Thursday, November 29, 2007

Back from Mexico

So, I'm back from Mexico and I've finally gotten around to posting something. While in Mexico, I actually picked up quite a few records. You can hear most of them on my little radio show on where you can also subscribe to the RSS feed.

With my return from Mexico, I've recently become obsessed with cumbias. I usually shy away from cumbia albums, especially, anything from the mid-80s and on which tend to sound like the demo button on old keyboards. But, two things have recently opened my mind to the way of the cumbia. First off, I found this mix of cumbias rebajadas on WFMU's Beware of the Blog by Sonido Martinez. Cumbia Rebajadas are basically cumbias slowed way down a la DJ Screw although three decades earlier. It's amazing how the drums and bass just come to the front by simply slowing down a record. Keep your ears open for what sounds like a cover of Rod Stewart's "Do You Think I'm Sexy?"

The second thing to fuel my infatuation with cumbias is this great compilation called The Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru. Most of the songs on this comp are relatively slower than most cumbia and are clearly influenced by rock music employing the use of electric guitars, wah wah, and electric organs. At times, some of the songs even come off as sounding like some sort of South American version of ska or reggae.

So to celebrate the cumbia, I am going to share with you a few that I have in my collection. First off, from a record I bought while in Mexico is "La Cumbia de Los Pajaritos" by Los Aragon from a coollection of their exitos. I picked it up in Morelia while browsing through some used records in a book shop. The shopkeeper asked me if I wanted to see more records. Of course I said yes so he ended up taking me across the street where he opened up a garage full of records. My mouth dropped and I almost did a little dance. There was nothing too mind blowing, but I sure had a good time going through those records. Although this track is not included on the Psychedelic Cumbias comp and Los Aragon probably aren't from Peru, their song sounds exactly like the stuff on the comp.

Secondly, I'm including a track called "Si Tu Me Quisieras" by Yin Carrizo from Panama. I recently rediscovered this song after being inspired by the Cumbias Rebajadas mix and listening to all of the cumbias I have in my collection. This one's very traditional and includes the accordion like many of the tracks on Sonido Martinez's mix.

And, finally I'm leaving you with another record that was taken from the garage in Morelia. Consider it my Christmas present to you. All I'll say is that I will no longer be listening to the version of Jingle Bells sung by barking dogs.
La Cumbia de Los Pajaritos by Los Aragon from Cumbias de Exito
Si Tu Me Quisieras by Yin Carrizo from El Inmenso Yin
Disco Navideno by Los Sonor's from 12"

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Blogger jz said...

Hello Outer Mission. Thanks, I needed a little midwinter cheer here in Seattle and the Yin Carrizo Cumbia is the ticket. I saw him and his conjunto, probably with the same lead singer (name?) in Las Tablas in about 1970.That garage in Morelia (my favorite Mexican city) is quite a find. Gracias, jz

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude, just left ¨the garage´´ that´s across the bookstore. i think you left a lot of solid stuff behind. i definitely have a lot of cumbia that a hold me over for a year. btw, how much did the guy sell you the records for?

5:35 PM  
Blogger K-Mac said...

Dude! Did you just stumble upon the garage of records or did you go there after reading this blog? I think I left with a total of like 20 records. They weren't all keepers though. I remember being charged like 14 pesos per record, but he gave me "un discuento" and rounded it down.

Did you check out any other spots? I remember another bookstore I was interested in checking out, but I ran out of time and had to catch the bus.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, i have relatives nearby so i´ve been going to the garage for the past 2 years whenever i visit. I was curious about the price because they´re always trying to raise it. lucky, i have gotten them to keep the price at 10pesos for me....the other bookstores with records are all part of the same owner, but i think the best one is on the calle melchor ocampo. i think it´s called libreria minerva. other spots to check out is the fleamarket "auditorio" on sunday mornings and this other antique store that´s about 3 blocks south of the cathedral...anyways, have fun digging! ps:let me know if you need help with spots in mexico city, as well, i appreciate knowledge on good record spots.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Ruben said...

Wow, I am from Panama, and Yin Carrizo is one of those great leyends of the national folklore. I live in Japan now, and nothing brings me back to my lovely Panama than listening to some of his music and cumbia. In Panama people also call this music Pindin, or Tipico. If you like to listen to an old classic from Yin, get a hold of "Donde Estara mi Amor".

10:04 PM  
Blogger Ruben said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Ruben said...

Yin's lead singer was Catalina Catita Carrasco, better known as Catita de Panama, for the poster that was looking for her name. She is 82 y/o now. Still living I believe in Panama City.

10:13 PM  

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