Playlist for September 2015
|Somos Calle Real – Calle Real||Calle Real||Timba||Sweden|
|Pesadilla (feat. Daniel Baro) – Petter el Chocolate||Petter el Chocolate||Timba||Sweden|
|Mambo Con Puente (Remastered) – Tito Puente||Tito Puente||Mambo||USA|
|El Mismo Sol (Salsa Version) – Single – Croma Latina||Croma Latina||Salsa||Italy|
|Salsa & Choque (feat. Ñejo) – ChocQuibTown||ChocQuibTown||Salsa Choke||Colombia|
|Abrazame (feat. Anthony Santos) – Elvyn Soto||Anthony Santos, Elvyn Soto||Bachata||D. Republic|
|Te Vas – Single – Grupo Extra||Grupo Extra||Bachata||D. Republic|
|Bésame Siempre – Henry Santos||Henry Santos||Bachata||USA|
|A Que Te Pego Mi Mania – Grupo Mania||Grupo Mania||Merengue||D. Republic|
|Rico Boogaloo – Ray Lugo & The Boogaloo Destroyers||Ray Lugo & The Boogaloo Destroyers||Boogaloo||USA|
Calle Real is back… For Real
Europe is not the first place people think of when the topic of Salsa comes up and especially the topic of Cuban Salsa or Timba. The reality is that there is a vibrant Latin music and dance scene on the other side of the Atlantic. This is attested to by the number of music and dance festivals held throughout the continent, the large number of Latin bands and artists that frequently tour there as well as the number of talented bands that are native to Europe. One such band has been a favourite of mine since I first got into Latin music, the Stockholm based Calle Real. Not only does Calle Real make fantastic music but they are one of the few bands outside of the Americas who make Timba that actually sounds like Timba. There are a number of great European based Salsa/Timba bands but, in my opinion, many of them fall short when it comes to delivering Latin music that sounds ‘authentic’. Timba is a rare beast; beautifully melodic, highly energetic and a lot of fun to dance to but also very dynamic and full of multiple rhythms, which can be overwhelming and even confusing to the uninitiated. Because of this some would argue that only Cuban musicians who have studied music on the island and have grown up surrounded by Afro-Cuban culture can compose and perform genuine Timba. Calle Real is the type of band that would prove those people wrong. Granted they have one Cuban member, Rickard Valdés son of the great Cuban piano player Bebo Valdés. However, the rest of the 12 members come from other parts of the globe and all of them grew up in Sweden. Despite their mostly non-latin background, Calle Real is without a doubt the best Timba band in Europe.
“Calle Real is, hands down, the most explosive salsa/timba band to ever come out of Europe. They take command as the leaders of the globalization of salsa/timba music, and their vision for their music has revolutionized the genre itself.” DJ Melao (Miami)
In addition to making great Timba, what really sets Calle Real apart is their ability to mix non-Latin elements into their music without losing the Cuban style. That may help to explain why in Sweden their audience is not limited to Latin music connoisseurs and dancers but also includes people who are normally drawn to other genres such as hip hop. In reference to this phenomenon the band’s founder Patricio Sobrado said “Of course we are influenced by Charanga Habanera, Michel Maza, Pupy, Los Van Van, Paulito, Manolito, Manolín and the likes since we like to listen to them, but being raised over here we have other influences as well. We are glad people think we play Timba ’cause that’s one of our influences we respect, but …our sound comes from having a need to express ourselves musically, and we use the Cuban music style to do it.”
That quote about “having other influences” wasn’t true though when the band first got started back in 1999 with 3 members and a repertoire devoted to traditional music similar to what had been popularized by the Buena Vista Social Club. Thankfully, the band moved past this ‘copy-cat’ stage, got some more members and changed their focus to Timba. By 2003 they were making a name for themselves in Sweden and around Europe and by 2006 they were ready to record a debut album – Con Fuerza (released by a hip hop label of all things). Their second album, Me Lo Gane, followed shortly there after in 2009. Both of these are fantastic and packed with a number of highly dancable tracks. Con Fuerza was even nominated for a Latin Grammy for “Best Salsa Album of the Year” and picked up the title of “Best Album” and “Best New Artist” from the popular Cuban music website FiestaCubana.net. And then for 6 years nothing. The band was touring and such but no new material was being made or at least it wasn’t been recorded. That’s about to change. Calle Real’s Facebook page has had a number of posts over the last few months with teasers of new material and just a couple of weeks ago at Stockholm Kulturfestival the band performed a few new tracks. The word on the street is a new album entitled ‘Dime Que’, will drop later this Fall.
That is still a few weeks away so for those of you who can’t wait that long the next best thing might be the latest offering from Petter el Chocolate Linde. Linde, a trumpet player who has performed not only with Calle Real but also with the Soneros All Stars has just released his first material as a solo artist. I’ve included one of them , Pesadilla, in this month’s play list – definitely worth checking out. Regardless, new Calle Real music is coming soon and if we’re lucky the next blog post may even include a track or two from it.
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