussion and searing, chiming guitars accompany Abelardo’s vocal. Soon, he’s cast a spell over you. When an ethereal female vocal soars above the arrangement, this is the finishing touch. Conjunto Barbacoa’s twelve-minute epic Calambre fuses elements of Caribbean and African music and closes Disc One of Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985 on a captivating high. Other tracks worthy of a mention are Julián Y Su Combo’s Enyere Kumbara, Sexteto Manaure’s Bajo El Trupillo Guajiro and Wganda Kenya’s Shakalaodé. During the twenty-five years between 1960 and 1985, which the music covers, Colombian music is constantly evolving, changing and drawing inspiration from abroad and local musicians.

On Disc Two of Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985, the music concentrate on local musical genres. This includes the tropical musical genres. One of these are the big band porro porro sound. Then there’s gaita, cumbiana, mapale, chande and descargo. These genres demonstrate the eclectic nature of Columbian music. Indeed, Colombian music has vast variety of musical riches awaiting discovery. The eighteen tracks on Disc Two of Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985 demonstrate this perfectly. For anyone yet to discover the delights and riches of Columbian music, then this is a perfect starting point. Among the highlights of Disc Two, are a trio of tracks from Andrés Landero, El Garabato’s Cumbia Soledeña, Los Curramberos De Guayabal’s La Bulla and Sonora Tropical’s Lluvia. These seven tracks are just a tantalizing taste of the delights of Disc Two of Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985.

Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985 sees Analog Africa celebrate their twelfth compilation in style. Quite simply, Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985 is the perfect starting point for anyone wanting to discover the many, varied and eclectic delights of Colombian music. The music, which is of the highest and consistent quality throughout, will act as an introduction, setting you on a voyage of discovery. From there, you’ll go in search of the music of the artists on Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985. You’ll want to hear much more from artists like the Fuentes All Stars, Abelardo Carbono, Andrés Landero and Sonora Tropical’s Lluvia. Similarly, the in-depth and detailed sleeve-notes will act as your guidebook, allowing to know the difference between Champeta, cumbiana and chande. After you’ve hungrily devoured the delights of Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985, you’ll then decide to explore African Analog’s eleven previous releases. Like Colombian music, African Analog’s back-catalogue has many delights to discover and devour. So, I’m sure that Diablos Del Ritmo-The Columbian Melting Pot 1960-1985, won’t be the only album of Colombian music you’ll add to your record collection and similarly, it won’t be the only release from African Analog’s back-catalogue you’ll buy. Standout Tracks: Fuentes All Stars Pégale A La Nalga, Los Salvajes’Amor Salvaje, El Garabato Cumbia Soledeña and Los Curramberos De Guayabal La Bulla.

DIABLOS DEL RITMO-THE COLOMBIAN MELTING POT 1960-1985.

2 Comments

  1. Richard Reithner

    Thanks for your thoughtful article, am trying to learn as much as possible about this music.

  2. Great post.

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