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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


AFRO CUBAN ALL STARS A Toda Cuba le Gusta (Nonesuch) cd 17.98
A Buena Vista Social Club spinoff project. A group of Cuba's finest musicians, young and old (including a 6 piece horn section) got together to play and record for fun. Features some BVSC favorites, including Ibrahim Ferrer.

AFRO CUBAN ALL-STARS Distinto Diferente (World Circuit) cd 17.98
"The second All-Stars album features Havana's multi-generational big band embracing a more modern dance-oriented sound. Deploying a variety of styles, the extraordinary cast of over fifty musicians delivers a unique take on Cuban classics and Juan de Marcos' original compositions." Featuring Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez, Omar Portuondo, Barbarito Torres, 'Cachaito' Lopez and 'Guajiro' Mirabal. Includes a 44 page booklet in Spanish and English with gobs of full color photos. Excellent.

AFROCUBISM s/t (World Circuit / Nonesuch) cd 17.98

AFROCUBISM s/t (World Circuit / Nonesuch) cd 17.98

album cover AQUARIUS BUTTONS 2 x 1" buttons 1.00
Hey, we just got another batch of AQ buttons made up...
Spread the word! Show the world your true aQ colors! COOL COOL COOL aQ buttons, now in 6 different vibrant color combinations. 5 new color combos (blue on pink, red on dark grey, dark blue on blue, orange on black, and yellowish green on dark green) and a popular one we had previously (brown on yellow).
TWO FOR $1!!! Colors are random, but buy enough and you'll be guaranteed to get 'em all! And of course all feature our spiffy James Gang style logo!! So stylish!

ARCANO, ANTONIO Y SUS MARAVILLAS Danzon Mambo (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
In an era where cocktail culture has diluted and made a mockery of music from the Caribbean it is refreshing to finally have the original roots and branches - of what became the Latin craze in the US - to finally speak for themselves and Tumbao is the single most important label dedicated to reissuing the golden
era of Cuban music. Started in 1990, Tumbao has been steadily reissuing radio transcriptions - from New York, Havana & Mexico - of the most influential and exciting orchestras and conjuntos of all time. Because most of the tapes here were never played until they were transferred digitally to CD masters, the sound quality on some of the recordings is astoundingly good. At this point there are almost a hundred CD's issued by Tumbao, and we hope to gradually increase our stock here at the store.

While it remains undisputed that Perez Prado introduced what is now known as the "mambo" to the world with his fast, punchy arrangements, it is with flautist Antonio Arcano and his orchestra that the syncopated rhythm originates. To give credit where credit is due however, it was Arcano's pianist and arranger Orestes Lopez (brother of the famous bassist Cachao, who also played with Arcano) who was its creator. Lopez developed the rhythm as a backdrop for Arcano's soloing (there is only one vocal track included in this collection.) The sound of Arcano's mambo is unmistakeable to that of Prado and other later orchestras; there is a much milder temperment here, due to Arcano's predeliction towards strings (5 violins, 1 viola and 1 cello as well as bass), absolutely no brass to compete with his flute and the use of snatches of classical melodies. The tracks on this collection were recorded in Cuba up til 1951.
RealAudio clip: "Rapsodia En Azul"

album cover AUFGEHOBEN Anno Fauve (Riot Season) cd 21.00
There's not a band around these days that more embodies the concepts of LOUD, and NOISY than the UK's mighty Aufgehoben. But being loud and noisy is not enough on their own. If it were, we'd sure have a lot fewer shitty bands floating around. No, Aufgehoben (formerly Aufgehoben No Process) are masters of their craft. That craft being ear splitting, strangely rhythmic, massively overblown super distorted totally fucked up noise rock. This stuff is so amazing, and amazingly alien, it's hard to know how to describe it. It's sort of like free jazz, meets free noise, meets Krautrock. Maybe Laddio Bolocko covering Masonna. Or a handful of This Heat Records and a handful of Merzbow records run through a meat grinder and then performed by Sun Ra. Or Mainliner and God (the '90s British noise band, not the deity) going toe-to-toe. A mind bendingly perplexing polyphonous cacophony of zig zagging melodies, almost like someone dropped a handful of notes in a particle accelerator and let 'er rip. If you thought their previous two albums were head-smashers and ear-melters, you'll be blown away by this one. Featuring, as on their prior Magnetic Mountain opus, the guest "stereo guitar" of British improv maverick Gary Smith. Yes, as we've said of them before, "the Anaal Nathrakh of improv noise rock" are back and all pretenders should be running scared.
MPEG Stream: "Solar Ipse"
MPEG Stream: "Avant Primitiv"

