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Pat Thomas & The Kwashibu Area Band at The Forge, Camden Town, London NW1 on Friday June 17th (Highlife from Ghana)

“ON FRIDAY JUNE 17TH AT THE FORGE IN LONDON’S CAMDEN TOWN, AFRI-KOKOA & STRUT RECORDS WILL BE HOSTING THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO THE UK OF THE LEGENDARY KING OF HIGHLIFE, PAT THOMAS…”

Known as ‘The Golden Voice of Africa’, Pat Thomas rose to fame in his native Ghana during the genre’s 70’s/80’s peak before finding a new audience in Europe through the Highlife resurgence of the past few years.

One of the labels attributed to bringing this dynamic sound to Western attention has been Strut Records. The UK imprint was also responsible for delivering Pat Thomas’ latest album which features the dazzling talents of Tony Allen and Ebo Taylor – two of Africa’s most pioneering musicians.

The entertainment for the night will be augmented by a marvellous motley crew of DJs including AJ Kwame & Baggy (Afri-Kokoa) and Mr Boogie a.k.a The Vinyl Junkie (Soulsa/Shoreditch Radio).

Get a glimpse of what you can expect by viewing the following live footage on YouTube: https://youtu.be/uTFTUsrqxYk.

For more information about this event, check out the listing on Facebook: http://bit.ly/1Ym7vzF.

Goobi (Mr Boogie a.k.a The Vinyl Junkie), June 16th 2016

Descargas – A brand new Latin night in Dalston, London E8 launching on Friday May 20th 2016

“BRACE YOURSELVES FOR A BRAND NEW LATIN-INFLECTED NIGHT WITHIN THE FRIENDLY AND FASHIONABLE CONFINES OF EAST LONDON’S DALSTON…”

What is Salsa? Who invented the Mambo? What is the difference between Bomba and Plena? Should one lean towards Cuba or Puerto Rico in that age-old argument about the roots of Latin music? And where does Jazz enter the fray?

While these are all valid questions that ought to be addressed, what should override these debates is merely the pure enjoyment of these various sounds and rhythms which are generally accepted to have originated from Africa – by long way of the Americas.

Brace yourselves for a brand new Latin-inflected night within the friendly and fashionable confines of East London’s Dalston.

Descargas (derived from the word Descargar – a Spanish term to mean to offload) brings together four compeers from divergent backgrounds, each delving into his own repertoire to contribute towards telling the story in the most effective way i.e. through the music itself.

Come, drink, dance and enjoy yourselves as we ‘break out and set free’ some of our finest tunes for the occasion!

For more information about this event, check out the listing on Facebook: http://bit.ly/1ZNnXaJ.

Goobi (Mr Boogie a.k.a The Vinyl Junkie), May 18th 2016

 

Soulsa ® pays tribute to a giant of Afro Latin music who left us on this day eight years ago…

“IF JAMES BROWN WAS THE GODFATHER OF SOUL, THIS LEGENDARY CUBAN ARTIST COULD ARGUABLY BE BEST DESCRIBED AS THE GRANDDADDY OF MAMBO. EIGHT YEARS HAVE ELAPSED SINCE HE SADLY LEFT US. TODAY WE REMEMBER CACHAO…”

Born in Havana in 1918, Israel Lopez was raised in a family of musicians – most of whom were bassists. The nickname “Cachao” is said to have been bestowed by his Andalucian great-grandfather. With his late brother Orestes (the father of Buena Vista Social Club star Cachaito), he is credited with inventing the Mambo. In the late 1930s, the elegant and classical Danzón was Cuba’s most popular music form. Bored with this European colonial import, the two Lopez brothers explored the possibility of incorporating faster rhythms and more improvisational elements to the Danzón. This resulted in the creation of a nuevo ritmo – a new rhythm – that was later dubbed Mambo (a Bantu word that loosely referred to a conversation with the gods).

In the late 1950s, Cachao started assembling some of his musicians after gigs to organise and record late night jam sessions. These sessions gave the musicians the freedom to let loose and showcase their skills in free-for-all performances which eventually became known as Descargas. In the 1960s, he left Castro’s Cuba for New York to further his career. By the 1980s however, Cachao had relocated to Miami and slipped into relative obscurity. In the early 1990s, actor and fan Andy García helped introduce the Cuban maestro to a new legion of admirers. His return to the big time was complete when he was awarded a Grammy Award in 2003. He was also honoured with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in the same year and another Grammy followed in 2005.

In an era where the word “legend” is banded about far too casually, Cachao undeniably earned his right to be regarded as one. Señor Lopez…le saludamos y le damos las gracias a usted por su música encantadora!

To find out more about Cachao, you’re cordially invited to enjoy the following documentary on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1WDYSxD.

