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Various Artists

The Rough Guide to Latin Rare Groove

(World Music Network; US: 25 Mar 2014; UK: 24 Mar 2014)

Pablo Yglesias was a vinyl collector first of all, then he began to arrange his collection, sorting it out into a) live gigs, b) multiple World Music Network albums (The Rough Guide to Salsa Clandestina, The Rough Guide to Latino Nuevo, etc.),  c) a book, Cocinando! Fifty Years of Latin Album Cover Art, d) art shows based on the book (Visual Clave), and probably others that I’m not listing. This latest reshuffle focuses mostly on music from a few decades ago and sometimes on modern bands that pay homage to that music. Contemporary Rumba Caliente claves up the Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” on track 16 and the modern bugalú revival band Spanglish Fly supplies the bonus album. Less successful is Ray Lugo, stuck at the end of everything with a few samples doled out stingily after a flood of acoustic. Wrong time, wrong place. The older material is outstanding: stiff-strut stuff from Venezuelans Los Kenya and cold-as-ice cumbia “jungle” shimmy from Peru’s Grupo 2000, circa 1974. Creamier, jazzier New York material with hero-soundtrack Strauss trumpet from the same era by Orquestra Dee Jay. Inspiration for Bio Ritmo? Customer satisfaction almost universal on this one.

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