AUFGEHOBEN Anno Fauve (Fourier Transform) lp 44.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
There's not a band around these days that more embodies the concepts of LOUD, and NOISY than the UK's mighty Aufgehoben. But being loud and noisy is not enough on their own. If it were, we'd sure have a lot fewer shitty bands floating around. No, Aufgehoben (formerly Aufgehoben No Process) are masters of their craft. That craft being ear splitting, strangely rhythmic, massively overblown super distorted totally fucked up noise rock. This stuff is so amazing, and amazingly alien, it's hard to know how to describe it. It's sort of like free jazz, meets free noise, meets Krautrock. Maybe Laddio Bolocko covering Masonna. Or a handful of This Heat Records and a handful of Merzbow records run through a meat grinder and then performed by Sun Ra. Or Mainliner and God (the '90s British noise band, not the deity) going toe-to-toe. A mind bendingly perplexing polyphonous cacophony of zig zagging melodies, almost like someone dropped a handful of notes in a particle accelerator and let 'er rip. If you thought their previous two albums were head-smashers and ear-melters, you'll be blown away by this one. Featuring, as on their prior Magnetic Mountain opus, the guest "stereo guitar" of British improv maverick Gary Smith. Yes, as we've said of them before, "the Anaal Nathrakh of improv noise rock" are back and all pretenders should be running scared. THIS IS TH SUPER SUPER LIMITED ALREADY OUT OF PRINT VINYL VERSION, only 200 copies made, pressed on heavy transparent vinyl, housed between two thick perspex sheets with four interchangeable translucent paper inserts, wrapped in white electrical cable and individually numbered with a photograph of a 'found' number!!!
MPEG Stream: "Solar Ipse"
MPEG Stream: "Avant Primitiv"

album cover BLAST BEAST Evercrushing Death Splatter (Relapse) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, MAINLY BECAUSE IT WAS AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE! HEE HEE! SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Fuck yes. It had to happen. The mother of all grindcore bands has descended upon us and you have simply never in your life heard anything as monstrously bone-crushing as this. Featuring not one, not two, not three, but SEVEN separate vocalists, bellowing forth, respectively -- ultra gut-rumbling low, maniacally cat-butchering mostly low, illegally brutal low-mid, hardcore shout, slightly high yelp, catatonic maple screech, and tree-felling supersonic scream -- the almighty Blast Beast is augmented additionally by four distinct drummers, two of which do nothing but blast in tandem, virtually quadrupling standard drum speeds. One drummer is left doing fills and rolls incessantly while the last, Batteronimus Maximus (supposedly his legal birth-name!) plays a 12-piece kit assembled entirely of bass drums, leaving the notion of double bass a thing of the past. In fact the liner notes of the record include certified testimony from the controversial Auditory Regulation Statutes and BPM Limitation Committee of Canada that an estimated 72 to 73 percent of the sound recorded on this release is physically too fast for the human ear to discern, registering only a piercing single note to people but deemed "highly unsuitable" for households including dogs or feathered pets. Still the few moments you can make out are fucking steam-rolling bulldozingly insane! Think Brutal Truth meets Discordance Axis meets Nile at Human Remains' practice space with the guys from Pig Destroyer, Cryptopsy, Morbid Angel and Mortician jamming along -- all at the same time! With a whopping 147 songs (eighteen minutes total) this release is simply too fucking brutal for words -- get this now!
MPEG Stream: "Fast"
MPEG Stream: "Faster"
MPEG Stream: "Even Faster"
MPEG Stream: "Holy Shit, That's Fast"

