Cumbia 1 & 2
World Circuit Records is re-issuing from their celebrated catalog the music and dance associated with Colombia, that’s been with us since the 17th century – Cumbia 1 & 2 performed by a variety of artists and compiled by the label’s world music expert Nick Gold. They will be released on limited edition 180g rad and blue vinyl on 3-26. Cumbia may be most recognized by jazz enthusiasts as the title of one of Charles Mingus’ notable compositions, “Cumbia and Jazz Fusion” but even rock and pop fans have heard this music through groups such as Los Lobos. It’s some of the most infectious dance music heard anywhere.
Today it’s a badge of identity for Colombians everywhere, as the music is enjoying a global renaissance and filling dance floors while captivating a new generation of music fans. This collection brings together some of the greatest recordings made by Colombia’s legendary record label, Discos Fuentes, between 1954 and 1988. In celebration of the reissue, World Circuit is debuting a new animated video for the track “Cumbia del Monte” by Pedro Laza y sus Pelayeros; watch/share the video HERE.
Discos Fuentes was founded in Cartagena in 1934 by the visionary musician, arranger and producer Antonio Lopez Fuentes. It was the first important record label in the country and grew into a company of immense significance for Colombian music, responsible for thousands of hits and scores of legendary singers and musicians over six decades. Fuentes hand-picked his musicians and singers then meticulously arranged, produced and recorded their music in-house.
This collection presents thirty of these three-minute-masterpieces, showcasing the gamut of styles that comprise the distinctive and irresistible cumbia sound; a sound typified by a loping 2/4 gait and a pulsing rocksteady bassline, overlaid with heavy rural percussion, brass, accordion, clarinet, electric guitar and vocals. Disc one features a broad range of cumbia styles with recordings from 1960 through to 1988, while disc two digs further into the classics of the past focusing almost exclusively on the 1950s and 1960s.
Upon its release, The New York Times commented, “this album makes a case for cumbia being one of the great overlooked dance musics of the Caribbean.” Featuring cumbia’s biggest hits from Rudolfo y su Tipica, Gabriel Romero, Sonoro Dinamita and Armando Hernandez, Cumbia 1 & 2 is a flawless collection from the Golden Age of Cumbia. Given that it has its origins so long ago, it is readily apparent by listening to just a couple of songs how much this style influenced so many other styles of Caribbean and Latin music. It’s the best possible introduction to this wonderful, uplifting music that will inevitably leave you smiling but its uninhibited free-flowing spirit will more likely have you dancing too.
Note: World Circuit is also reissuing Ali Farka Touré’s seminal Red on May 7th. This classic album is back on vinyl for the first time since its original 1984 release.