The Soundway record label has made an interactive map of Colombia to promote its latest release The Original Sound Of Cumbia. This map goes in part to highlight the regions of Colombia that the different styles originated from and that the musicians, labels and recording studios were based. Rare video interviews with Curro Fuentes and Michi Sarmiento feature alongside performances from the likes of Lucho Bermudez and of course, some of the fantastic music that have featured on these compilations.
For close to ten years now Soundway’s mission has been to present the lost musical gems from around the world: Obscure a-sides, b-sides and album cuts that have remained unavailable and unreleased outside of their home countries – if at all. In 2008 Soundway turned its attention to Colombia, a country where music is impossible to ignore, with the release of Colombia! The Golden Age of Discos Fuentes: The Powerhouse of Colombian Music.
As this journey of discovery grew, four more Colombian compilations followed as well as a handful of singles and EPs. From the oddball Afro influenced champeta of Palenque Palenque to the swinging descarga and cumbia of Cartagena! and to the eagerly awaited 55 track new release The Original Sound of Cumbia, released this December, Soundway continues to unearth the music of one of the most musically prolific and exciting countries in the world.
Soundway’s Musical Map of Colombia:
Subtitled: The History of Colombian Cumbia & Porro As Told By The Phonograph 1948-79. Soundway set sail for Colombia once again, delving deeper into the South American country’s rich musical past. Fifty-five tracks spread over two CDs, The Original Sound Of Cumbia is Soundway’s definitive guide to the origins of Colombian cumbia and porro and the result of five years’ painstaking research by Will “Quantic” Holland.
Disc 1 tells the story of some of the earliest Colombian cumbia recorded, a genre that captured a nation, spreading from its birthplace on the Caribbean coast inland to central Colombia and the capital Bogata.
Disc 2 sees the evolution of cumbia. Greats of Colombian music like Alberto Pacheco, Toño Fernandez and Anibal Velasquez brought the genre forward, bringing new influences and instruments to the genre. What had once been considered the music of the underclasses had risen up as the new sound of a nation.
After five years of becoming slowly submerged in Colombian musical culture, learning the accordion, setting up a band and a studio, and scouring the country in search of its recorded legacy, Will “Quantic” Holland (Quantic Soul Orchestra & Quantic Y Su Combo Barbaro) has compiled the fruits of his labor into this unique compilation that tells the story of cumbia in the years of the phonograph record’s supremacy. Along with good friend and head of Soundway Records, Miles Cleret, Will Holland has condensed hundreds of 78s, 45s and LPs into just over two and a half hours of the finest Colombian cumbia. Includes detailed liner notes and original artist pictures and sleeves.
The collection of Colombian phonograph cumbia & porro music comes in 2CD and two 3LP formats. Both CD & LP versions include detailed liner notes by Will Holland & original artist pictures and sleeves. Both vinyl editions come with free downloads of the album & an exclusive vinyl-only bonus track.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.