CONJUNTO MATAMOROS With Beny More (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
One of the many incarnations of groups formed by the legendary Miguel Matamoros - who's lifetime output consists of almost 200 songs. The pairing here of Miguel's songwriting with the beautiful singing of Beny More is really a great one and possibly also a historic moment as well; as Miguel put it: "In 1945 we were contracted for Mexico and I took [Beny] along with me. He came really to be just my substitute in the vocal parts of the conjunto, but such was his ability that it cried out to be left alone so that he could perform on his own. That is to say, the conditions and situations were such that they provided him with the necessary impetus that transformed him into a star." The first eight tracks found here on this cd were recorded in Mexico City in 1945 during that engagement. The others tracks were recorded between 1946 and 1947. Besides Beny More, Conjunto Matamoros is backed up here by Ciro Rodriguez (2nd voice, maracas, claves), Rafael Cuelo (guitar, choir), Ramon Dorca (piano), Jose Macias & Jose Quintero (trumpets), Cristobal Mendive (bass), Agustin Gutierrez (bongos) and, of course, Miguel Matamoros (1st voice - tracks 9 to 17 - and guitar.)

CONJUNTO MATAMOROS W/ BENY MORE (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Here's one of Byram's Cuban music picks. Singer Beny More was one of Cuba's greatest singers (up there with Miguelito Valdes, Cascarita, & Celia Cruz) most popularly heard with Perez Prado's Orchestra. These recordings are of much slower tempo with beautiful guitar & tres guitar, piano, trumpets, percussion & bass backing B. More's vocals.

album cover COODER, RY / MANUEL GALBAN Mambo Sinuendo (Nonesuch) cd 17.98
Ry Cooder returns from his success with Buena Vista Social Club to produce a mostly instrumental album of not quite so traditional arrangements of Cuban tunes as well as some originals penned by himself and fellow guitarist Manuel Galban. Joined by the likes of bassist Cachaito, drummer Jim Keltner and augmented by various percussion, vibes, and organ, the two put together some heavily produced tunes much akin to the Latin Playboys. Engineer Jerry Boys even puts a Tchad Blake-esque spin on the production. Often smokey, drenched in reverb, the best songs have a very sountracky atmosphere. Then some, like their cover of Perez Prado's "Patricia" are just downright schmaltzy (though admittedly, that's a tough one to do otherwise.) Others, like the title track "Mambo Sinuendo", have so much Pro-Toolsification going on one would half expect to see Uwe "Atom Heart" Schmidt's name credited there somewhere.
RealAudio clip: "Los Twangueros"
RealAudio clip: "La Luna En Tu Mirada"

CRUZ, CELIA Cuba's Queen Of Rhythm (Palladium Latin Jazz) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

CRUZ, CELIA CON LA SONORA MATANCERA La Guarachera de Cuba (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The musical relationship between singer Celia Cruz and orchestra Sonora Matancera has got to be one of the most sustained and cohesive in Cuban history. The two are like fire and heat, it's hard to imagine them apart (sorry, couldn't help myself on that one... So sue me.) Celia Cruz has a voice that's silky, yet immensely powerful and once you've heard it (she continues touring to this day), you never forget it. La Sonora Matancera for its part is supplies a tight, clear, swinging backdrop for Celia's vocals - never intruding on her vocal lines. Recorded between 1950 and 1953 in Havana Cuba.

CUARTETO MACHIN The Original Cuarteto Machin (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Early recordings of mostly Cuban sones by singer Antonio Machin and his quartet, recorded in New York City between 1930 and 1931. Machin is credited with introducing the popular Cuban song El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor) to American audiences during a visit in 1930. Vocals accompanied by guitar, tres guitar and trumpet and featuring renown Cuban trumpet player Mario Bauza in some of his earliest work on the instrument (according to the liner notes it was on Machin's request that Bauza, a clarinetist at the time, learn trumpet to play with his group -- a feat he accomplished in two weeks.)
RealAudio clip: "Oprobio"

CUGAT, XAVIER Rumba Rumbero (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Unlike many of the great Cuban band leaders, classically trained violinist Xavier Cugat had never intended on making his career in popular music. Fate is a funny thing however and not only did Xavier become the most popular and acclaimed band leader of Cuban music outside of Cuba, but became a popular figure amongst Hollywood's elite in the 1930's, appearing in several films - oddly enough, his foot in the doorway there was due to his snappy caricatures of the stars. For years Cugat's band was the headlining act at the Waldorf Hotel in New York's famous Starlight Room. It was under Xavier Cugat that Cuban musicians and especially singers made their fame in the U.S., most notabable is the famous Miguelito Valdes, who is found singing here on over half the tracks and recorded in NYC between 1940 and 1941. The other tracks were recorded in 1937 and 1942 to 1943.