Goobi (Mr Boogie a.k.a The Vinyl Junkie), March 22nd 2016

Soulsa ® presents Schema at Brilliant Corners, Dalston, London E8 on Thursday January 7th 2016

“BEAUTIFUL JAZZ IN A BRILLIANT VENUE TO BLOW AWAY THOSE JANUARY BLUES!”

Firstly, let me start by wishing you all a happy new year and the very best for 2016.

JAZZ IS DEAD. Or so we have been led to believe. I, like many other aficionados raised on a staple diet of the classics such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Nina Simone, voluntarily and momentarily subscribed to that notion. While there is no shortage of talent within the contemporary music world, there is admittedly a dearth of exposure and opportunities for skilled exponents of the genre. What has also given credence to this “Jazz Is Dead” mindset is the lack of appreciation that Jazz is a broad, continuously evolving art form that encompasses a diverse assortment of styles ranging from Bebop, Bossa Nova, Latin, Funk and Fusion to a more futuristic guise that is reflective of today’s technology-driven times.

Schema, unlike very few others, has been able to remain consistent in the quality of its output while skilfully embracing modernity without compromising Jazz’s rich traditions – a belief I’ve held ever since I was informally introduced to the label some years ago. As with most things however, the proof is in the pudding. For one night only, I invite connoisseurs and curious types alike to listen to a selection of some of my favourite records released by the Milan-based imprint. If your musical tooth is as sweet as mine, I’m confident that taking an aural bite out of Schema‘s back catalogue will prove to be a palatable experience!

For more information about Schema, please peruse these particular pieces:

http://bit.ly/1NxLdFd
http://bit.ly/1MqLCoZ

For more information about this event, please view the following link: http://on.fb.me/1NKJ7BR.

Goobi (Mr Boogie a.k.a The Vinyl Junkie), January 2016

 

What is Salsa?

“SALSA IN SPANISH LITERALLY MEANS SAUCE. SALSA IS ALSO A GENERIC WORD THAT SERVES TO DESCRIBE ANY TYPE OF MUSIC FROM LATIN AMERICA WHOSE ROOTS ARE STEEPED IN AFRO CUBA RHYTHMS.”

Because of its size and ideal geographic location, Cuba quickly established itself as Spain’s most valuable colony in the Caribbean and a significant hub during the slave trade. The rich cultural diversity inherited as a consequence of this enabled the island to become the musical standard bearer in Latin America. The fusion that occurred between the raw rhythms and beats brought in by the African slaves; with the more sophisticated and classical sounds imported by the European settlers formed the bedrock upon which popular Cuban music evolved.

The 1930s and 1940s saw Cuba’s entertainment industry boom thanks largely to the steady influx of American tourists. Havana’s vibrant nightlife had helped it become a safe haven for prohibition-era gangsters and wealthy entertainers from Hollywood. It was only a matter of time before the Cuban sound began being exported to a newly appreciative American audience. Seeing the opportunity for more lucrative careers, many Cuban performers migrated to the US (New York being the destination of choice). The Big Apple was at the time already home to many Hispanic immigrants; mostly from Puerto Rico which had been declared a US colony in 1917. The advent of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 however resulted not only in Cuba being cut off from the rest of the musical world, but also in a shift in the ‘balance of power’. Puerto Rico, through its fast increasing community in New York, soon took over as the focal point of Latin American music and later pioneered its commercial development.

While drawing influence from Son that originated from the Eastern Cuban region of Oriente, Salsa also absorbed elements of Jazz and R’n’B, Merengue from the Dominican Republic and more crucially, Plena and Bomba from Puerto Rico; sounds that were very much in evidence within New York’s many multiracial neighbourhoods.

It was not until the 1970s however that the use of the word Salsa was made fashionable. Although this issue still causes lively debate, Izzy Sanabria who was one of the creative minds behind the legendary New York-based Fania label is often credited with the popularization of the term. Fania proved very successful in assembling some of the best musical talent within the Big Apple’s Spanish-speaking communities. At the height of its fame, the label held a near monopoly on the industry. In order to capitalize on the growing global interest in Latin American music, Fania‘s management soon recognised the need to use a concept-word to fully exploit its market potential. While there had previously been numerous references to the term Salsa, it wasn’t until the Fania era that it became universally accepted as a genre in its own right. More significantly, the Salsa phenomenon also enabled many young Americans of Latino descent to embrace their cultural heritage, and provided them with an added sense of identity.

Given the fact that food plays such an important role in Latin American society, one can begin to understand how a culinary term came to define a musical form. Very much like a tasty sauce can add a bit of flavour to an otherwise bland dish, Salsa can be perceived as a way to add a bit of spice to one’s life!

Goobi (Mr Boogie a.k.a The Vinyl Junkie)