DE CARO, JULIO El Inolvidable Julio De Caro y su Sexteto Tipico (El Bandoneon) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

DIAZ, FELIPE The Latin Jazz Quintet (Palladium) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The title of the album is a bit of a misnomer, being that there are six people in this group, or maybe it's that leader Felipe Diaz forgot to count himself in. Who knows. though there's no recording date, by the sound of it, I'd guess it was recorded in the sixties. Diaz leads his group on vibes and, whether he was first or not, sounds just like Cal Tjader. But the weirdest thing about this album is that it features jazz head Eric Dolphy filling out the wind section with flute, clarinet, and alto sax.

album cover FERRER, IBRAHIM Bue0na Vista Social Club Presents (Nonesuch) cd 17.98
You may have already heard Ibrahim Ferrer on the spectacular second track off the Buena Vista Social Club record, his high, light voice soaring over the expert Cuban instrumentalists backing him up. How lucky are we to have an entire album of Ferrer's lovely voice?

FERRER, IBRAHIM CON CHEPIN Y SU ORQUESTA ORIENTAL Mi Oriente (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Here's a recording of Buena Vista Social Club fave Ibrahim Ferrer in his salad days, singing with Electo "Chepin" Rossell's orchestra. Recorded in Havana, mostly in 1960 & 1961, this lineup of Chepin's orchestra also features: Pastor Manzano on trumpet; Remberto Ibarra on alto sax; Emerido Ferrera on percussion; Loreto Vistel, Epifanio and Faustino on trumpets; Luis Castell on piano; J. Guerra on tenor & baritone sax; Enrique Acosta on tenor sax, Ismilbo Correa on tumbao; Chepin on violin; and along with Ferrer on vocals there's Carlos Quintana and Isidro Correa.

GONZALEZ, RUBEN Chanchullo (Nonesuch) cd 16.98
With most any album from Buena Vista Social Club pianist Ruben Gonzalez, you can be assured of highly uplifting Cuban music, this one is no exception. Simply gorgeous.

GONZALEZ, RUBEN Introducing... (Nonesuch/World Circuit) cd 17.98
So wonderful! Ry Cooder says Ruben Gonzalez is "the greatest piano soloist I have ever heard in my life. A Cuban cross between Thelonious Monk and Felix the Cat." The liner notes read: "This is the debut album by one of Cuba's national treasures. Made over fifty years after his first classic recordings with the great Arsenio Rodriguez, it was recorded 'live' with no overdubs in two days at Egrem Studios in Havana."

GUERRA, ORLANDO "CASCARITA" El Guaracho (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Here is a fine collection of recordings featuring the ever capable vocalist Cascarita. Recorded between 1944 and 1946 with the backing of Cuba's most famous of Orchestras, Orquesta Casino De La Playa (plus three tracks recorded with Orquesta Siboney de Pepito Torres in Puerto Rico) Cascarita has one of the most amazing voices in Cuban music, completely reckless, half laughing and yelling, but always in control. Though the liner notes don't give indications as to the performers on this recording, but 10 to 1 the pianist is either Perez Prado (who Cascarita helped to land a job with Orquesta Casino De La Playa) or Anselmo Sacasas. Either way, the piano playing alone should be enough reason to buy this recording - top notch played with that combination ham fistedness and delicate finesse.

LASWELL, BILL Imaginary Cuba (BMG) cd 15.98
Oh, come on, Bill. Ry Cooder already did this with the Buena Vista Social Club AND without watering down the beauty of indigenous Cuban musics with tepid 'dub' basslines and generic 'ambience'. This is musical imperialism at its worst.

album cover LES RALLIZES DENUDES Cable Hogue Soundtrack (Phoenix) 2cd 25.00
Wow, for a band that legendarily never really made, like, any "official" albums, certainly no studio ones, we sure have written a lotta reviews of releases by 'em! Not that we're complaining, we'll happily gobble up whatever obscure documents by these gents that reissue labels like Phoenix manage to dig up. After all, these Japanese Seventies psych subversives are one of those bands that inspired an entire scene, it seems, with all shades-wearing Tokyo psych acts of the modern era (Fushitsusha, LSD-march, Up-Tight, Miminokoto, etc. etc.) owing them allegiance. Themselves inspired by the dark urban psych of the Velvets, plus a dose of oddly enough Motown rhythms... and an even bigger dose of hiss, distortion and feedback. All noise / psych rock freeks definitely should delve into the mystery and murk of Les Rallizes.
This one, named for a 1970 Sam Peckinpah western (?), is a soundtrack to a live VHS video (we've never seen) released back in 1992, compiled by Rallizes leader Takashi Mizutani himself, a "best of" of sorts, demonstrating that these psychedelic hermits have sounded always as blisteringly blown-out and otherworldly rockin' and rollin' since their inception in 1967... it could be '72, it could be '79, it could be '83, it could be '92, it doesn't matter, when Les Rallizes take the stage they're in their own universe anyway, where time and other natural laws (musical ones too) operate differently. Where were we in '92? Just discovering Fushitsusha, probably, not yet hip to the true godhead that is Les Rallizes.
At first, when confronted with the heavy duty, distorted throb of the first few tracks, you might think, cool, but this does sound like stuff you already have heard by Rallizes, so do you really need more? Well, first off, if you're like us, you probably do... and anyway, wait, 'cause this is a sprawling double cd set after all, and eventually it reveals some sides to Les Rallizes that seemed new to us. Stuff that's so amazingly echoed-out, it's practically dub music. Beyond dub music, even. (Hmm, that'd be interesting, if someone did a dub version of a Rallizes track... would it collapse in on itself somehow?). There's also moments that have to be some of the most melodic, prettiest Rallizes to ever grace our ears... and some of their heaviest stuff is here too.
'Cause this is sort of a "greatest hits", the tracks that sound familiar are of course performances of songs we've heard in other incarnations on other Rallizes releases, and again they are as 'perfectly' realized (Rallizesised?) as any renditions you'll hear.
So, yeah, Cable Hogue easily winds up in the "essential" category... with almost all the other Rallizes records we've heard. Limited, numbered, cardstock "wallet" packaging.
MPEG Stream: "Night, Night Of The Assassins"
MPEG Stream: "Fallin' Love With"
MPEG Stream: "The Last One"
MPEG Stream: "Feeling High"

album cover LES RALLIZES DENUDES Cable Hogue Soundtrack (Phoenix) 2lp 34.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now available on vinyl too!!
Wow, for a band that legendarily never really made, like, any "official" albums, certainly no studio ones, we sure have written a lotta reviews of releases by 'em! Not that we're complaining, we'll happily gobble up whatever obscure documents by these gents that reissue labels like Phoenix manage to dig up. After all, these Japanese Seventies psych subversives are one of those bands that inspired an entire scene, it seems, with all shades-wearing Tokyo psych acts of the modern era (Fushitsusha, LSD-march, Up-Tight, Miminokoto, etc. etc.) owing them allegiance. Themselves inspired by the dark urban psych of the Velvets, plus a dose of oddly enough Motown rhythms... and an even bigger dose of hiss, distortion and feedback. All noise / psych rock freeks definitely should delve into the mystery and murk of Les Rallizes.
This one, named for a 1970 Sam Peckinpah western (?), is a soundtrack to a live VHS video (we've never seen) released back in 1992, compiled by Rallizes leader Takashi Mizutani himself, a "best of" of sorts, demonstrating that these psychedelic hermits have sounded always as blisteringly blown-out and otherworldly rockin' and rollin' since their inception in 1967... it could be '72, it could be '79, it could be '83, it could be '92, it doesn't matter, when Les Rallizes take the stage they're in their own universe anyway, where time and other natural laws (musical ones too) operate differently. Where were we in '92? Just discovering Fushitsusha, probably, not yet hip to the true godhead that is Les Rallizes.
At first, when confronted with the heavy duty, distorted throb of the first few tracks, you might think, cool, but this does sound like stuff you already have heard by Rallizes, so do you really need more? Well, first off, if you're like us, you probably do... and anyway, wait, 'cause this is a sprawling double cd set after all, and eventually it reveals some sides to Les Rallizes that seemed new to us. Stuff that's so amazingly echoed-out, it's practically dub music. Beyond dub music, even. (Hmm, that'd be interesting, if someone did a dub version of a Rallizes track... would it collapse in on itself somehow?). There's also moments that have to be some of the most melodic, prettiest Rallizes to ever grace our ears... and some of their heaviest stuff is here too.
'Cause this is sort of a "greatest hits", the tracks that sound familiar are of course performances of songs we've heard in other incarnations on other Rallizes releases, and again they are as 'perfectly' realized (Rallizesised?) as any renditions you'll hear.
So, yeah, Cable Hogue easily winds up in the "essential" category... with almost all the other Rallizes records we've heard. Limited of course.
MPEG Stream: "Night, Night Of The Assassins"
MPEG Stream: "Fallin' Love With"
MPEG Stream: "The Last One"
MPEG Stream: "Feeling High"

MACHITO & HIS AFRO-CUBANS Freezelandia (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Machito, along with trumpet player Mario Bauza, formed this group after Bauza had cut his teeth playing with Cab Calloway's orchestra in 1940. The concept was to present an Afro-Cuban orchestra that incorporated Jazz musicians, a concept that had a tremendous influence on both American and Cuban orchestras alike. The tracks here, recorded in New York between 1947 and 1949 features: Machito (maracas, claves & vocals), Mario Bauza, Frank Davila & Bobby Woodlen (trumpets), Gene Johnson & Fred Skerritt (alto saxes), Jose "Pin" Madera (tenor sax), Leslie Johnakins (baritone sax), Rene Hernandez (piano), Roberto Rodriguez (bass), Luis Miranda (conga), Jose Mangual (bongos), Ubaldo Nieto (timbales) and Graciela (vocals.)

album cover MACHITO AND HIS AFRO-CUBAN ORCHESTRA Tremendo Cumban (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover MACHITO AND HIS AFRO-CUBANS Guampampiro (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover MANTECA Ritmo Y Sabor (EM) lp 24.00
Our hands down favorite reissue label for far-flung exotica, Japan's EM Records, not only has a new amazing release, but has also finally made the big leap to vinyl!! (Actually, they'd done a few lps before, but this release is vinyl ONLY). And what better choice for a vinyl reissue than this rare mid-'70s slab of Afro-Cuban percussive funk madness by Cuban master "bongosero", Lazaro Pla, or as he was better known to the world, Manteca! Eight relentlessly heavy bass-driven grooves featuring Manteca's organic percussive excursions that range from almost modernist compositions of repetitively shifting layers of driving rhythms to deep salsa jams and afro-cuban FUNK. Imagine Tussle with a Cuban rhythm section or Konono No. 1 with a limber funky bass player, or even one of the best Beastie Boys instrumentals from back in the day. Having performed with many legendary Cuban combos including Ernesto Lecuona's Cuban Boys, Manteca's recorded output as leader and featured soloist have been quite rare. Beautiful and dazzling with a no-frills production that acknowledges the traditional roots of Cuban music but with a forward thinking progressive edge. So Awesome! And DJs, get on it, you've got your new secret weapon right here.
MPEG Stream: "Afro Funky"
MPEG Stream: "Abacua"
MPEG Stream: "Gozando El Timbal"

MERCERON, MARIANO Y SUS MUCHACHOS PIMIENTA Yo Tengo Un Tumbao (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

MONTANER, RITA Rita De Cuba (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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Born in 1900, Rita Montaner was enrolled in a conservatory of music in Cuba and studied voice and piano at the age of ten and received her diploma at sixteen. By the age of 19 she was giving recitals throughout Cuba, at 22 she was one of the first voices to be heard over Cuban national radio and at 27 flew to New York -- beginning her career as an international artist. But despite her extensive performances abroad and her knowledge of the European classical repertoire, it was to Cuba that she always returned and it was the music of Cuba that she performed the most. On this collection of recordings, mostly made in 1928 & 1929 in Cuba (there are six tracks recorded in 1940 & 1941), Rita sings the songs of her countrymen, including Moises Simons, Ernesto Lecuona, Juan Bruno Tarraza and many others. Her operatic singing style stands out on these recordings and some here even remark that she sounds a bit like Minnie Mouse. On most of the tracks she is accompanied by Orquesta Hermanos Palau, but there are a few duets of Rita with piano on here as well.
RealAudio clip: "El Manisero"
RealAudio clip: "Alla En El Batey"

MORE, BENY El Barbaro del Ritmo (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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It has been said that Beny More is one of the greatest Cuban singers, and one of its greatest patriots - one of the few stars of his generation who chose to stay in Cuba rather than emigrate to the U.S. or Mexico - a singer "gifted with an incomparable voice. He was the most all-around of Cuban singers, for he was capable of embroidering, stretching, and repeating the phrases of a song without ever altering his rhythm. He knew, with an instinctive judgement, how to assimilate new harmonic concepts while at the same time remaining true to his roots." This recording is unique in that Beny More is backed up by Perez Prado and his orchestra, a group more commonly associated with instrumental music. Recorded in Mexico City between 1948 and 1950.

album cover ORQUESTA CASINO DE LA PLAYA Adios Africa 1937-1940 (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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ORQUESTA CASINO DE LA PLAYA Memories of Cuba (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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Orquesta Casino De La Playa was a Cuban super group of sorts, giving many future greats their start and this collection features some great performances by some of the best. The inimitable Damaso Perez Prado is featured playing some absolutely reckless and wonderful piano, as is future bandleader Anselmo Sacasas. If that isn't enough the greatest male vocalist of Cuba (in my humble opinion) Cascarita, and the now renown Miguelito Valdes both sing on tracks here. Recorded between 1937 and 1944, this is an essential recording for any collection of Cuban music.

ORQUESTA CASINO DE LA PLAYA WITH MIGUELITO VALDES Fufunando (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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ORQUESTA NIAGRA WITH RUBEN GONZALEZ Que No Se Acabe El Bongo (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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ORQUESTA RIVERSIDE Baracoa (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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The Orquesta Riverside, a cooperative of Cuban musicians, had the honor of being the most celebrated group of its day in Cuba. Not only did the group perform on a weekly basis for seven years on national radio and travel extensively throughout South America, but won numerous awards from radio stations and even the Association of Radio & Television Critics. The tracks on this collection were recorded in Cuba between 1953 and 1954.
RealAudio clip: "Cachita"

PINEIRO, IGNACIO Y Su Septeto Nacional (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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This is a collection of Son, Bolero Son, Rumba & Guaracha from Ignacio Pineiro and his septet, recorded in 1928 and 1930. Very raw sounding, infectious songs with beautiful, semi-out-of-tune guitar & tres guitar filling out the sound. Accompanying Ignacio Pineiro (bass, conductor) on these recordings are: Alfredito Valdes & Jose Jimenez or Juan De La Cruz & Abelardo Barroso (1st voices, claves - 1930 & 1928 respectively); Bienvenido Leon (2nd voice, maracas); Miguel Angel Portillo or Jose Manuel Incharte (bongos); Eugenio Constantin or Alberto Villalon (guitar); Francisco Gonzalez (tres guitar); Lazaro Herrera (trumpet.)

album cover PORTUONDO, OMARA Flor de Amor (World Circuit / Nonesuch) cd 17.98
Absolutely gorgeous! For those already familiar with the wonderful timeless Cuban sounds of the Buena Vista Social Club, a new album by BVSC's grande dame Omara Portuondo is certainly a welcome sight. She possesses an incredibly potent, elegant voice that elevates any song to soaring new heights, and all of the fourteen songs here more than prove this point. Each note and phrase -- both vocal and instrumental-- is alive with smoky vitality. Okay, 'nuf gushin'! 'Nuf said! Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Tabu"
MPEG Stream: "Flor De Amor"

POZO, CHANO & ARSENIO RODRIGUEZ WITH MACHITO Legendary Sessions (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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While in New York in 1947 researching surgery that might possibly repair his sight, Cuban tres guitarist Arsenio Rodriguez hooked up with fellow countrymen Chano Pozo (astounding percussionist and songwriter), and Machito (along with his orchestra.) The first six tracks, recorded in February of 1947, were made during that visit -- the first two with Pozo's small ensemble and the other four with Pozo, Machito and Machito's orchestra. The remaining ten tracks are all of Arsenio with his small conjunto and recorded in Havana & New York in 1948 and 1953 respectively.
RealAudio clip: "Seven Seven"
RealAudio clip: "Tumba Palo Cucuye"

PRADO, PEREZ Al Compas Del Mambo (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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Recorded between 1950 and 1952 this CD presents Perez Prado and his orchestra in their prime. Prado is credited with popularizing the mambo and fueling an obsession with Cuban music in the US that has lasted to this day. Incredibly tight, punchy arrangements, each punctuated by Prado's trademark guttural yelp - it's no wonder he was so popular then and still is today. Despite his nearly being overplayed and drowned in cocktail culture, he still emerges unmblemished - the James Brown of Cuba. Highly recommended!

PRADO, PEREZ Go Go Mambo (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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Another great collection of recordings from Perez Prado, these recorded in Mexico between 1949 & 1950 and NYC 1951.

PRADO, PEREZ Kuba-Mambo (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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As far as I know, these are the earliest recordings of Perez Prado's own orchestra (which he formed in 1946) and recorded in Mexico between 1947 and 1949. Unlike his later recordings, which featured less and less vocal parts in favor of the more fashionable instrumentals, there are healthy doses of vocals on this recording from Orlando Guerra (aka: Cascarita), Abel del Rivero, Cecilia Ginzalez and other unknown vocalists.

PUENTE, TITO Mambo Macoco (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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New York born timbalist and band leader Tito Puente hardly needs an introduction. Like Machito, he sought to integrate jazz and mambo together - tight Latin percussion sections, with extended instrumental solos. These recordings were made in New York City between 1949 and 1951 and feature: Tito Puente (vibes, timbales); Gil Lopez & Luis Verona (piano); Mongo Santamaria or Frankie Colon (conga); Manny Oquendo (bongos); Amado Visoso (bass); Frank LoPinto, Jimmy Frisaura & Gene Pappetti (trumpets); Joseph Herde, Irving Butler, Edward Grimm & Sol Rabinowitz (saxes); Vincento Valdes & Bobby Escoto (vocals & maracas.)

RIBOT, MARC Y LOS CUBANOS POSTIZOS Muy Divertido! (Very Entertaining!) (Atlantic) cd 15.98
Ribot'mrairplanelikethat.ra
mrairplanenotliving.ras second record with his band, Los Cubanos Postizos, of sort-of-traditional Cuban music. Nice.

RODRIGUEZ, ARSENIO Como Se Goza En El Barrio (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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Arsenio Rodriguez is one of the masters of the Tres Guitar - a guitar originating from a three string guitar of African Congolese origin. Completely blind since the age of six, Rodriguez started learning to play guitar in his teens. It was during a trip to New York in 1947 in an attempt to restore his sight that he had the opportunity to play with Machito's orchestra. He decided to return to New York in 1953 and while there, started his own group. These recordings were made that year and feature vocals by Rene Scull (who has a vibrato technique all his own) and Candido Antomattei. The size of the ensemble, though small, still has the energy and swing of a much bigger group.

RODRIGUEZ, ARSENIO Dundunbanza (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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Another great collection of recordings by Cuban tres guitarist Arsenio Rodriguez. "Dundunbanza", the title track of this collection is significant because it is a traditional Congolese song which Rodriguez - a Cuban of Congolese descent - adapted to his conjunto. Arsenio was the first Cuban musician to incorporate the conga into his group; a move that was quite controversial at the time, but which is now commonplace in Cuban music. The tracks here were recorded between 1946 & 1951 in Cuba.
RealAudio clip: "Dundunbanza"

RODRIGUEZ, ARSENIO Montuneando (Tumbao) cd 13.98
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Another collection of recordings from Cuban tres guitarist Arsenio Rodriguez. These were made in Cuba between 1946-1950 and feature much the same line up as on "Como Se Goza En El Barrio" - most notably Rene Scull on vocals. More and more I am impressed with Arsenio Rodriguez and his output. Unlike so much of the newer Cuban releases of the Buena Vista Social Club ilk that are being released which are so clean as to be aseptic, these contain a beautiful rawness which is incomparable. The tres guitar itself, which has 3 pairs of unison tuned strings, has an odd always-semi-out-of-tune quality to it which makes my hair stand on end. Add to that beautifully melodic and rhythmically syncopated solo lines exchanged between tres, piano and trumpet, top it off with Rene Scull's ridiculous vibrato singing (which I must admit, took a while for me to warm up to, but is well worth the warmin) and you've got some kick ass Cuban music. No collection of Cuban music should be without a disk by Arsenio Rodriguez.
RealAudio clip: "Dame un Cachito Pa'Huele"

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